“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Columbia in Richland County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

The "Columbiad" Cannon

10 inch

The "Columbiad" Cannon Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Anna Inbody, January 18, 2012
1. The "Columbiad" Cannon Marker
Inscription.  This 10 inch Columbiad Cannon defended Charleston Harbor from 1863 until the end of the War Between the States in 1865. It has a smooth, non-rifled, bore and fires a 10 inch round ball weighing 104 pounds. The markings on this cannon tell a story. The serial number 22 is stamped on the cannon’s muzzle. Manufactured in 1863, it weighs 13,028 pounds. The “BF,” also located on the muzzle, stands for the Bellona Foundry outside of Richmond, Virginia. This gun was made and then shipped by rail to Charleston. “RMC” are the initials of the inspector, and the “JLA” stands for Junius L. Archer, the owner of the Bellona Foundry.

Dozens of these cannons were used to defend Charleston. Union forces began blockading Charleston early in the war. As the war progressed, they bombarded this part of South Carolina constantly, ultimately establishing several beachheads for the Union artillery cannons. Duels between the Union and the Confederate forces occurred constantly, but thanks in part to cannons like this Columbiad, Charleston did not fall to Union forces until Sherman’s successful invasion of South
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Carolina which forced evacuation in 1865.

In the year 2000, this cannon was recovered off the SC coast at the site of the sunken ship, Philadelphia. The Philadelphia, a salvage ship, carried old iron north to be refoundered. The Union’s final blow to the South was taking the rail iron off the tracks and removing all cannons and defense weapons from Charleston. When the vessel hit rough seas near Georgetown, South Carolina, the planking broke free and the ship sank.

The wreck of the Philadelphia was discovered by a group of sport fishermen from Murrell Inlet, SC. They noticed a significant number of fish congregating around the site. They did a discovery dive and found it to be the actual wreck of the Philadelphia. The group of fishermen then formed a corporation known as Long Bay Salvage Company, Inc. and petitioned the federal government for the rights to the vessel and the removal of artifacts. This Columbiad serial #22 was the first to be raised and went through an extensive one year de-salting and electrolysis process to preserve the cannon.
The funds for the purchase of the Columbiad for the SC Military Museum were generously given by: Mr. Joseph M. Harden, Major General O.L. Peacock, Major General Weston Adams, Colonel Stanley Meuser, Lieutenant Colonel Walter F. Lineberger, III.
Erected by
Overview image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Anna Inbody, January 18, 2012
2. Overview
SC Military Museum.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1863.
Location. 33° 58.026′ N, 81° 1.133′ W. Marker is in Columbia, South Carolina, in Richland County. Marker can be reached from National Guard Road. This is outside the SC Military Museum. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Columbia SC 29201, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Olympia Cemetery (approx. 0.8 miles away); Olympia Mill School (1901-1909) / Olympia Granby Historical Foundation (approx. one mile away); Battle of Congaree Creek (approx. 1.2 miles away); Curtiss-Wright Hangar (approx. 1.2 miles away); Beth Shalom Cemetery (approx. 1˝ miles away); "The Spirit of the American Doughboy" (approx. 1.6 miles away); Tree of Life Synagogue (approx. 1.8 miles away); Gladden Home Site (approx. 1.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbia.
The "Columbiad" Cannon image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Anna Inbody, January 18, 2012
3. The "Columbiad" Cannon
The "Columbiad" Cannon image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Anna Inbody, January 18, 2012
4. The "Columbiad" Cannon
Muzzle of cannon with stampings as described on marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on January 18, 2012, by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 2,088 times since then and 117 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 18, 2012, by Anna Inbody of Columbia, South Carolina. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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Sep. 26, 2023