The 6-pound cannon is an 18th Century artillery piece. It was the Long-Range weapon of George Washington.
Description[edit | edit source]
The 6-pound cannon consisted of a bronze barrel mounted on a two-wheeled frame, weighing about 1200 lbs total. The inside diameter of the gun is 88 mm (3.5 in).
Stats[edit | edit source]
- Total weight: 1,200 lbs
- Shot diameter: 88 mm
- Range: 1,523 yards
Scattershot[edit | edit source]
Scattershot consisted of scrap metal, nails, chain links, shards of glass, rocks and other improvised projectiles that were loaded into the barrel. When fired, the scrap metal spread out like a shotgun shell, although the dispersion pattern was much narrower than Napoleon's grapeshot.
Scattershot was used since the earliest days of the cannon. The Hussite Wars saw the peasant Hussites use scattershot since they had limited access to cannonballs. This ammunition was still effective against Medieval Knights, who could not block the cannonfire with their armor or shields.
Uses[edit | edit source]
Without access to cannons, the Continental Army was forced to forge its own artillery from melted down church bells, bronze fittings for ships, and a statue of King George in New York City. Because the barrels were molded around a piece of wood, the gun is not as accurate as those used by more conventional armies at the time. However it was lighter compared to conventional cannons making it easier to transport and maneuver. Since the Continental Army was smaller than the British Redcoats, they needed to have lighter equipment to better retreat from superior forces.
Noticeable Battles[edit | edit source]
Colonel Henry Knox was ordered to reinforce the Continental Army with cannons during the Siege of Boston. This expedition became known as 'The Noble Train of Artillery' and this road (from Fort Crown Point to Boston) became known as The Henry Knox Trail. The cannons were secretly positioned on Dorchester Heights on the night of March 4, 1776; allowing the Continentals to bombard Boston with little opposition. The British abandoned the city on March 17, 1776; unable to counterattack the well fortified Heights. Henry Knox went on to become the chief artillery officer of the Continental Army, and later served as the first United States Secretary of War.
Continental General Nathaneal Greene managed to use guerrilla tactics to outmaneuver the forces of British General Cornwallis in the Southern Theater. Greene's army had lighter equipment than the British forces, guaranteeing that the Continental Army would maintain a mobility advantage. This successful campaign would end with The Siege of Yorktown.
Bowling Green Statue of King George III[edit | edit source]
On August 21, 1770, the British government erected a 4,000 pound (1,800 kg) gilded lead equestrian statue of King George III in Bowling Green: a park in New York City. This was an attempt to revive Loyalist support in the colonies, but it also fueled more resentment. On July 9, 1776 a squad of Sons of Liberty members listened to the recently created Declaration of Independence at New York City Hall and rallied to the statue to tear it down. Evidence of this sabotage still exists today, as the gates of this park were damaged during this event. The head of the statue was carried on a pike: threatening and insulting the king. The majority of the statue was melted down in Connecticut to be made into 42,088 musketballs and supposedly cannons as well.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- Molly Pitcher was a woman in the Continental Army famous for loading a cannon during the Battle of Monmouth, though it's rumored that she only did it because the cannoneer was her husband and he was WIA during the battle, so she replaced him. Other similar women were rumored to have existed in other battles.
- Similar female cannoneers existed in other conflicts. One noticeable example is Agustina de Aragón who fought against Napoleon during the Peninsular War.
An example of a light cannon from the 1700s. 
- Along with the 8-pound cannon, the 6-pound cannon was the first cannon, as well as the first crew served weapon, tested on the show.