Earlier today the staff at Fort Sumter National Monument updated the Fort Moultrie album on Facebook with new photos from the ongoing “cannon row upgrade” project.
Fort Moultrie has a unique set of Civil War era guns. I’ve featured several of the guns here on the blog. For many years those guns sat on wood beams, just inches above the sand.
While the staff kept the exterior painted and generally free of corrosion, the bores suffered from exposure (and the trash of some unappreciative visitors).
The restoration and new mountings are part of a project started last year. According to a press release from July 2011, four guns were removed and repainted as part of a larger park-wide project to address the historic metal artifacts around the park. Scientists from Clemson University’s Warren Lash Conservation Center collaborated with the NPS staff.
In the process, the guns are stripped of old paint, then refinished with a modern industrial sealant. Each gun receives a tampion to cover the bore. The staff will periodically check a monitor placed inside each gun bore for humidity readings, in order to arrest further corrosion. When refurbished, the guns return to “cannon row” on new concrete pads. The park also plans to update the older interpretive signage along cannon row as part of this project.
Great work! This project ensures those cannons are able to “tell” their stories to visitors for many generations to come.