Archive for May, 2016


Saturday, May 21st, 2016


Cannon Shot (Frances and John Finley Collection)

This week I brought eight cannonballs to Carlisle from Georgetown.  The munitions were associated with the cannon given to Georgetown after the capture of Gen Morgan and his Raiders near New Lisbon, OH in Jul 1863.  My trip to Carlisle with the canon shot included passing through six tunnels: two in Pittsburgh (Ft Pitt and Squirrel Hill) and four along the PA Turnpike (Allegheny, Tuscarora, Kittatinny, and Blue).   None of the tunnels permit flammable or explosive materials.  Whew!  It was a daring trip.  


One piece of shot was missing.  Eight balls, two rings and, two plates made the trip to Carlisle.  The total weight was approximately forty lbs.



Tom and Jack Kinsey ca 1928 Riding the Georgetown Cannon (Courtesy of the Kinsey Family Personal Collection)

One surviving image of the Georgetown cannon is a photo of the Kinsey boys, Tom and Jack, riding the big gun in about 1928. 


In 1942 the Georgetown council voted to donate the memorial cannon to the nationwide drive for scrap metal in support of the WW II effort.  Obviously, the cannonballs were not included in the donation.  The solid shot balls with their stands have been stored for many years in my Aunt Frances Finley’s basement. 


My neighbor, who is a professor at the Army War College in Carlisle and an expert on all things Civil War, and his associates have viewed the image of the Georgetown cannon.  The identity and model of the cannon remain undetermined.  To date the team of historians have not seen the cannonballs from Georgetown.  The munitions, combined with the image,  will hopefully help to identify the model of artillery. 


The scanned table below identifies the Civil War era cannons manufactured at the Ft Pitt Foundry.  More than 2,000 heavy guns were forged for the Federal Ordnance Department of the US government.  In other words  approximately 60% of all of the heavy artillery purchased by the Federal government came from Pittsburgh.  The Ft Pitt Foundry did not produce field artillery pieces during the war. [1]


Heavy Artillery Pieces manufactured at the Ft Pitt Foundry during the Civil War (Arthur B Fox)






[1] Arthur B Fox, Pittsburgh During the American Civil War 1860-1865, (Mechling Bookbindery, 2002), p149.




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