Monuments Should monuments using cannons switch to carriages?

Rusk County Avengers

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Look at it this way folks.

If the guns were on wheeled carriages up off near ground level, whether the wheels would rotate or not, wouldn't they be easier to steal?

With a big Rodman, or Columbiad its irrelevant, but with smaller field pieces they would be more inviting to thieves looking for scrap money. Might not be an issue elsewhere, but in some rural areas down here its a very real worry. Heck at our Courthouse they left the tires on a WW2 field piece flat for years for that reason, now that scrap don't fetch what it did they've been aired up or replaced, but it was a concern for a while.

As for wood in climates, no a wood carriage here in the South would only last so long.

EDIT: If the carriages were aluminum it'd incentivize thieves even more.
 
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ucvrelics

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Wooden replica carriages would only last a few years out in the winter. Not sure how long wooden replica carriages would last in the warmer south.
There is your answer, Leave them on the concrete base they are on and repair and seal them. There are products out their today that were not available then that will seal and protect them.
 

Lubliner

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Thanks I always LOVE learing new stuff. I really think this is more of a regional problem as with the harsh climate up north. I guess what it does to cars along with the salt and the expansion due to cold temperature will take a toll. Down here its not a big problem, plus I don't want to see anymore removed even for maintenance as you never know if we will get them back.:cold:
I agree here. It isn't the difficult part to secure maintenance, it is the practice of returning them to their site. If they present no dangerous edges nor create a hazard as they are, a simple monthly cleaning may work. Neglect is the enemy, and vandals advertise it.
Lubliner.
 

byron ed

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There isn't any point in having just one answer. Ya noodle it out based on the setting:

(a) If under an overhead shelter, surely an aluminum facsimile wood carriage, locked-in-place type is best. Second best is not having the overhead shelter, like the NPS. They can do that only because they have replacement inventory, scheduled maintenance, and regular patrols and inspections, resources that aren't practical for anybody else.

(b) If indoors (say in a securable pavilion with HVAC) surely an original or authentically-built wooden replica carriage is best.

(c) If outdoors and exposed year round (say a courthouse lawn or cemetery) surely mounting the tube onto a solid metal or stone decorative base is best. Second best is a concrete base.

(d) If outdoors in a remote and unpatrolled location (say a cemetery out in the countryside) surely mounting large tubes onto a solid metal or stone base (decorative or merely functional) is best. Second best is a concrete base. Since smaller tubes like 6, 10 or 12 pdrs or field mortars are too easy to dismount and be taken away in a pick-up (as many have) you just don't put them in a remote and unpatrolled location.
 
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rebelatsea

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Where a gun is being used as a monument ie as so many are in America at courthouses and the like public facilities, leave then as they are but as was said above, use modern paints, coatings etc to preserve them and the plinth they are sitting on. Also they should have a plaque showing any history. If the guns are at a museum or historic facility they should be properly mounted on reproduction carriages - and the correct ones ! So many places fail in this respect including here in the UK .
 

civilwartalk

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I think my one objection to continued use of the concrete monuments is that they don't conform to only touch the three necessary contact points the barrel was designed to rest upon, the two trunnions and the breech.

Most of these monuments seem to only partially encase the barrel, that can only lead to accelerated deterioration, and less accessabiliy for painting/maintenance. Worse still, the part that is encased isn’t usually weathertight....

A proper carraige or better designed monument would not have this problem.
 
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Yes, that definitely is an issue, and for some mountings the damage is even worse, there was one concrete base in which a portion of the original carriage was discovered covered in concrete! Decorative steel/iron display stands are the way to go imho as they are far more astetically pleasing. It should be pointed out that concrete bases are also subject to vandalism, for instance if they include a metal commemoration plate which can be stolen. Concrete also chips and cracks quite easily in the freeze thaw cycles of the North, in a way steel, aluminum, and even wood do not.

The greater proportion of concrete bases aren’t the work of are “forefathers” any more than brutalist buildings or automobiles are, they are the simply result of the need to replace the original carriages of guns in the cheapest way possible. There are better ways of preserving the artifacts nowadays and an effort ought to be made to do so.

Now in the use case where cannons have been transformed some way to become a true architectural element of the monument, like being buried muzzle down at the corners of the monument as is the case at Gettysburg and a few other places, or turned into a portion of a gate like at the old Arsenal in... I want to say Rock Island?... then they ought to be left in situe.
 
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rebelatsea

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Yes, that definitely is an issue, and for some mountings the damage is even worse, there was one concrete base in which a portion of the original carriage was discovered covered in concrete! Decorative steel/iron display stands are the way to go imho as they are far more astetically pleasing. It should be pointed out that concrete bases are also subject to vandalism, for instance if they include a metal commemoration plate which can be stolen. Concrete also chips and cracks quite easily in the freeze thaw cycles of the North, in a way steel, aluminum, and even wood do not.

The greater proportion of concrete bases aren’t the work of are “forefathers” any more than brutalist buildings or automobiles are, they are the simply result of the need to replace the original carriages of guns in the cheapest way possible. There are better ways of preserving the artifacts nowadays and an effort ought to be made to do so.

Now in the use case where cannons have been transformed some way to become a true architectural element of the monument, like being buried muzzle down at the corners of the monument as is the case at Gettysburg and a few other places, or turned into a portion of a gate like at the old Arsenal in... I want to say Rock Island?... then they ought to be left in situe.
In a tv show a couple of nights ago, Drake's island in the middle of Poole Harbour was shown, it's nor currently accessible to the public, but was heavily fortified. I was horrified to see in an ariel shot 4 Armstrong M LR just laid in the grass on the roof of one of the old batteries. They are talking about converting the thing into a posh hotel.
 

rebelatsea

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Oi vey! There are a lot of guns out there that are totally unpreservered... some quite interesting examples are almost completely unconserved, unfortunately.
Yes , together with a friend I found a 68pdr 95cwt laying under a pile of barrels in the long grass at the old Rotunda Museum in Woolwich, we reported the find and thought no more about it. It turns out to have been the last surviving gun from HMS Warrior's original warrant, and is now back on the ship. They made the glass fibre replicas using it as a master for the mould.
 


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