Variations of this punch were served all over American during the Revolutionary War. This recipe gets its descriptive name from its method of serving. Artillery and officers would pour citrus and spirits together in the battlefield sweeten the mixture and often put it over the fire to warm the punch and themselves on a cold winter night.
Squeeze and strain the limes to make 16 ounce of juice. Peel the lemons and muddle the peels with the sugar. Let the peels and sugar sit for one hour, then muddle again. Add the lime juice and stir until sugar has dissolved. Strain out the peels. Fill a 2- 3 gallon buckets or bowl. Add the lime-sugar mixture and the bourbon, cognac and rum. Stir and add the champagne. Taste and adjust for sweetness. Grate nutmeg over the top. Heat a cannonball on coals on fire. Remove cannonball, wipe clean with heavy gloves. Carefully drop ball into punch before serving to guest.