The use of gunpowder to hurl lumps of stone or metal at your enemy had been around for sometime by the Civil War. A Master Gunner was a sought after man. He would have been highly educated for the times being effectively a combination of:
- Chemist, in order to understand the nature of gunpowder and the need for different properties for pistol as opposed to Artillery,
- Engineer, understanding how things are made helps in working out how to knock them down,
- Mathematician, to calculate weight of shot, amount of charge, distance to target and trajectory etc.
- Surveyor, when called upon to observe fortifications and prepare to lay siege. Obviously he would have also to read and write too.
Our Regiment operates two small field or battalion pieces classified as Robinets (never called cannon, which is a specific size of artillery piece). The division is headed by a Senior Conductor of the Ordinance, under whose command are 2 Conductors also called Gun Captains. They in turn are supported by their crew in loading and making the gun ready to fire.
Want to cause despondency and despair in the ranks of the enemy on the battlefield or in a city or town being besieged? Want to cut down as many soldiers or cavalry as possible in one go? Want to really annoy the other side? You need the Artillery!