Discussion Engraving cannons.

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Prior to the Civil War some captured enemy cannons were engraved and so turned in to trophy cannons. The battle where the cannon was captured or date of capture were some of the common engravements. This practice was sometimes seen with cannons captured during the Mexican-American War. However, there were only a few captured enemy cannons engraved after the end of the Civil War. How many World War One or World War Two enemy cannons have you seen that are engraved? I know a few captured and some non captured Civil War cannons were engraved but I have not seen many of them.

I was wondering why engraving cannons to turn them trophy cannons fell out of popularity. Perhaps this practice simply became a thing of the past. However, was there a political or social reason that Civil War captured cannons were not engraved?
 

Biscoitos

Corporal
Joined
May 14, 2020
Prior to the Civil War some captured enemy cannons were engraved and so turned in to trophy cannons. The battle where the cannon was captured or date of capture were some of the common engravements. This practice was sometimes seen with cannons captured during the Mexican-American War. However, there were only a few captured enemy cannons engraved after the end of the Civil War. How many World War One or World War Two enemy cannons have you seen that are engraved? I know a few captured and some non captured Civil War cannons were engraved but I have not seen many of them.

I was wondering why engraving cannons to turn them trophy cannons fell out of popularity. Perhaps this practice simply became a thing of the past. However, was there a political or social reason that Civil War captured cannons were not engraved?

Could it be that rifled cannon became very common during the CW?

That is, that while not impossible to engrave iron tubes they were much more difficult to engrave than bronze ones.

Also, the engraving that I have seen on bronze tubes shows up very nicely, while engraving on iron tubes would be considerably less noticeable.
 

redbob

Major
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Location
Hoover, Alabama
Prior to the Civil War some captured enemy cannons were engraved and so turned in to trophy cannons. The battle where the cannon was captured or date of capture were some of the common engravements. This practice was sometimes seen with cannons captured during the Mexican-American War. However, there were only a few captured enemy cannons engraved after the end of the Civil War. How many World War One or World War Two enemy cannons have you seen that are engraved? I know a few captured and some non captured Civil War cannons were engraved but I have not seen many of them.

I was wondering why engraving cannons to turn them trophy cannons fell out of popularity. Perhaps this practice simply became a thing of the past. However, was there a political or social reason that Civil War captured cannons were not engraved?
Some were, and if you've ever seen the James Rifle in the Corinth Visitor's Center, it was engraved by the unit that captured it from the Confederates at Corinth. Sometimes the manufacturer's engraved their guns. If you are ever able to tour West Point, they have the walls of one entire building covered with captured gun tubes.
James 1.JPG
James 2.JPG
 
Last edited:

ucvrelics

Colonel
Forum Host
Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
May 7, 2016
Location
Alabama
Most of the cannons that were captured by the South were already pre-marked for them, (US) and they were not sent back as trophies but used as they were intended, In battle. The union army was the largest supplier of artillery to the CSA.
 

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Could it be that rifled cannon became very common during the CW?

That is, that while not impossible to engrave iron tubes they were much more difficult to engrave than bronze ones.

Also, the engraving that I have seen on bronze tubes shows up very nicely, while engraving on iron tubes would be considerably less noticeable.

It is a possibility and I had not thought of this.
 

drezac

Sergeant
Forum Host
Joined
May 4, 2014
Location
Baltimore,Ohio
At the start of the war, most thought it would not last long. early enlistments were for 3 months, many thought of it as " an adventure" and would return home as a war hero. . A large number of the Civil war units were from the same local area - therefore would have already had closer bonds prior to enlisting, and would likely still have had fairly close contact when their service was over. For Example, at the start of the war, the Cleveland Light Artillery ( 6 1 gun batteries) enlisted for 3 months of service and were mustered in as the 1st Ohio Light Artillery ( 3 month) . ( note: I will refer to them as the 3 month 1st Ohio, since after their 3 month enlistment was over, a new 3 year regiment was formed, also called the 1st Ohio light artillery). The 3 month 1st Ohio were involved early in the war, being credited with the first artillery casualty. They captured a confederate cannon, which was given to them as a war trophy. when they were mustered out after the 3 months, they returned to Cleveland to a hero's welcome with their captured cannon. That cannon is still on display in Cleveland ( I don't know if it has any engraving). These men had served together for many years prior to the war, and had a close bond both between the men and with the city. When the Ohio National Guard was formed in 1864, many members of the Cleveland Light artillery joined the Ohio National Guard, and became the 8th Ohio Independant battery ONG - again showing the close bond they had as an organization.

As the realization set in that this would be a long drawn-out war, I suspect that the focus changed to more of a "just survive and get the job done" attitude and it was no longer just "an adventure"
 
Last edited:
Top