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French & Indian War / Revolutionary War Cannonball from Rogers Island, NY


Product Description

This is another nice early piece coming out of a 60-year collection of French & Indian War/Revolutionary War artillery. Being offered is a French & Indian War 2-pounder cannonball. During the war, 2-pounder cannons were used by both the Americans and British (see pictures). It has a diameter of 1.95” and weighs 15 ounces. This unique piece was recovered in the early 20th century at Rogers Island, New York. It was the only piece in the collection from Rogers Island.

During the French & Indian War, Rogers Island and Fort Edward’s strategic location led to the construction of one of the largest British military complexes in North America. Construction extended to what would come to be called Rogers Island where additional barracks, storage buildings, hospitals and a blockhouse were built. Thousands of troops encamped in and around the fort, on the banks of the Hudson and on Rogers Island adjacent to the fort.

Fort Edward eventually became the staging ground for invasions northward into French Canada by the British and provincial troops who would eventually drive the French out of New France. During the height of troop buildup in 1757, when the population was estimated at 16,000, Fort Edward was the third largest city in the colonies behind only New York City and Boston. Philip Schuyler, Israel Putnam, and Paul Revere were all stationed at Fort Edward during the French & Indian War before becoming officers in the Revolutionary War. Rogers Island was the largest hospital complex, supplies depot, and training base of the war.

From 1756 to 1759 Rogers Island was the base camp for Major Robert Rogers (see pictures) and his company of Rangers, the first U.S. Army Rangers “Rogers Rangers”. On October 25, 1757, Rogers instructed his men on forest warfare based on tactics he developed from fighting methods used by Native Americans. This new method of training and rules of order were very different than the methods the British used on the battlefield. Irregular fighting forces would later use his rules, which would become more commonly known as standing orders, as the basis of military tactics around the world. His rules are still the standing orders in use by the U.S. Army Rangers today.

In 1766, after the French & Indian War was over, Fort Edward was ordered evacuated and its stores were moved to the British fort at Crown Point, leaving Fort Edward to decay. Although the fort itself was in ruins during the Revolutionary War, Fort Edward remained strategically located and troops garrisoned in the remaining barracks on the island. In 1777 they were forced to flee when General John Burgoyne’s army passed through enroute to Saratoga.

The ball remains in very nice condition, having some overall roughness, but no chipping or flaking. This collection began in the late 1950s and was created by private acquisitions, closed museums, and from lake divers. The collector meticulously displayed and cataloged every piece along with its provenance. His markings were crude at the time, but now they have proved to be very important. Many of the pieces went through electrolysis to remove crusted rust.

This is the first time this cannonball has been on the open market, and it is truly a great piece of early American History. It definitely merits a place in an advanced collection or museum. As with all the pieces in this esteemed collection, a Certificate of Authenticity will be included. It comes in the acrylic display case pictured.

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$7.50 (Fixed shipping cost)