“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Annapolis in Anne Arundel County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

British 24 Pounder

British 24 Pounder Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, May 10, 2008
1. British 24 Pounder Marker
This is a "trophy cannon," taken after the U.S. Navy's pivotal victory at the Battle of Lake Champlain (a.k.a. "The Battle of Plattsburg").
Inscription.  Captured on the British flagship Confiance on Lake Champlain, September 11, 1814, by Commodore Thomas MacDonough.

This gun has a dent on the muzzle from an American shot which caused the gun to recoil and kill the British commander, Downie.
Erected by U.S. Navy.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: HeroesWar of 1812Waterways & Vessels.
Location. 38° 58.966′ N, 76° 28.948′ W. Marker is in Annapolis, Maryland, in Anne Arundel County. Marker can be reached from Holloway Road. Marker is located on the grounds of the United States Naval Academy. A picture ID is required to enter the Academy grounds. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 101 Wilson Road, Annapolis MD 21402, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. HMS Confiance Cannon (here, next to this marker); Japanese Ambassador Hirosi Saito (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Burning of the Brig "Peggy Stewart" (about 400 feet away); Butler in Annapolis
Close-up of the gun's muzzle. image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, May 10, 2008
2. Close-up of the gun's muzzle.
Note the "dent" (upper left) caused by American shot.
(about 400 feet away); Norman Scott Natatorium (about 500 feet away); Fort Severn and the United States Naval Academy (about 500 feet away); Site of Old Fort Severn (about 500 feet away); Vice Admiral James Bond Stockdale (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Annapolis.
More about this marker. The marker's inscriptions are chiseled into the granite mount beneath the cannon which is on the east curb of the parking lot, near the Midshipman's Store, and just west of MacDonough Hall.
Regarding British 24 Pounder. Captain George Downie commanded the British fleet which attacked the American fleet anchored in Lake Champlain in the Battle of Plattsburgh. Downie led inexperienced crews on untested ships into a battle where the winds were not in his favor. Downie's crew, many of them from provincial units, faced American forces with more preparation time and more favorable positioning.

Fifteen minutes into the battle, Captain Downie was sighting a gun when the muzzle was struck with a shot from Saratoga. The force of the blow was so extreme that it ripped the 2,000-pound barrel out of the carriage, flipped it up on end and crushed Downie to the deck, killing him.

After several of the other officers had also been killed or injured, Confiance's fire become steadily less effective. MacDonough, aboard the USS Saratoga, skillfully maneuvered
Commodore Thomas MacDonough image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, December 31, 2014
3. Commodore Thomas MacDonough
Detail of 1815/18 portrait by Gilbert Stuart in the National Gallery of Art Washington, DC.
to gain the advantage, wrecking incredible carnage on the HMS Confiance and HMS Linnet, forcing their remaining officers to surrender what remained of their vessels and crew.

Just over two and one half hours after the first gun had been fired, not one of the larger vessels had a mast that would bear a sail, and those vessels captured from the British were barely afloat.
Also see . . .
1. A Signal Victory on Lake Champlain, The Battle of Plattsburg. "Seldom has the ocean witnessed a more furious encounter than now took place on the bosom of this transparent and peaceful lake."
- Theodore Roosevelt, from his book, The Naval War of 1812; or the history of the United States navy during the last war with Great Britain. (Submitted on May 19, 2008, by Kevin W. of Stafford, Virginia.) 

2. Battle of Plattsburg. (Submitted on May 17, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
Additional keywords. Royal Navy; New York.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 16, 2018. It was originally submitted on May 17, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 2,357 times since then and 22 times this year. Last updated on May 19, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1. submitted on May 17, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   2. submitted on May 19, 2008, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   3. submitted on January 24, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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Jul. 12, 2020