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Paul Scheidler

The Height of Folly: A History of the Mountain Howitzer & Rocket Battery in the Mexican War 1846-1848

The Height of Folly: A History of the Mountain Howitzer & Rocket Battery in the Mexican War 1846-1848

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During the Mexican American War of 1846-1848 a special battery of artillery was created that was different from any other unit in the United States Army. The "Mountain Howitzer & Rocket Battery" made up of two experimental weapons, the 12-pounder Mountain Howitzer and the Hale Rocket System. It was special because it was populated with ordnance soldiers not artillerymen. This had never happened before, nor has it happened since. Like many units during that war, half of the men were "Native Born" Americans while the other half were immigrants, primarily German and Irish, and fresh off the boat.

Four surviving howitzers were kept together after being shipped back to the arsenal, and three now reside in the Frontier Army Museum at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. They carry the names of all of their battles, engraved on their barrels and have an amazing story to tell.

By Paul H. Scheidler

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