Blog 11/27/2020 - Civil War - Artilleryman's Delight
MHT Blog November 27, 2020 - Civil War – Charleston, SC
A Rare Version of a Coehorn Mortar
Artilleryman's Delight: On tour at Fort Sumter, there were many huge cannons: 10-inch & 8-inch Columbiads (large-caliber, smoothbore, muzzle-loading cannon able to fire heavy solid shot or shell projectiles at both high and low trajectories to long ranges, making it an excellent seacoast defense weapon); 10-inch seacoast mortars; 8-inch Brooke (Confederate Parrott-style) & 42-poulders but one of the smallest was the most interesting.
Up on top of Fort Sumter was a Cyrus Alger & Company 24-pound Coehorn Mortar.
In 1812 Alger furnished the US with shot and shell before starting South Boston Iron Company in 1817 which was to become Cyrus Alger & Co. The Massachusetts firm was a leading cannon manufacturer in the mid-1800's.
During the Civil War, both US Army and Navy were supplied with large numbers of Alger weapons with the traditional "C.A. & Co." signature. This is a good example of a Civil War bronze cannon which many examples saw very hard use at the end of the Civil War, especially in the trench warfare around Richmond and Petersburg, VA or sieges of Southern cities.
This is one of the mid-war made Coehorns made and dated in 1863 with the Registry Number on muzzle is No. 254, with a weight of 221 lbs., inspected by Ordnance Officer, Thomas Jefferson Rodman the “T.J.R.” This is a very scarce Civil War cannon, as it is mounted on a wheeled carriage rather than in the traditional box carriage.
It is worth seeing as is all the National Park Service Forts Sumter & Moultrie National Monuments.