Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Cannon Row

Marker ID:  
Location: At Fort Moultrie NM on Poe St, Sullivan's Island, SC
County: Charleston
Coordinates: N 32° 45.537    W 079° 51.421
  32.75895    -79.85701666


Cannon Row

7-inch Triple-Banded Brooke
21,290 pounds
CS Army
Produced: 3
Survivors: 1

10-inch Parrott Rifle
26,900 pounds
US Army
Produced: 42
Survivors: 13

8-inch Parrott Rifle
16,487 pounds
US Army
Produced: 178
Survivors: 8

10-inch Confederate Columbiad
13,290 pounds
CS Army
Produced: 135
Survivors: 18

Modified10-inch Columbiad
22,000 pounds
US/CS Army
Produced: 149
Survivors: 14*

*While fourteen 10-inch Columbiads remain, this cannon is the only one with this unique modification.

10-inch Rodman
14,956 pounds
US Army
Produced: 1,291
Survivors: 98

10-inch Rodman
14,980 pounds
US Army
Produced: 1,291
Survivors: 98

13-inch Mortar
17,196 pounds
US Army
Produced: 90
Survivors: 27

The Collection

Fort Sumter National Monument has one of the greatest collections of seacoast or siege Civil War artillery in the country. Representing some of the rarest cannon in the world, this collection illustrates the expanding technological warfare of the Civil War. The cannon that make up Cannon Row are some of the largest and most unique within the park's collection.

Some of the cannon in front of you were used during the Civil War near where you stand today. Others were brought to Sullivan's Island after the war to rebuild Charleston Harbor's defenses. All were produced before or during the Civil War by Union (US Army) or the Confederacy (CS Army).

A New Era of Artillery

The Civil War Era represents a period when radical advances in cannon technology increased power, range, and accuracy. Brigadier General Thomas Rodman's process for hollow casting cannon allowed for larger cannon and bigger powder charges. Mr. Robert P. Parrott's rifled cannon, among others, provided greater range and accuracy. With few foundries, the Confederacy was forced to use existing weapons, often "rifling and banding" older smoothbore cannon to increase firepower and range. The cannon in front of you represent some of the best examples of cannon produced and modified using these processes.

Cannon Technology

Banding a cannon increased its firepower. A band of wrought iron, expanded by heat, was slipped over the cast iron barrel. The band cooled, shrinking tightly in place, strengthening the breech to withstand the pressure of a greater powder charge. For more strength, additional bands were added. Highlighted in red below are the three bands that gave the 7-inch Triple Banded Brooke it's name.

Rifling (cutting spiral grooves in a weapon's bore) gave a stabilizing spin to a projectile. Rifled cannon had greater range than smoothbores of similar size, and their new projectiles were usually more accurate and destructive than the old, round shot and shell.

Erected by National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior.