Thursday, December 16, 2010

Original Gun from CSS Alabama in Mobile

From August 30th Mobile (Al) Press-Register "Original gun from CSS Alabama finds home at Museum of Mobile" by Amy Browning.

A nice photo of it on its carriage in the museum accompanies the article.

Other artifacts from the CSS Alabama are also in the museum.

This cannon is one of 8 original ones on the ship which was sunk June 19, 1864, off Cherbourg, France, by the USS Kearsarge. The Alabama sank in 200 feet of water in the English Channel.

Only three of the eight cannons have been brought up. Two of the others are in Charleston and one in Richmond.

The cannon weighs 5,000 pounds and is ten feet long. It was recovered in 2003 by French and American divers and then sent to the Warren Lasch Conservation Center in North Charleston, South Carolina, where it spent seven years being restored before going to Mobile.

Even though the Alabama never entered Mobile, it has many connections to the city. Its commander, Raphael Semmes was born in Maryland, but lived his final years in and is buried in Mobile. Then, of course, there's the name.

When found on the wreck, the wooden carriage was completely rotted away, but a duplicate was made following the original plans by the City of Mobile Public Buildings Department.

Other items from the Alabama are the ship's bell, a toilet, dinnerware, sink, globe and sword belonging to Semmes and block and tackle.

The cannon is presented with a picture in the background that was enlarged and mounted from an original one taken in 1863 on board the Alabama. This makes visitors feel just like they were there.

Roll Alabama. --Old B-Runner

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