Fort Sumter Gets New Carriage For Mountain Howitzer

FORT SUMTER, CHARLESTON, SC; The Fort Sumter National Monument is an attraction located in Charleston, South Carolina. Although the fort has gained national attention for its part in the American Civil War, Fort Sumter was originally built following the War of 1812 in an attempt to further secure the Mexican – American border. The fort was built chiefly with slave labor and was actually unfinished in 1860 at the start of the Civil War.The Civil War Fort Sumter has the distinction of being the location of the first fired shots of the Civil War. Today, the Fort Sumter National Monument commemorates the events of the Civil War and the battle that was started at its gates.

The Fort Sumter Civil War events began in April of 1861, when Union troops used the fort as a base. Confederate troops eventually opened fire on the fort and are said to have continued shooting at the Civil War Fort Sumter for more than 36 straight hours. After about a day and a half, the Union troops under Maj. Robert Anderson surrendered and were evacuated. No one is reported to have died in this battle; however the event marks the beginning of the American Civil War and was followed by many subsequent battles throughout the south. It is also reported that during the Fort Sumter Civil War battle, area residents sat on a hilltop nearby watching and drinking.

Steen Cannon & Ordnance Works provided an all metal First Model Prairie Carriage for Fort Sumter’s original mountain howitzer barrel that had been on display at the visitors center. If you look at original photos you will see a mountain howitzer on the north wall.

From the AP on Dec. 14, 2012 Mountain howitzer back on rampart at Fort Sumter

December 14, 2012 @ 12:00 PM

FORT SUMTER NATIONAL MONUMENT, S.C. (AP) — A gun like those used by Confederates in the final months defending Fort Sumter is again back on the ramparts of the Charleston fort.

A mountain howitzer cast in 1863 was put back this week after six years. It had been removed after its original wooden carriage deteriorated from spending years in the elements.

The 120-pound howitzer was kept in the museum but now has a new protective coating and is mounted on a $12,000 Iron carriage made by Steen Cannon & Ordnance works. Rick Dorrance is the fort’s chief of resource management. He says Civil War sites nationwide are increasingly replacing wooden gun carriages with those of Iron or Aluminum.

During the final months of the defense of Sumter, the wheeled howitzers were stored in bombproof areas in the daytime and rolled to the walls at night.

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