New London in New London County, Connecticut — The American Northeast (New England)
“Aim, Load, Fire”
This scene features a replica 32-pound cannon that would have been employed here during the 1850s and 1860s. Thirty-two pound refers to the weight of the cannonballs used in this weapon. The soldiers are in the process of sponging the bore, or cleaning the cannon barrel, and are getting ready to load a cannonball.
To fire the cannon, a seven-man gun crew (five shown in the scene) engages in a sequence of intricate and precise movements. In fewer than 20 seconds, the crew sponges the bore, inserts the powder bag, loads the cannonball, rams it home, cuts the fuse, aims, shoves a slender pick through the vent into the powder bag, and hooks a friction primer to the lanyard, which ignites the fuse when pulled. At the gunner’s command of “Fire,” the crew tugs the lanyard and fires the piece, sending the cannonball nearly a mile to the target. Before the smoke clears, the crew pushes the cannon back into loading position, the gunner cries, “Load,” and the sequence begins again.
Erected by Fort Trumbull State Park.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic Forts and Castles • Military.
Location. 41° 20.615′ N, 72° 5.595′ W. Marker is in New London, Connecticut, in New London County. Marker can be reached from East Street, on the left when traveling south. Marker is located inside the fort at Fort Trumbull State Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: New London CT 06320, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Post Civil War to 1910 (here, next to this marker); Coast Guard (here, next to this marker); Civil War (here, next to this marker); Scientific Research (a few steps from this marker); The Third System (a few steps from this marker); Merchant Marine (a few steps from this marker); War of 1812 (a few steps from this marker); American Revolution (a few steps from this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New London.
More about this marker. A picture of the nearby statue of a cannon crew is on the lower left of the marker. It has a caption of “The soldiers on the left are cleaning the barrel with a sponge, while the sturdy soldier with his back to us is getting ready to load the ball. The soldier behind the cannon is readying the rammer, which will be used to plunge the ball into the cannon. The sergeant stationed at the rear of the cannon is barking commands while covering the vent hole with his hand.”
A map of Fort Trumbull at the lower right has the caption “This map, dating from 1874, shows the range and overlapping areas of fire for the cannons at Fort Trumbull and at the Fort Griswold battery, located across the river in Groton.”
Also see . . . History of Fort Trumbull. Friends of Fort Trumbull. (Submitted on October 16, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.)
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on October 16, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 459 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on October 16, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of Woodland Park, New Jersey.