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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
St. Augustine in Saint Johns County, Florida — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

8-inch Columbiad

 
 
8-inch Columbiad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 1, 2011
1. 8-inch Columbiad Marker
Inscription.
A part of the armament
historic Fort Marion
(Castillo de San Marcos)
before, during and after the
Civil War
Presented to
the City of St. Augustine
by the U.S. War Department
June 12, 1900

 
Location. 29° 53.555′ N, 81° 18.761′ W. Marker is in St. Augustine, Florida, in Saint Johns County. Marker is at the intersection of Cathedral Plaza and St. George Street, on the left when traveling west on Cathedral Plaza. Click for map. Located in the Plaza de la Constitucion. Marker is in this post office area: Saint Augustine FL 32084, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Plaza de la Constitución (here, next to this marker); Prisoners of War in St. Augustine During the American Revolution (within shouting distance of this marker); Trinity Parish Church (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Augustine Confederate Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Cast Iron Gun (within shouting distance of this marker); 31 King Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Public Well (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Dr. Peck House (about 300 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in St. Augustine.
 
More about this marker.
Plaza Marker, Cannon Plaque, and 8-inch Columbiad image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 1, 2011
2. Plaza Marker, Cannon Plaque, and 8-inch Columbiad
The plaque is likely in error. These guns were not part of Fort Marion's armament before the Civil War (the date of manufacture rules that out). The columbiads were part of a batch produced for the Confederacy early in the Civil War.

The columbiads' presence at Fort Marion during the war. According to reports, the fort contained only 8-inch howitzers (which are still at the fort today) and 32-pdr smoothbore guns when recaptured by Federals in March 1862. The Federals may have captured the columbiads elsewhere and moved them to Fort Marion for safe-keeping.

But clearly the cannons were at Fort Marion after the war. However their use by the Army after the war would be limited. The elevation system would require pre-Civil War carriages. Further, the guns were not constructed in the manner used by the regulation Federal 8-inch guns, and would be suspect when firing full charges.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
8-inch Columbiad image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 1, 2011
3. 8-inch Columbiad
This gun bears the marks of Bellona Foundry (owned by Junius L. Archer who's initials appear on the trunnions). It was produced in 1861,weighed 8750 pounds, and assigned registry number 29.
Second 8-inch Columbiad image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 1, 2011
4. Second 8-inch Columbiad
Like its mate, this columbiad came from Bellona Foundry in 1861. Marks indicate its registry number as 27 with a weight of 8750 pounds. Also like the other columbiad, this cannon likely was not in St. Augustine before or during the Civil War.
Plaque on Second Columbiad image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 1, 2011
5. Plaque on Second Columbiad
The second columbiad is at the corner of St. George and King Streets.
Ratchet Elevation System image. Click for full size.
By Craig Swain, August 1, 2011
6. Ratchet Elevation System
The Confederate columbiads used the older ratchet system for elevation. During the Civil War the Federals replaced this system with a more easily handled method using sockets on the breech face.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page has been viewed 571 times since then and 6 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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