from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A wooden or metallic lever used to manœuver the trail of a field-gun carriage in pointing the gun.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Nos. 1 and 2 clear the elevator; heave up the breech of the gun by the spar; Nos. 5 and 6 back the bed on the slide; run the field-carriage a little forward, so that its lugs come under the loop of the howitzer; lower the piece; put in the loop-bolt and elevator; hook on the drag-rope and ship the trail-handspike in its socket.
The Captain of the gun gives the piece the proper elevation with the screw, and causes No. 7 to train the gun with the trail-handspike to the desired direction.
Five yards rear of right | Assists at right wheel, attends bolt wheel. | of trail-wheel and trail-handspike.
No. 14 ships the trail-handspike and tends it with No. 15.
The Stroke Oarsmen wheel the piece up to the gunwale by the spokes, the Quarter Gunner guiding the trail by the trail-handspike, and the rest of the crew take hold of the drag-rope to ease the gun down from the bow, the Quarter Gunner still guiding it down the skids.
At the word "HEAVE!" the men at the wheels bear the carriage up on the skids, those in the boat haul on the drag-rope, and the two at the trail bear it up, so that the Quarter Gunner, who stands at the bow, can get hold of the trail-handspike and guide the carriage fairly.