Civil War Style Dalgren Signal Cannon
Civil War Era bronze signal cannons on a ship’s carriage are increasingly
rare finds. They were used ashore and afloat to make salutes, announce a danger, and to call attention in the
case of an emergency. They were also used to start yacht races. The cannons were made in the style of the
period in which they were used as in this case the Civil War.
Presented is a very high quality bronze barreled signal cannon that
follows the design of the famous Dahlgren guns that were used on Civil War warships. The Dahlgren’s came in various sizes,
and one of the most popular was the 11 inch, 32 pound, mussel loading smooth bore of Civil War vintage. They were
used as both field guns and aboard ships. This one mounts
>on a sturdy ship style carriage with iron wheels that are painted Robin’s egg blue. The barrel’s touch hole
and bore show lots of gun powder residue.
THE INVENTOR:The “soda bottle” design was unique to this
style cannon which was invented by Rear Adm. John Dahlgren. It became the workhorse of the U.S. Navy throughout the Civil W ar. These smooth bore, muzzle-loading weapons
came in 9″, 11″ and 15″ sizes and fired shells or solid shot. They were originally mounted on heavy wooden carriages in
shipboard naval fashion, but the larger versions were mounted on heavy cast-iron carriages that traversed
360 degrees from the deck’s centerline. The picture below shows an 11″ Dahlgren on the steam sloop-of-war USS Kearsarge.
Through the 1880s and 1890s many views of a later-model Dahlgren were circulated under the title “The Gun That Sank the Alabama.”
tube shows evidence of use, but appears to be in solid condition. The touch hole is irregular in shape, but becomes
round closer to the bore. The Oak carriage’s cross bars are held by wood pegs and there are four vertical hex head
studs at each top corner which hold the axles in place. There is a crack in the wood at the front left, but it does not
affect the strength of the carriage. The wheels, axles and washers are of iron. There are other minor expected marks
of age. There are no foundry, mold marks or inscriptions. DIMENSIONS: Cannon
21″ Length overall 21″
Length barrel 12″
Bore 55/64″ or 85 Cal
Maximum Width 8 3/4″
of cannon 27 pounds only. No attempt should be made to fire it without inspection by a gunsmith.