Famous Last Shot Gun from Appomattox, a 3-inch Ordnance Rifle


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Apr 1, 1999
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  • Type: Standard 3-inch Ordnance Rifle, Serial No. 100
  • Year of Manufacture: 1861
  • West Point Catalog No.: 167 (162 in the 1898 Catalog)
  • Foundry No.: 110
  • Tube Composition: Steel
  • Bore Diameter: 3 inches
  • Tube Weight: 815 lbs.
  • Muzzle Markings: TTSL No. 100 PICo. 1861. 815 lbs.
    • Inspected by: Theodore Thaddeus Sobieski Laidley and accepted for U.S. service on November 21, 1861
  • Carriage Type: No. 1 Field Carriage (900 lbs.), 57" wheels
  • US Casting Foundry: Phoenix Iron Company, Phoenixville PA
  • U.S. Government Purchase Price: $330.00 U.S. in 1861
  • Current Disposition: West Point Catalog Item #162. Mounted outside the North Wing of the Bartlett Hall Science Center's Entrance Doors. The doors are sometimes called the "Gun Doors" or in past eras, the "Alpha & Omega Guns". This used to be the entrance to the old Cadet Library. At the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York.
  • Special Notes: This gun is thought to have fired the final cannon shot before General Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia to General Grant at Appomattox Court House.
More about the Last Shot Gun from Appomattox Court House

This gun was the left piece of Capt. Elder's Battery "B," 1st U.S. Artillery at Appomattox Court House, April 9, 1865. It fired the last shot previous to General Robert E. Lee's surrender. It was shipped from Richmond, Virginia in November, 1865 by Capt. J.F. Wood, Acting Ordnance Officer upon orders from Brevet Brigadier General and Acting Chief of Ordnance William Maynadier. It was obtained for the West Point Military Academy through the efforts of Brevet Lt. Col. Peter S. Michie, who was later Colonel and Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy at the U.S. Military Academy.

Today this gun is mounted at Bartlett Hall, West Point, New York. A second gun is mounted on the other side of the doorway, it is marked with a plaque that reads: "Civil War 1861-1865 -- The small gun fired the first shot of the Civil War in the West at Vicksburg - several days before the attack at Fort Sumter in April 1861. -- The large gun was the left piece of Captain Elder's Battery B, First U.S. Artillery and fired the last shot at Appomattox - April 9, 1865".


On this day, 9 April 1865, General Robert E. Lee (USMA Class of 1829) surrendered the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia to Lieutenant General Ulysses Grant (USMA Class of 1843) bringing about an end to the Civil War in Virginia.

This gun, a 3 inch Ordnance Rifle, is believed to have fired the final shot of the war in Virginia at Appomattox Court House on the morning of 9 April just hours before Lee's surrender. That morning, it was the left piece of Captain Samuel Elder's Battery "B", 1st United States Artillery. Battery B served with distinction at Morris Island, South Carolina (1863), Fort Wagner (1863), the Battle of Olustee (1864), Battle of Cold Harbor (1864), the Siege of Petersburg (1864-65), as well as various other duties. After its surrender, the piece was shipped from Richmond to Washington, D.C. in November of 1865. It was later obtained through the efforts of Brevet Lieutenant Colonel Peter S. Michie (USMA Class of 1863) who was later Colonel and Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy at the United States Military Academy.

Each day, a large portion of the U.S. Corps of Cadets passes by this piece which is now on display near the library of the U.S. Military Academy.

West Point - The U.S. Military Academy West Point Department of History U.S. Army Center of Military History Appomattox Court House National Historical Park

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