Sixty-thousand pounds of Civil War cannons are returning to Fort Moultrie National Monument in South Carolina for public display at the park's Cannon Row.
The four cannons, which weigh about 15,000 pounds apiece, will be lifted back into place by the Parker Rigging Co., which is bringing out its heavy crane to do the job.
Restoration of the cannons began in 2012 when Fort Sumter National Monument and Clemson University’s Warren Lasch Conservation Center evaluated the 17 cannons at Fort Moultrie for their current condition and historical significance. Six of the cannons were sent to Phillips Industrial Services for conservation treatment, which began with an assessment of the existing paint and state of corrosion.
Under the care of a WLCC conservator, many layers of deteriorating paint were removed from the cannons and replaced with a new type of paint that was carefully selected for its long-term durability. These guns were reinstalled inside the fort on Battery Bingham, and outside the fort on new bases at Cannon Row. In early May of this year the remaining four guns were sent to Phillips Industrial Services and will be returned on June 10th.
According to the late William L. Brown of the National Museum of the United States Army and Fort Sumter National Monument Historian Rick Hatcher, the park’s collection of cannons at Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter represents the best grouping of seacoast artillery from the period 1830-1890 in the United States. This collection is comprehensive in terms of type and size, and includes extremely rare examples of Confederate-manufactured ordnance.
“This work represents the commitment of the National Park Service to preserve the country’s most important historic objects for this and future generations,” said Tim Stone, superintendent of Fort Sumter National Monument and Charles Pinckney National Historic Site.
Fort Moultrie is administered by the National Park Service as a unit of Fort Sumter National Monument. Located at 1214 Middle Street on Sullivan’s Island, South Carolina, the fort and visitor center are open daily from 9 a.m.—5 p.m. except for New Year’s, Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. An entrance fee of $3 per adult, $1 for seniors or $5 for a family is charged to tour Fort Moultrie. For more information, please call (843) 883-3123.