Battle of Fort Sumter Online Exhibit

The Rifled Cannon Which Did So Much Execution on Fort Sumter

Illustration of a soldier standing behind a rifled cannon.

Caption: The Rifled Cannon Which Did So Much Execution on Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina – (From a sketch by our Special Artist)

Source: Illustration (and text (below) from Harper's Weekly, May 18, 1861, page 311.

The rifled cannon was sent from Europe by a South Carolinian now residing there. It bears the inscription: "Presented to the Sovereign State of South Carolina by one of her sons residing abroad, in commemoration of 20th December, 1800." This was the gun a ball from which knocked down the flag-staff at Fort Sumter. It was then at the iron battery; now it is on Morris Island, and commands the ship-channel. In the fore-ground will be seen a couple of the balls. The point is of iron, but the base a softer metal, which expands and fills the grooves in the piece when discharged. General Beauregard has seen the sketch from which our picture is made, and pronounces it extremely accurate.

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Last Updated: April 17, 2012