1853 Civil War Columbiad Cannon- Willoughby, Ohio
N 41° 38.362 W 081° 24.409
17T E 466118 N 4609817
Quick Description: Located on Public Square in Willoughby
Location: Ohio, United States
Date Posted: 7/13/2010 1:31:15 PM
Waymark Code: WM98F2
This cannon was donated "to the Village of Willoughby by the surviving members of A.Y. Austin Post G.A.R.; August 17, 1900". This is inscribed on plaque mounted on both sides of the cannon along with the following names:
Above the plaque on the right side of the cannon is engraved the year 1853, which is when the cannon was built. On the left side above the plaque is the initials K.&W. and F.P.F.
At the rear of the cannon is the serial number- 15230.
A Columbiad was a heavy iron artillery piece which could fire shot and shell at a high angle of elevation using a heavy powder charge. Columbiads were usually classified as seacoast defense weapons and were mounted in fortifications along the rivers and other waterways.
The original Columbiad, a 50-pounder, was invented in 1811 by Col. George Bomford and it was used in the War of 1812. Shortly afterwards it was considered obsolete and retired.
The weapon was produced again in 1844 in 8- and 10-inch models. In 1858, a version was produced which eliminated the chamber in the breech, which strengthened the gun. In 1861, Lt. Thomas J. Rodman, of the U.S. Ordnance Department, contracted with the Fort Pitt Foundry in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to produce Columbiads using a special casting method he had developed in 1844. His process, which caused less stress on the gun during casting thereby preventing cracks from forming, was a success and the Columbiad became widely known as a Rodman gun.
Columbiads were produced in 8-, 10-, 12-, 13-, 15-inch cannon15-, and 20-inch models and were primarily smoothbore even though a few rifled models were turned out. The Confederates continued to produce their Columbiads by the old method and experimented with banding and rifling the weapon. Under this method, a Confederate Columbiad was capable of firing a 225-pound shot a distance of 1,800 yards.
Compared to guns, howitzers, and mortars, the Columbiads saw very little action. By the end of the Civil War these heavy weapons were obsolete, replaced by more effective weapons which had been developed during the war.
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