12 pdr. Howitzer
- Type: Howitzer
- Rarity: Uncommon to Rare
- Years of Manufacture: 1841 to 1863
- Tube Composition: Bronze
- Bore Diameter: 4.62 inches
- Standard Powder Charge: 1 lb.
- Projectiles: 8.9 lb. round balls
- Tube Length: 53 inches
- Tube Weight: 788 lbs.
- Effective Range (at 5°): 1072 yards
- No. in North America: about 250
- Special Notes: The companion to the 6 pdr. Smoothbore Field Gun, the Model 1841 12 pdr. Howitzer was designed to fire at a higher trajectory in order to attack targets masked to flat trajectory gun fire.
More about the 12 pdr. Howitzer
An effective, serviceable cannon before the American Civil War, the 12 pdr. Howitzer was a poor weapon in comparison to new weapons such as the 12 pdr. "Napoleon" Light Field Gun, and 3 inch rifles. Most howitzers in Federal service were melted down, and replaced with more Napoleons, except in the west where light and more manueverable weapons were required. The Confederate Army, with a shortage of usable cannon, maintained them in their arsenal for most of the war.
The 12 pdr. Howitzer was by far the most effective field piece of the war for use at any range under 400 yards. Its large shells gave it firepower, while its light weight, less than 800 lbs, made it highly mobile and easy to position, even by hand.
Because of its mobility, the piece was readily adaptable for close infantry support. The 12-pdr howitzer's great weakness was its effective range, which is not much over 1,000 yards, well under that of even the 6-pdr gun. It made the piece an easy target for other artillery.