Colonial era cannon pulled from Cape Fear River
A piece of history and a bit of a mystery has been pulled from the Cape Fear River at the Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site. The historic site announced Tuesday that a Colonial-era cannon was pulled from the river in late December.
|Broken muzzle of Colonial cannon [Credit: Christina Haley]|
“After consultation with the Underwater Archaeology Branch, NC Office of State Archaeology, it was decided that it would be in the best interest for the cannon if it was to be taken to BTFA until arrangements could be made to begin conservation,” McKee said in a news release.
In an interview with Port City Daily at the historic site, McKee said the cannon was found in the river, about a mile and a half out from the site.
|Colonial cannon transported to BTFA [Credit: Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site]|
“It was logical that it should stay here,” McKee said. “But what is going to be so unique about this, is this is the first opportunity that an artifact like this is actually going to be conserved on site. Now that the gun is here … there’s no reason for it to ever leave again.”
The cannon is awaiting conservation efforts. McKee said the cannon will be visible to the public during that time. It’s the first of its kind at the site and could take several years before the restoration is complete.
Little is known about the cannon, which has no visible markings, measures 93-inches long and “appears to have burst, possibly caused by a casting flaw,” the release states. The bore is 80-inches and 4-inches in diameter, which could equate to a 6- to 9-pound gun, according to McKee. It appears to have been in use prior to 1756.
As the restoration process gets underway, McKee said they will be looking for any identifiable marking on the cannon that could give archaeologists an idea what kind of nationality it is.
“We’ve found a few features on it,” McKee said. “There’s a nice little chunk of the muzzle missing. Any number of things could have happened … I kind of lean toward the ‘bursting while being fired’ theory just because of the concretion that is around the seam.”
|Colonial cannon cast before 1756 dredged from Cape Fear River |
[Credit: Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site]
“This one had already been fired or it had been cleaned,” McKee said.
Author: Christina Haley | Source: Port City Daily [January 04, 2017]