Big Guns.

Three from the Road – no. 13

Fort Moultrie, Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, June 14, 2012

Fort Moultrie, Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, June 14, 2012 - 3

32-pounder, Model 1829

Of the heavy guns manufactured in the US during the first half of the 19th century, the 32-pdr smoothbore was by far the most prolific, with a variety of models and lengths.  The Navy alone purchased at least 2,947 of ten different types.  Well suited for shipboard use, the Model 1829 was oftentimes used by the Army as a seacoast gun in coastal forts.  Produced from 1829 to 1839, it was the most widely produced 32-pdr in America.  With the introduction of ironclads during the Civil War, the 32-pdr smoothbore became virtually useless against these new, nearly invulnerable targets.

The pair of 32 pdrs on display inside Fort Moultrie were obtained from the Colonial National Historic Park in December 1963.  Formerly mounted in the Yorktown National Cemetery, they were partially buried in concrete with their muzzles pointed upward.

Fort Moultrie, Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, June 14, 2012 - 4

10-inch Confederate Columbiad.

A smoothbore, seacoast gun, this gun was manufactured  by Joseph Reid Anderson & Co. (Tredegar Foundry) in Richmond.  By 1886, ten of the original 15 columbiads were still present on Sullivan’s Island, unmounted and unused.  Over the years, six were apparently sold as scrap metal. The remaining four were used as monuments along Middle Street, half-buried with their muzzles pointing upward.  Eventually the guns were dug up and mounted on concrete pedestals in the 1930s.  The two nearest Fort Moultrie were removed in 1975 by the National Park Service and the pedestals destroyed.  One was eventually mounted on cannon row and and the other inside the fort.

Fort Moultrie, Sullivan's Island, South Carolina, June 14, 2012-2

1898 4.72-inch Armstrong rapid fire gun.

A rapid fire seacoast rifle, this gun was manufactured in Elswick, England.  The original guns on Battery Bingham were likely scrapped during World War II to reuse the metal.  The current gun was originally mounted in a two-gun rapid-fire battery on Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island.  It was received in a trade in 1977 from the National Guard Armory in Westerly, Rhode Island.

More info:

Fort Moultrie

Sullivan’s Island


1.  Information for this post comes from The Historic Guns of Forts Sumter and Moultrie by Mike Ryan, May 1997

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american history, civil war, history, parks, photography, places, south carolina, travel, Travel Photos, war

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