Cannons loaded with canister shot turned them into giant shotguns.
During the Civil War, entire ranks were devastated by these loads.
This video demonstrates what those soldiers faced on the battlefield.
This time, the original Civil War Napoleon field cannon was fielded not in anger, but for science.
The study of battlefield archaeology helps historians plot what took place on those historic battlefields. This cannon fired 27 steel balls 1.5 inches in diameter. They took a total of 17 shots, and used GPS to match the results for accuracy of spread and range logging.
It is hard to imagine battle-weary Civil War soldiers facing such a foe.