The "Columbiad" Cannon

The "Columbiad" Cannon (HMYWS)

Location: Columbia, SC 29201 Richland County
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Country: United States of America
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N 33° 58.026', W 81° 1.133'

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10 inch

This 10 inch Columbiad Cannon defended Charleston Harbor from 1863 until the end of the War Between the States in 1865. It has a smooth, non-rifled, bore and fires a 10 inch round ball weighing 104 pounds. The markings on this cannon tell a story. The serial number 22 is stamped on the cannon's muzzle. Manufactured in 1863, it weighs 13,028 pounds. The "BF," also located on the muzzle, stands for the Bellona Foundry outside of Richmond, Virginia. This gun was made and then shipped by rail to Charleston. "RMC" are the initials of the inspector, and the "JLA" stands for Junius L. Archer, the owner of the Bellona Foundry.

Dozens of these cannons were used to defend Charleston. Union forces began blockading Charleston early in the war. As the war progressed, they bombarded this part of South Carolina constantly, ultimately establishing several beachheads for the Union artillery cannons. Duels between the Union and the Confederate forces occurred constantly, but thanks in part to cannons like this Columbiad, Charleston did not fall to Union forces until Sherman's successful invasion of South Carolina which forced evacuation in 1865.

In the year 2000, this cannon was recovered off the SC coast at the site of the sunken ship, Philadelphia. The Philadelphia, a salvage ship, carried old iron north to be refoundered. The Union's final blow to the South was taking the rail iron off the tracks and removing all cannons and defense weapons from Charleston. When the vessel hit rough seas near Georgetown, South Carolina, the planking broke free and the ship sank.

The wreck of the Philadelphia was discovered by a group of sport fishermen from Murrell Inlet, SC. They noticed a significant number of fish congregating around the site. They did a discovery dive and found it to be the actual wreck of the Philadelphia. The group of fishermen then formed a corporation known as Long Bay Salvage Company, Inc. and petitioned the federal government for the rights to the vessel and the removal of artifacts. This Columbiad serial #22 was the first to be raised and went through an extensive one year de-salting and electrolysis process to preserve the cannon.
The funds for the purchase of the Columbiad for the SC Military Museum were generously given by: Mr. Joseph M. Harden, Major General O.L. Peacock, Major General Weston Adams, Colonel Stanley Meuser, Lieutenant Colonel Walter F. Lineberger, III.
Placed BySC Military Museum
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 4:33am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 498255 N 3758508
Decimal Degrees33.96710000, -81.01888333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 33° 58.026', W 81° 1.133'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds33° 58' 1.56" N, 81° 1' 7.98" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)704, 803
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1 National Guard Rd, Columbia SC 29201, US
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