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Watervliet in Albany County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Civil War Parrott Rifle

 
 
Civil War Parrott Rifle - Watervliet, NY image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 22, 2008
1. Civil War Parrott Rifle - Watervliet, NY
Inscription.
10 Pounder Rifle
From Watervliet Arsenal Designed
By Robert P. Parrott and Cast at
The West Point Foundry.
Used by the Union Forces These
Guns were Mounted on Carriages
Made at Watervliet Arsenal Where
Ammunition was also Made. This Is
One of Four Parrott Rifles Excavated
At the Site of Interstate 787.

 
Location. 42° 43.555′ N, 73° 42.012′ W. Marker is in Watervliet, New York, in Albany County. Marker is on Broadway near 15th Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. This Marker is mounted on the base of the flag pole across the street (15th) from Watervliet City hall, and in front of the Mayor J. Leo O'Brien Muncipal Center Library. Marker is in this post office area: Watervliet NY 12189, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. City of Watervliet (here, next to this marker); Meneely Foundry (within shouting distance of this marker); Saint Patrick's Church Bell (within shouting distance of this marker); The Nalle Rescue (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); U.S. Army 3 Inch M5 Antitank Gun (about 800
Parrott Rifle and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 22, 2008
2. Parrott Rifle and Marker
feet away); Peter J. Dalessandro (about 800 feet away); Uncle Sam (approx. 0.3 miles away); Mayor James F. Cavanaugh (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Watervliet.
 
Regarding Civil War Parrott Rifle. The Parrott Rifle was invented by Robert Parker Parrott, a West Point graduate. He resigned from the service in 1836 and became the superintendent of the West Point Foundry in Cold Spring, New York. He created the first Parrott Rifle (and corresponding projectile) in 1860 and patented it in 1861. The Parrott rifle was a type of muzzle loading rifled-bore artillery weapon used extensively by both sides in the American Civil War. The 10-lb Parrott was made of cast iron with wrought iron breech reenforcement.
 
Additional comments.
1. Parrott Rifle or Iron 12 Pounder?
This particular cannon is probably incorrectly identified by the marker. More likely this piece is a very rare 12-pounder Smoothbore Confederate Iron Napoleon cannon cast by Tredegar Foundry in Richmond, Virginia. Looking at photograph 2, the size of the bore is clearly much larger than the 3-inch standard
Parrott Rifle image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 22, 2008
3. Parrott Rifle
Parrotts were manufactured with a combination of cast iron and wrought iron, employing an innovative manufacturing technique of welding the iron reinforcing band around the breech of the piece that produced a more robust weapon, and giving it a distinct shape and appearance.
for the Parrott 10-pounder. Furthermore, no evidence of rifling is seen in the bore. The barrel of the cannon next to the marker is somewhat "stout" looking, compared to the narrower lines of a Parrott 10-pounder. Lastly, looking at the profile in photograph 3, the breech band has rounded edges. Parrott Rifles in all calibers had nearly squared edges.

Ref: The Big Guns: Civil War Siege, Seacoast and Naval Cannon by Edwin Olmstead, Wayne E. Stark, and Spencer C. Tucker (Museum Restoration Service, Alexandria Bay, N.Y., 1997), Appendix D-112, page 322. Four examples of the 12-pounder Confederate Iron Napoleons from Tredegar Iron Works are identified as "corroded" but on site at Watervliet Arsenal, New York.
    — Submitted April 23, 2008, by Craig Swain of Leesburg, Virginia.

 
Categories. Industry & CommerceMilitaryWar, US Civil
 
Parrott Rifle Marker image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 22, 2008
4. Parrott Rifle Marker
The Civil War Parrott Rifle marker is mounted at the base of the flag pole, directly behind the "cannon".
10 Pound Parrott Rifle Mounted on Carriage image. Click for full size.
Wikipedia
5. 10 Pound Parrott Rifle Mounted on Carriage
This Parrott Rifle is on display in the Gettysburg National Military Park. It is mounted on a carriage of the type similar to those manufactured in the Watervliet arsenal as mentioned on the Civil War Parrott Rifle marker. Note the narrow profile of the barrel compared to the cannon next to the marker.
Watervliet Arsenal Museum Display image. Click for full size.
By Howard C. Ohlhous, April 24, 2008
6. Watervliet Arsenal Museum Display
This is part of a display at the Watervliet Arsenal Museum which describes how this Parrott Rifle and three other similar canons were discovered during excavation work for the construction of I-787 which passes right in front of the arsenal. A volunteer at the museum described how obsolete canon had been used for decorative fencing; mounted vertically, with a (presumably) inert round protruding from the end of the barrel, and metal chains strung from barrel to barrel.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 21, 2017. This page originally submitted on April 23, 2008, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. This page has been viewed 5,979 times since then and 307 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 23, 2008, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York.   6. submitted on April 27, 2008, by Howard C. Ohlhous of Duanesburg, New York. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.
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