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Old 01-16-2020, 02:44 AM   #1
aquakiwi
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Civil War Era Wagons

What sort of wagons would have transported canon etc in the civil war and are there any models available?
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Old 01-16-2020, 04:40 PM   #2
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West Wagons and limbers

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What sort of wagons would have transported canon etc in the civil war and are there any models available?
aquakiwi;

The answer would depend what you mean by"wagons." If you are asking about the rail vehicles that Europeans call "wagons", and Americans call "freight cars" then the answer would be railroad flat cars.

On the other hand, if you mean horse-drawn road vehicles, then the answer would be "limbers." A limber is a type of reinforced two-wheel, horse drawn cart, specifically designed to pull artillery. A typical civil war cannon was a muzzle loading field artillery piece mounted on a gun carriage equipped with two large diameter spoked wooden wheels (commonly called "wagon wheels") The gun carriage also had a "trail" beam projecting backward behind the wheels, and the "breach" or rear, of the actual gun barrel.
In action the trail sat on the ground and helped keep the cannon steady. The crew could aim the gun by lifting the trail and slewing it to one side or the other. When the cannon had to be moved any distance the trail would be lifted, and a ring attached to the trail would be connected to a hook on the limber. Horses could then pull the limber, and cannon, to wherever they were needed. Limbers also had a freight compartment, like a car's trunk. It carried ammunition spare parts and other supplies for the gun crew.

Western movie type "conestoga wagons" were also heavily used during the civil war, though not often to pull cannon. They were the civil war equivalent of the ubiquitous "dece & a half" 2-1/2 ton truck used by the US military in WWII. They carried everything from food to ammunition to medical supplies.

As for models, Preiser make beautiful horse-drawn wagons, complete with horses, in N-scale, and HO scale.

The first half of the 1960s was the centennial of the civil war and I remember some flexible-plastic toy civil war soldiers (appropriately molded in blue or gray plastic. They were about HO-scale, and they had cannon, limbers and, I think, wagons too. You might try a google search for "civil war toy soldiers" and see what's available now.

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Old 01-16-2020, 10:38 PM   #3
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Thank you traction fan, Yes I meant Freight cars, I'm looking for a suitable freight car. I don't know a lot about the Civil War........I'm a Scott been living in New Zealand for 50 years, LOL
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:35 AM   #4
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You could learn a great deal about the civil war on-line, but that should go without saying.....so forget I said that.....
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:58 AM   #5
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My brother doesn't model-railroad much anymore, but he's into (ahem) "1860's heritage" stuff. I know he has a period-specific train and special ordered a flatbed with two cannons on it. I'll ask him about it.
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Old 01-17-2020, 12:05 PM   #6
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West Civil war railroad equipment

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Thank you traction fan, Yes I meant Freight cars, I'm looking for a suitable freight car. I don't know a lot about the Civil War........I'm a Scott been living in New Zealand for 50 years, LOL
aquakiwi;

Bachmann made HO-scale, and N-scale 4-4-O "American type" steam locomotives and civil war era freight and passenger cars. Perhaps they still do, or you could certainly find them on Ebay. The freight cars included flat cars, an early version of a "tank car" (a flat car with three large wooden tubs on it) and boxcars. The passenger cars were the wood sheathed, open vestibule, clerestory roof, type seen in many western movies. The locomotives were based on the two that were in the famous photo of the golden spike ceremony, held at the completion of the U.S. transcontinental railroad. Which was shortly after the end of our civil war. Similar locomotive types were used before , during, and after the war. All the cars were short by more modern standards. About 30 feet for the average freight car of the time. They were nearly all wood with truss rods under the floor to prevent sagging. Archbar trucks and other types of early "built-up" (of many individual parts) rather than cast trucks were used. Kadee, and Micro-Trains offer these trucks in HO & N scales respectively. These cars could easily be scratchbuilt from basswood and/or brass. You could,in fact, make a better model than the Bachmann commercial offerings, which are a bit crude with all hardware quite oversized. The real cars would have used link and pin couplers, which are not commercially available, and would be a royal PITA to couple and uncouple in either scale. The Bachmann cars came with Rapido coupler on the older N-scale versions I have, but if the cars are still produced, they may come with knuckle couplers now. The Kadee/Micro-Trains trucks are available with/or without These brands excellent automatic, magnetic knuckle couplers attached.

Good luck, Have fun!

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Old 01-17-2020, 01:04 PM   #7
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My brother doesn't model-railroad much anymore, but he's into (ahem) "1860's heritage" stuff. I know he has a period-specific train and special ordered a flatbed with two cannons on it. I'll ask him about it.
Never mind; I got the reply " I have a car that has two field pieces on it, they were convention items from the Train Collectors Association, I think from the 1980's. They are O gauge. I found it at a train collectors show. They also had a flat with cotton bails and a passenger car. "
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Old 01-17-2020, 05:13 PM   #8
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I have a couple of Bachman 4-4 Locos and passenger cars, also some 3D printed Cannon, It was a wagon for these I'm after.
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Old 01-17-2020, 05:21 PM   #9
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Not sure if these folks are still in business, but the website works:
http://www.btsrr.com/bts9509.htm
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Old 01-17-2020, 10:54 PM   #10
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I Googled "civil war trains" and found much, including this:

image.jpg
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