Thursday, January 24, 2013

American Steel Cannon

The Pittsburgh Gazette says: – “When Gen. Fremont was in command of the Western Department he sent an agent to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, with orders to procure if possible, some cast-steel field pieces.  Fremont we suppose not being trammeled with opinions picked up forty or fifty years ago at West Point, thought that if there was any advantage in cast steel the Government needed it, and our brave soldiers were entitled to its use.  He evidently thought also that whatever a Prussian or an Englishman could make, of steel, could be made in Pittsburgh.  And he was right.  Singer, Nimick & Co., who were just at the time trying some costly experiments in steel guns, agreed to make a single battery of six guns.  About the time the battery was finished Gen. Fremont was suspended, and the beautiful pieces of artillery are now lying in the warehouse of the manufacturers.  The guns are rifled, 3-inch bore, about six feet long, weigh 830 pounds and to one’s eye look perfect.  To Pittsburgh belongs the credit of the only cast steel cannon which have yet been made in the United States, the so-called “Sickles’ battery,” the “Wiard,” are made of puddle or semi-steel.”

– Published in the Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, April 12, 1862, p. 2

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