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Contact: Bill Martin, (843) 883-3123 x211
After years of sitting on deteriorating wooden blocks, a 10-inch Columbiad cannon at Fort Sumter National Monument recently received a new replica carriage.
Originally a smoothbore cannon that fired spherical cannonballs, it was brought to Fort Sumter by the U.S. Army in 1860. During the 1861 bombardment of Fort Sumter the cannon was mounted as a mortar and aimed toward the city of Charleston. The gun was not fired during that battle and it is doubtful that would have been effective at that range. The Confederacy converted the gun to a rifle in 1863, allowing it greater range by firing bullet-shaped projectiles, and moved it to Fort Johnson on James Island. It was eventually returned to Fort Sumter in 1954. Weighing in at 20,000 pounds, this cannon is one of only 14 known survivors of its type.
The new carriage is fabricated of steel with a wood grain coating that looks like the original wooden carriage. Additionally, the cannon tube is undergoing conservation by the Warren Lasch Conservation Center, the organization conserving the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley.