In 1861 an Ordnance Manual was published by T.T. S. Laidley, brevet major, Ordnance, United States Army.

Under the heading of "Incendiary Compositions, Lights, and Signals," in the manual, are described the various pyrotechnics in use by the United States Army at that time, substantially as follows:

Rock Fire

Bock fire was a composition which burned slowly, was difficult to extinguish, and was used to set fire to buildings, ships, etc It was apparently usually contained in shells. It consisted of:

Parts.

Rosin.......................

3

Sulphur............................

4

Niter............................

10

Regulus of antimony.............................

1

Mutton tallow.............................

1

Turpentine....................................

1

The ingredients were thoroughly mixed, then cooked over a slow fire until they became brown. The composition was then run out into such forms as were desirable.

Pitched Fascines, Torches, Tarred Links, Fireballs, Light Balls, And Blue Lights

The formulas and methods of manufacture of these are practically the same as given in the Ordnance Manual of 1849.

Signal Rockets

The manufacture of the rocket is the same as in the manual of 1849, except that it is described in more detail. The formulas and materials used are the same.

Under the heading of "Decorations for Rockets," the garnitures are the same as in the 1849 manual, with the addition of streamers, which consisted of small paper cases two-tenths of an inch in diameter and about 4 inches long, one end closed, the case charged and primed like that of a lance. The effect of streamers was similar to that of fire rain.

War Rockets

The war rocket described as being used in the military service was made according to Hale's patent. It consisted of: first, a sheet-iron case lined with paper and charged with rocket composition; second, a cast-iron cylindro-co-noidal head, with a small cavity communicating with the bore of the rocket and pierced with three holes obliquely to the surface for the escape of gas; third, a wrought-iron plug welded into the rear of the case and having a hole in its axis for the escape of gas.

The rocket was driven forward by the escape of gas through the hole in the rear end and a motion of rotation around its axis was given to it by the escape of gas through the holes in the head, whereby its direction was preserved without the use of a directing stick. It was made in two sizes - 2-inch and 3-inch. The rocket was charged with a composition consisting of:

Parts.

Niter......................

10

Sulphur...........................

2

Charcoal..........................

3

The case was placed in a press, about 3 1/2 ounces of rocket composition were put in at a time, and it was then subjected to a pressure of 20 tons. This was continued until the case was filled within about an inch of the top, when a layer of potter's clay was added. After this the rocket was bored, and later the head was added. These rockets were fired from open tubes, formed of rods of iron bent spirally and mounted on a portable stand.

Petard

The petard was a box of wood filled with about 20 pounds of powder. It was used to blow down doors, gates, barriers, etc.