New Cannon at MAC Lab


Our newest cannon is a 32 pounder from the C.S.S. Alabama, which comes to us from the Navy for some minor repair and conservation treatment. Built as a commerce raider, the Alabama inflicted extensive damage on United States merchant shipping before being sunk in 1864. Although the wreck of the Alabama was discovered in 200 feet of water off the coast of France (putting it within French territorial waters), the United States claimed ownership of the vessel as a spoil of war. In 1989, France and the United States established a joint French-American Scientific Committee to oversee archaeological investigation of the wreck, establishing a precedent for international cooperation regarding archaeology and the protection of historic shipwrecks. The Alabama cannon will remain at the MAC Lab on loan from the Navy as the replacement for another large cannon (an 18 pounder that goes on display in our new War of 1812 exhibit in April) so that visitors to the lab will continue to be able to view an example of a REALLY big gun.


The 32 pounder


Close up of the cannon’s brass site


Captain Semmes (front) aboard the Alabama in 1863 –
notice cannon to the Capt’s left…

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