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Re: Augusta Cannon
In Response To: Augusta Cannon ()

The subject cannon dug up in 1996 is a Confederate 12-pounder cast-iron Napoleon field gun. 121 of these were cast at Tredegar Foundry (105 in 1864, 16 in 1865), and 11 are known to survive, including the rare one dug up in Michigan that is marked for Augusta Arsenal. When Tredegar’s machine shop was badly damaged by fire, Tredegar records document that several raw castings were sent to Augusta Arsenal and Noble Brothers (Rome, GA) for finishing. Since Augusta is not known to have cast any iron cannon, and since Confederate ordnance records indicate that all iron Napoleons were cast at Tredegar, it is likely that a few unfinished iron Napoleon castings were included among those sent to Augusta for finishing. Close inspection will reveal that the tube is not banded; it merely appears to be so when it was, in fact, poured as one piece - others involved in this project have already confirmed this. While dug up in Petosky and previously stored at the DPW garage, it is my undertanding this tube is now in at Harbor Springs undergoing restoration.

It is not known how that specimen ended up in Michigan or how it got buried. It was most likely one of the 11,000 to 12,000 obsolete cannon given out to various municipalities and organizations as memorials by the Army and Navy from 1868 to 1916. My records show four cannon donated to locations in Petosky but not matches any cannon that could have been mistaken for this one. Thus, it could have been an official donation that somehow did not get documented, or it was brought back from the war as a souvenir by some local artillery unit. While the latter situation is not common, it did occur; so this could be one more such example. I suspect the damage to the muzzle somehow occurred while it was in Michigan; so someone probably decided to scrap it, some convenient construction project perhaps providing a handy hole to drop it into. This is speculation, but its identity as a Confederate 12-pdr cast-iron Napoleon field gun is not, this type being documented in every serious study of Civil War cannon.

I know of no location where you could look for information about this cannon.

Wayne E. Stark, Civil War Artillery Historian, and co-author of “The Big Guns: Civil War Siege, Seacoast and Naval Cannon”

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Augusta Cannon
Re: Augusta Cannon
Re: Augusta Cannon