An exciting, historical discovery was been plucked from the Cape Fear River at the Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site north of Southport, NC.
Last December the historic site announced that a Colonial cannon had been pulled from the river in late December.
A dredging company under contract with the Army Corps of Engineers pulled the cannon from the river on Dec. 21 according to Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson Site Manager Jim McKee.
The cannon is very similar to many of the six-pounder English guns that were found on the Queen Anne’s Revenge, Blackbeard the pirate’s ship which ran aground early in the 1700s. Queen Anne’s Revenge was discovered off the coast of Atlantic Beach in 1996.
The recovered cannon found in December was brought up near the boundary between Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson and the Sunny Point Military Ocean Terminal which lies just to it’s south.
The cannon was taken to Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson while arrangements could be made to begin its conservation. The cannon was found in the river, about one and a half miles out from the historic site.
The cannon was kept wrapped in burlap with a light water spray over it to keep it wet, at Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson, until they could make efforts towards its conservation. Full restoration of the cannon could take anywhere up to three years.
It is the first of its kind at the site and it may take several years to complete the restoration process.
Not very much is known about the cannon which measures 93 inches long and is thought to have burst open while firing. This was possibly caused by a flaw in it’s casting. The cannon’s bore measures 80-inches and it is 4-inches in diameter, which might equate to a 6- to 9-pound gun. It is thought to have been in use prior to 1756.
As restoration progresses, archaeologists will be looking to identify any markings on the cannon that might give them some idea what origin of nationality it is.
The gun was found empty, which indicates that the cannon might have burst open while being fired. Many of the old cannons that have been found, like those found on the Queen Ann’s Revenge, are found still loaded.
Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson Site Manager Jim McKee hypothesizes that the cannon might possibly been used during the Spanish Attack on Brunswick Town in 1748.
There could possibility be even more cannons such as this most recent cannon found during dredging effort that lie waiting in the Cape Fear River to be discovered.
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Brunswick Town/Fort Anderson State Historic Site