French 4 Pounder Smoothbore

Date:
1793
Publisher/Studio:
Lyons

This is a French 4-pounder smoothbore gun, cast at Lyons in 1793 and apparently captured during the Quasi-War with France (1798-1800). Manufactured in the year in which Louis XVI went to the guillotine, it has its founder's identification on the breech face with the republican slogan "Liberte,egalite" on the chase. A nearly-obliterated device on the first reinforce seems to be a revolutionary national monogram substitute for the royal cipher used on earlier guns. Where 3-pounder and 6-pounder guns were used in the English service, the French preferred 4- and 8- pounders.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-AP
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Austrian 6 Pounder Bronze Rifled Howitzer

Date:
1852
Publisher/Studio:
Vienna

This is an Austrian rifled 6-pounder howitzer of a pattern, later than that of No. 1. Made in Vienna in 1852, it has one reinforce instead of the two of No. 1, and its outline is noticeably more functional, lacking the older weapons ornamental rings and astragals. In dimensions and lines, though, the relation between older and newer pieces shows clearly. The howitzer has the same type of sights as the 1843 weapon and, like it, was captured from the blockade runner Columbia. A trophy inscription on No. 3 commemorates this. A number of Austrian rifled howitzers were bought and used by the Confederacy; 6-pounders like this can be seen at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, as well as at Petersburg and Fort Monroe, Virginia; two bronze 24-pounder howitzers are at Gettysburg National Military Park. Seven pieces of this type were sold to the Grand Army of the Republic in 1883 to be melted down and cast into members' badges for that association of Union veterans.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-GO
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Austrian 6 Pounder Bronze Rifled Howitzer

Date:
1854
Publisher/Studio:
Vienna

This is an Austrian rifled 6-pounder howitzer of a pattern, later than that of No. 1. Forged in Vienna in 1854, it has one reinforce instead of the two of No. 1, and its outline is noticeably more functional, lacking the older weapons ornamental rings and astragals. In dimensions and lines, though, the relation between older and newer pieces shows clearly. The howitzer has the same type of sights as the 1843 weapon and, like it, was captured from the blockade runner Columbia. A trophy inscription on No. 3 commemorates this. A number of Austrian rifled howitzers were bought and used by the Confederacy; 6-pounders like this can be seen at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, as well as at Petersburg and Fort Monroe, Virginia; two bronze 24-pounder howitzers are at Gettysburg National Military Park. Seven pieces of this type were sold to the Grand Army of the Republic in 1883 to be melted down and cast into members' badges for that association of Union veterans.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-GN
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Japanese 36 Pounder Bronze Gun

An unusual Japanese gun, its bore is 6.875 inches in diameter; this would enable it to fire a 39-pound solid shot. It bears no mark other than the numeral "8" on the right trunnion and a trophy inscription on the first reinforce. This powerful gun formed part of the armament of the batteries guarding the Shimonoseki Straits, the narrow passage between the islands of Kyushu and Honshu leading from the Inland Sea to the Korea Strait. During the early 1860s, the feudal clans of southern Japan were at war with the leading Tokugawa clan for political supremacy. They resented the recent opening of their country to foreign influences, and anti-foreign feeling ran strong in this part of Japan. The Shimonoseki batteries fired on French and Dutch vessels, and on the American steam sloop-of-war Wyoming. On 5 and 6 September 1864, a combined French-Dutch-British squadron, joined by the chartered American naval steamer Ta Kiang, bombarded and silenced the Shimonoseki forts. This retaliatory naval bombardment is credited with putting an end to the antiforeign movement in Japan. This large gun was designed for use with breeching tackle, a heavy cable passed around the cascabel to check recoil within a certain space. The large sight bases - called sight pieces or sight masses - are out of the ordinary for weapons of this period.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze. Di: 6.875"

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-BC
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

4 Pounder Bronze Gun

This 4-pound gun lacks national markings, but records indicate that it was captured during the war of 1812; its vent field is conspicuously mutilated by extensive drilling or hammering with a pick-like instrument. Its general configuration dates it in the second half of the 18th century, or, possibly, the first years of the 19th. The 4-pounder, as noted under No. 2 above, was a Continental caliber although some iron 4-pounders were in British service until about 1800. It may well have been purchased or captured by the English, since trophy guns were often put to use. It was at the Norfolk Navy Yard when the Civil War began, making it likely that is was originally captured at sea. Its small caliber means that, in all probability, it armed a privateer or armed merchant.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-AB
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

U.S. Army 24 Pounder Bronze Howitzer

Date:
1858
Creator:
Cyrus Alger and Company
Publisher/Studio:
Boston

This is a U.S. Army 24-pounder howitzer, made from an 1844 model. Markings on its trunnions show that it was made at Boston in 1858 by Cyrus Alger and Company. The initials B.H. on the muzzle face are those of Major Benjamin Huger, then an inspector of ordnance for the Army and later a major general in the Confederate service. This piece passed into Confederate hands during the Civil War and, as the inscription on the breech shows, was recaptured when Morris Island, Charleston, S.C., was evacuated after a long siege by Rear Admiral S. P. Lee's North Atlantic Blockading Squadron.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-AM
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Spanish 12 Pounder Bronze Gun

Date:
June 6, 1767
Publisher/Studio:
Barcelona

The legend cast into the breech ring of this Spanish 12-pounder gun shows that it was made at Barcelona on 6 June 1767. The royal cipher on the first reinforce is translated C III R, or Carolus III Rex, for Charles III, King of Spain form 1759 to 1788. Like many Continental guns, this one has an individual name cast into its chase. The name EL ALANO means a mastiff, a large hunting dog; not an inappropriate name for a piece of heavy ordnance. A 12-pounder gun would be considered heavy at this time for field use, but would be suitable for siege and garrison service and might be used in larger warships. It was sent to the Philippines for use in the defenses of Manila and was captured there by Rear Admiral Dewey in 1898. This cannon is currently undergoing conservation.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-N
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Spanish 6 Pounder Bronze Gun

Date:
1686
Creator:
Andres Melendez

This is the oldest piece in Leutze Park, a Spanish 6-pounder saker cast by Andres Melendez in 1686 for King Charles II (1665-1700), whose arms it bears in high relief on the first reinforce. The founder's name appears around the neck of the muzzle; the gun is named, as many period guns were. It honors Saint Bruno, 11th-century scholar and founder of the Carthusian monastic order; S BRVNO (San Bruno) is cast into the second reinforce. The arms on the chase are those of the official in charge of the royal ordnance or in command of the service for which the gun was made. When this gun was cast, artillery pieces were still described by names which generally indicated their caliber and proportion. This 3.69-inch, 6-pounder weapon is 23 calibers long falling into the category of gun called sacre (saker). A sacre was lighter than the media culebrina (demiculverin), and heavier than a falcon. Its muzzle is strengthened by reinforcing bands or rings, rather than by the bell-shaped muzzle swell seen on later pieces; muzzle rings characterize guns cast into the first quarter of the 18th century.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-AE
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

Spanish 27 Pounder Bronze Gun

Date:
1788
Publisher/Studio:
Barcelona

This can, appropriately, be called a "Decatur gun." No. 10 is a Spanish 27-pounder gun, cast at Barcelona in 1788 for King Charles III; it armed a gunboat captured in hand-to-hand combat by Decatur at Tripoli on 3 August 1804. Named CAMILLO (the Christian name Camillus), this Spanish gun has the vent astragal and chase girdle characteristic of 18th-century ordnance but is functional in line.

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-J
Institution:
Naval Historical Center

French 12 Pounder Bronze Gun

Date:
1740
Publisher/Studio:
Douay

This can, appropriately, be called a "Decatur gun." No. 11 is a French 12-pounder, made at Douay in 1740 for Louis XV, and taken by Decatur during his operations against Algiers in 1815. The French 12-pounder was, as the Latin inscription on its breech rings show, made at Douay in 1740 by the famed works established for Louis XIV in 1667; Claude Berenger de la Falise was appointed Commissaire des Fontes de France in 1696, and he and his descendants continued to produce guns for the French service at Douay until 1819. Read more »

Description (physical):

Material: Bronze.

Location:
805 Kidder Breese Street SE 20374
Identifier:
61-84-S
Institution:
Naval Historical Center