Civil War Navy cannons may have been at Battle of Bull Run

Claude Bauer

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From the Washington Post, June 16, 2021: "Civil War cannons that may have been at Battle of Bull Run get new home. The guns sat outside the old Fairfax County Courthouse...The bronze guns had been given to Army Capt. A. Van Horn Ellis, of Company I, and with a battle brewing outside Manassas, Va., he and his men had to get them from the Washington Navy Yard to the battlefield 30 miles away. They were elegant Navy artillery pieces, with an anchor insignia likely stamped on the barrel. But they weighed 1,200 pounds each, had three wheels and were not designed to be pulled by horses.

So over several days in the oppressive summer heat of 1861, the men of the 71st New York State Militia dragged them by hand across the rugged Virginia countryside to the Battle of Bull Run on July 21. There, in the chaos of the Civil War’s first major battle, the guns were lost to the enemy."

See the full article with a picture of the guns here:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/history/2021/06/16/civil-war-cannons-bull-run/
 

ucvrelics

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They would have been the 12lb Dahlgren guns.

1624544214128.png
 

redbob

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What's that third wheel in the back for?
It was never designed for being pulled by horses, the third wheel was because it was designed to be rolled flat (usually on the deck of a ship) and pulled/pushed by people. The fact that it was pulled by men all the way from Washington DC to Manassas makes my back hurt. Photo from NAVSOURCE/Library of Congress
lehigh1b.jpg
 
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Story

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Interesting timeline on these, from http://www.firstbullrun.co.uk/NEV/Second Divison/71st-new-york-state-militia.html


Navy Yard or Anacostia Bridge, on the Eastern Branch or Anacostia River, detachment, 16 May, 1861: A detachment of the 71st New York State Militia (150) and three field howitzers was stationed at the Navy Yard or Anacostia Bridge, on the Eastern Branch or Anacostia River, on 16 May, 1861.

Note: The 71st New York State Militia, Company I, was assigned two 12 pounder howitzers at the Navy Yard, on M Street, between Sixth and Ninth Streets, Washington, D. C., by Captain J A Dahlgren, United States Navy, on 8 June, 1861, and Captain A V H Ellis, 19th New York State Militia, Company I, was appointed captain, 71st New York State Militia, Company I, on 28 June, 1861.

Note: Captain J A Dahlgren, United States Navy, assigned two brass 12 pounder howitzers to the 71st New York State Militia, Company I, under the command of Captain A Van Horne Ellis, 71st New York State Militia, Company I, on 8 July, 1861.

Southwest of E Matthew's, on Matthew's Hill, one mile southeast of Sudley Spring, Prince William County, Virginia, detachment of Company I, 21 July, 1861: Two 12 pounder Dahlgren howitzers of the 71st New York State Militia, under the command of Capatin A V H Ellis, 71st New York State Militia, Company I, were stationed southwest of E Matthew's, on Matthew's Hill, one mile southeast of Sudley Spring, Prince William County, Virginia, in the morning on 21 July, 1861.

Southwest of E Matthew's, on Matthew's Hill, one mile southeast of Sudley Spring, Prince William County, Virginia, detachment of Company I, 21 July, 1861: Two 12 pounder Dahlgren howitzers of the 71st New York State Militia, under the command of Capatin A V H Ellis, 71st New York State Militia, Company I, were stationed southwest of E Matthew's, on Matthew's Hill, one mile southeast of Sudley Spring, Prince William County, Virginia, in the morning on 21 July, 1861.

Note: The 71st New York State Militia, Company I, abandoned two 12 pounder Dahlgren howitzers at the Suspension Bridge, on Cub Run, two miles west of Centreville, Fairfax County, Virginia, in the afternoon on 21 July, 1861.

So which Rebs got them?

"After First Manassas, Colonel Hampton attempted to exchange two of these iron Tredegar howitzers for two Dahlgren 12 pounder boat howitzers, on field carraiges, abandoned by the 71st New York State Militia at the end of the battle. As it turned out, the Dahlgrens were issued instead to the Rowan Artillery of North Carolina (Reilly's Battery).
http://www.firstbullrun.co.uk/Potomac/Reorganised/hampton-legion-south-carolina.html

See also this Letter to the Editor for supporting clues
https://www.pressreader.com/usa/richmond-times-dispatch/20210624/281805696896544
 

redbob

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So to close the loop on the chain of custody, this document mentions that the Army gave those two guns to the Court House but without providing a date. Somewhere out there should be more detail on that (like telling how the Army took possession of them from the Confederates).
https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/civil-war-va.pdf
After or during the War, they were retaken by the Army as trophies of war (as was all military stores of the Confederacy). Confederate copies of these guns were also made for the Confederacy by the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond.
 

redbob

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Interesting timeline on these, from http://www.firstbullrun.co.uk/NEV/Second Divison/71st-new-york-state-militia.html


Navy Yard or Anacostia Bridge, on the Eastern Branch or Anacostia River, detachment, 16 May, 1861: A detachment of the 71st New York State Militia (150) and three field howitzers was stationed at the Navy Yard or Anacostia Bridge, on the Eastern Branch or Anacostia River, on 16 May, 1861.

Note: The 71st New York State Militia, Company I, was assigned two 12 pounder howitzers at the Navy Yard, on M Street, between Sixth and Ninth Streets, Washington, D. C., by Captain J A Dahlgren, United States Navy, on 8 June, 1861, and Captain A V H Ellis, 19th New York State Militia, Company I, was appointed captain, 71st New York State Militia, Company I, on 28 June, 1861.

Note: Captain J A Dahlgren, United States Navy, assigned two brass 12 pounder howitzers to the 71st New York State Militia, Company I, under the command of Captain A Van Horne Ellis, 71st New York State Militia, Company I, on 8 July, 1861.

Southwest of E Matthew's, on Matthew's Hill, one mile southeast of Sudley Spring, Prince William County, Virginia, detachment of Company I, 21 July, 1861: Two 12 pounder Dahlgren howitzers of the 71st New York State Militia, under the command of Capatin A V H Ellis, 71st New York State Militia, Company I, were stationed southwest of E Matthew's, on Matthew's Hill, one mile southeast of Sudley Spring, Prince William County, Virginia, in the morning on 21 July, 1861.

Southwest of E Matthew's, on Matthew's Hill, one mile southeast of Sudley Spring, Prince William County, Virginia, detachment of Company I, 21 July, 1861: Two 12 pounder Dahlgren howitzers of the 71st New York State Militia, under the command of Capatin A V H Ellis, 71st New York State Militia, Company I, were stationed southwest of E Matthew's, on Matthew's Hill, one mile southeast of Sudley Spring, Prince William County, Virginia, in the morning on 21 July, 1861.

Note: The 71st New York State Militia, Company I, abandoned two 12 pounder Dahlgren howitzers at the Suspension Bridge, on Cub Run, two miles west of Centreville, Fairfax County, Virginia, in the afternoon on 21 July, 1861.

So which Rebs got them?

"After First Manassas, Colonel Hampton attempted to exchange two of these iron Tredegar howitzers for two Dahlgren 12 pounder boat howitzers, on field carraiges, abandoned by the 71st New York State Militia at the end of the battle. As it turned out, the Dahlgrens were issued instead to the Rowan Artillery of North Carolina (Reilly's Battery).
http://www.firstbullrun.co.uk/Potomac/Reorganised/hampton-legion-south-carolina.html

See also this Letter to the Editor for supporting clues
https://www.pressreader.com/usa/richmond-times-dispatch/20210624/281805696896544
Besides being mounted on wheeled carriages, these guns were also mounted on what can best be described as sledges for shipboard use.
 

Story

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After or during the War, they were retaken by the Army as trophies of war (as was all military stores of the Confederacy). Confederate copies of these guns were also made for the Confederacy by the Tredegar Iron Works in Richmond.

Yes, of course they were but the specifics of where and when they were taken are out there. Follow me on that?

For instance, anyone know / are you writers on CWT? I can't imagine Reilly's dragged those two around for the entire war, y'know?

"History of Reilly's Battery." Reilly's Battery. Ed. Lisa Van Goethem and David Stanley. Www.reillysbattery.org, 25 May 2011. Web. 9 Apr. 2016. <http://www.reillysbattery.org/History/ReillysHistory.htm>.

Links above are dead - found at https://www.gettysburgbattlefield.com/blog/2016/4/4/the-history-of-reillys-north-carolina-artillery
 

redbob

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Yes, of course they were but the specifics of where and when they were taken are out there. Follow me on that?

For instance, anyone know / are you writers on CWT? I can't imagine Reilly's dragged those two around for the entire war, y'know?

"History of Reilly's Battery." Reilly's Battery. Ed. Lisa Van Goethem and David Stanley. Www.reillysbattery.org, 25 May 2011. Web. 9 Apr. 2016. <http://www.reillysbattery.org/History/ReillysHistory.htm>.

Links above are dead - found at https://www.gettysburgbattlefield.com/blog/2016/4/4/the-history-of-reillys-north-carolina-artillery
I would think that as soon as they were able to exchange these "white elephants" for something useful (say Napoleons) they would have and these would have been sent to a gun park or arsenal for storage.
 
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Story

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I would think that as soon as they were able to exchange these "white elephants" for something useful (say Napoleons) they would have and these would have been sent to a gun park or arsenal for storage.

I'll be the dissenting opinion, considering how short the Confederacy was on ordnance and bet they were employed by the CSN somehow somewhere until April 1865
 
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