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Providence, Rhode Island: Cannon With Jammed Cannonball

12-pounder bronze Gettysburg Gun, a Union cannon captured, recaptured and battered on July 3rd, 1863, until the ball lodged permanently. Given to R.I. in 1874; no one thought to remove the live powder until 1962.

Rhode Island State House

82 Smith St, Providence, RI
Rhode Island State House, displayed in the lobby.
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Stuck cannonball.

Cannon With Jammed Cannonball

In the statehouse lobby there are two cannons: one from the Battle of Bull Run (one of the few not abandoned on the field by fleeing Union troops), the other recovered from Gettysburg. Both are rare in that they still have their original wood undercarriages, and both are also unique in having proof of their battle experience.

The one from Gettysburg was just yards from the "copse of trees" during Pickett's charge. While they were swabbing for the next shot, it was struck by a Confederate cannon ball, which dented the muzzle, then fragmented killing two of the operators, one by slicing off part of his head, the other by severing his arm (he bled out yelling "hallelujah, amen"). The rest of the squad tried to reload, but the ball got stuck in the muzzle because of the dent, and is still stuck there today. The black powder was only removed in the 1960s.

[Roger Crook, 04/15/2016]

Nearby Offbeat Places

House of Edgar Allan Poe's GirlfriendHouse of Edgar Allan Poe's Girlfriend, Providence, RI - < 1 mi.
Grave of Roger WilliamsGrave of Roger Williams, Providence, RI - < 1 mi.
The Gun TotemThe Gun Totem, Providence, RI - < 1 mi.
In the region:
World's 2nd Largest Rotating Globe, Wellesley, MA - 33 mi.

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