The ''Dictator'' Siege Mortar

  • American Civil War
  • 1 min

By Crusader1307

One of the largest Mortars ever built in America (up to that time), was The Dictator Mortar. Specifically built for ending The Siege of Petersburg, Virginia (1864) - during The American Civil War. She was constructed of cast iron and weighed in at roughly 17,700 pounds. The Dictator had a maximum effective range of 2.7 miles (firing a 200-pound shell). Due to her size and weight, a specially designed train transport car was made. So large, the special track was laid right to the battlefield position on The Union Lines she would occupy. Crewed by 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery, she fired 3 times daily during the 11-month siege. Her massive shells took almost 30-pounds of gunpowder each shot. After Petersburg, The Dictator was never used again - and her fate is unknown. A replica concrete version of The Dictator (roughly her original size), is displayed at her original firing position at Petersburg National Battlefield Park.