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West Point in Orange County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

8 Inch (150-pounder) Armstrong Gun

 
 
8 Inch (150-pounder) Armstrong Gun Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 5, 2009
1. 8 Inch (150-pounder) Armstrong Gun Marker
Inscription. This Armstrong gun was one of two presented to the Confederate government by English admirers in 1864. Made by the firm of Sir W.C. Armstrong & Company, New Castle-Upon-Tyne, the two guns were placed at Forts Fisher and Caswell, North Carolina, to guard the port of Wilmington. The Fort Fisher gun was captured on January 15, 1865 and sent to West Point. The Fort Caswell gun was captured by the Navy about the same time, was sent to Annapolis, and is believed to have been scrapped during World War II. West Point’s gun is believed to be the only survivor of its type.

Weighing 15,737 pounds, it was described by one Union officer as “ . . . the most elegantly finished piece of artillery I ever saw . . . ” Though a muzzle loader, it was one of the most advanced weapons of its day. Made of steel with iron bands, it used a unique “shunt” rifling system that allowed easy loading; studs on the shell loosely guiding the round on the way down the bore. When fired, the round was “shunted” to a set of shallow grooves and tightly nipped on the way out, insuring accuracy. The gun fired two types of rounds; a shell which anticipated the modern “shaped charge” with a heat activated fuze, and a flat nosed armor piercing round for short range work against ironclad warships. Though it could be deadly
West Point Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 5, 2009
2. West Point Marker
against Union vessels, the gun’s effectiveness during the fighting for Fort Fisher, the Confederacy’s last blockade running port, was limited by a shortage of ammunition.

The Armstrong gun has been an important part of the West Point landscape since 1865. It is the most photographed artillery piece among the many on Trophy Point, and it both dominates and defines Trophy Point. As such, it is an integral part of this National Historic Landmark. The original teak and mahogany carriage deteriorated long ago, and the gun is mounted on a steel replica carriage incorporating the original fittings.
 
Location. 41° 23.676′ N, 73° 57.5′ W. Marker is in West Point, New York, in Orange County. Marker can be reached from Washington Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located at Trophy Point in the United States Military Academy. Marker is in this post office area: West Point NY 10996, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 150 Pounder Armstrong Gun Captured at Fort Fisher, North Carolina – January 15, 1865 (here, next to this marker); Battery Sherburne (within shouting distance of this marker); Douglas MacArthur (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to Trophy Point
Markers at Trophy Point image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 5, 2009
3. Markers at Trophy Point
Two markers are found at this location. The 8 Inch Armstrong Gun marker is on the left.
(within shouting distance of this marker); U.S. Military Academy (within shouting distance of this marker); Wars That Shaped the Nation (within shouting distance of this marker); Beat Navy Tunnel (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Colonel Thayer (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in West Point.
 
More about this marker. A recent picture of the Armstrong Gun appears on the top left of the marker. The bottom left of the marker features The Armstrong gun photographed at Fort Fisher upon its capture – 1865. The right of the marker contains old photos of the weapon at Trophy Point in 1865 or 1866, and of cadets posing by the gun on Trophy Point.
 
Categories. War, US Revolutionary
 
8 Inch (150-pounder) Armstrong Gun image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 5, 2009
4. 8 Inch (150-pounder) Armstrong Gun
Cannon at Trophy Point image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, September 5, 2009
5. Cannon at Trophy Point
The Armstrong Gun can be seen in the background of the photo, behind the cannons captured during the Mexican War.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 8, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,531 times since then and 41 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 8, 2009, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.
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