Artillery Firing Sequence

A cannon was prepared to fire by the loader placing a ball into the barrel and the spongeman ramming it down into position.

The ventsman then covered the touchhole with his thumb, to stop any premature explosion if any burning particles have been left by a previous shot.

Once clear of that danger, the ventsman then pricked the shot's cartridge, placed a firing tube and looked at the cannon's range elevation.

Once the gun was sighted, the firer touched his portfire to the tube and the cannon fired.

After firing, a cannon would have to be moved some two metres back to its set-up position by its gun crew, armed with handspikes and ropes.

The spongeman would then dip his fleecy ramrod into a bucket of water and clean out the barrel of the cannon to make sure there were no sparks to set off the next charge.


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