100% Confederate – Tredegar’s 42-pounder

Yesterday I mentioned the banded (but probably not rifled) 42-pdr seacoast gun presently in Kingwood, West Virginia.  This gun is the single surviving 42-pdr gun produced for Confederate contracts.  Since the stampings on the band indicate modifications done also on Confederate contracts, this gun is completely “Confederate” in regards to origin.

Kingwood 24 Jul 10 351
42-pdr Seacoast Gun, Banded, Confederate

Most of the markings on the gun have weathered away with time.  Secondary sources record “J.R.A. & Co // T.F.” on the right trunnion for Joseph R. Anderson and Company, Tredegar Foundry.

Kingwood 24 Jul 10 356
Trunnion of Kingwood 42-pdr

The date on the left trunnion read 1861.  Also weathered down is the foundry number “1217” on the muzzle.  But as noted yesterday, the weight stamp remains on the breech.

Kingwood 24 Jul 10 357
Breech Markings on Kingwood 42-pdr

Note also the two holes on the top of the breech band.  These appear to be fixtures for a rear sight.  From another perspective, these two holes are too far back for the vent, which appears further forward on the band.

Kingwood 24 Jul 10 360
Top of Breech Band

Overall, the Tredegar gun is rather “rough” and not just from weathering.

Kingwood 24 Jul 10 363
Shoulder of Reinforce on Kingwood Gun

Clear seam lines from the casting.  This gun sat in the rubble outside Fort Sumter for about thirty or forty years.  And furthermore, has sat exposed to the West Virginia weather for 100 more years.  Yet those casting lines sill show up clear! This gun was not machined or smoothed over in the foundry.  I’d guess in 1861, the Confederates were more concerned with simply getting guns in the forts, rather than preparing them for long term use.

Other than the rough exterior, the Kingwood gun matches to the Model 1845 pattern.  With the band added of course.

The existence of this gun demonstrates Tredegar produced at least a few 42-pdrs for the Confederates.  Some speculate that Bellona also produced similar guns under contract for the Confederacy or State of Virginia.  Since both foundries had produced this particular pattern of guns for Federal contracts in the years leading up to the war, certainly follows the companies would take up casting the same weapons for the new customer.

But I would not confuse any Bellona production for the Confederacy with the last guns produced for Federal contracts.  Those guns were, as I alluded to before, “drafted” by the State of Virginia at the start of the war.  I’ll look to those guns next.


Aside from on site notes and links provided above, sources consulted for this post were:

Olmstead, Edwin, Wayne E. Stark, and Spencer C. Tucker. The Big Guns: Civil War Siege, Seacoast and Naval Cannon. Alexandria Bay, NY: Museum Restoration Service, 1997.

Ripley, Warren. Artillery and Ammunition of the Civil War, 4th Edition. Charleston, S.C.: The Battery Press, 1984.

Ryan, Mike. The Historic Guns of Forts Sumter and Moultrie.  Unpublished, 1997.


2 thoughts on “100% Confederate – Tredegar’s 42-pounder

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.