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September 1, 2017
Fitchburg’s Civil War Cannons
Mayor Stephen L. DiNatale is pleased to announce, with a generous $16,838.25 matching grant from the George R. Wallace Foundation, the City has raised the funds necessary to preserve the two Civil War era cannons located in Monument Park.
The two Civil War era cannons which were reportedly used in the Battle of Gettysburg and the Siege of Richmond were brought to the City in 1875 from the US Army Ordnance Department in Brooklyn, New York through the efforts of Congressman Alvah Crocker. According to a 1960 article in the Fitchburg Sentinel, each year after their acquisition in 1875, “they were hauled to the top of Rollstone Hill from where they woke the populace of Fitchburg before dawn on the Fourth of July. They were shot off again at sunset time, setting off booms which echoed among the Fitchburg hills.”
The cannons are both napoleon twelve-pounders, the most popular field artillery of the Civil War. Made of brass, the cannons were manufactured in Macon, Georgia from melted down church bells and each weigh in excess of 1,100 pounds. This project will ensure that the carriages will not deteriorate further and will prevent the City from the continuing expense of repairs.
The $31,828.35 quote to repair the cannons would not be possible without the support of local donors. In addition to the Wallace Foundation, the city was also awarded a State Historical Records Advisory Board grant in the amount of $7,500 and $5,000 from the Douglas & Isabelle Crocker Foundation. Other generous donors include: Research Results, Inc., Simonds International Corporation, Lawrence Brandon, Porter and Sally Dickinson, the Honorable Andre A. Gelinas, Maureen & William McSheehy, and Dr. Ronald S. Tourigny.
The City will hold a formal dedication at a later date when the work is completed.