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Revolutionary War 3-Pounder Cannonball recovered at Yorktown Battlefield


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 Revolutionary War 3-pounder cannonball. It measures 3” in diameter and weighs 3 pounds, 11 ounces. This unique piece was recovered in the early 20th century at the Yorktown, Virginia Battlefield (see map).

Major General Marquis de Lafayette and his troops constituted at least half of the allied forces surrounding Yorktown. This meant that the French occupied at least half of the bulwarks surrounding Yorktown. In fact, Washington did not have sufficient troops to encircle Yorktown. Cornwallis and his troops would surely have escaped to New York, had it not been for the presence of the French troops.

On October 3rd, 1781, Allied Forces [American and French] met a force sent by Cornwallis at what became the Battle of the Hook in which the British were driven from Glouster to Yorktown. A French Navy fleet arrived in time to chase off a fleet of British ships that were to rescue Cornwallis and his troops from their dangerous position at Yorktown.

The 3-pounders were used by British and American forces; it could be moved on a carriage by a single horse or carried by men as it was meant to be moved quickly and easily. After the surrender, the combined American and French forces secured about 240 pieces of artillery, small arms, ammunition, and equipment, this included about 50-60 field artillery pieces. In the Fort Sill Oklahoma Artillery Museum, there is a 3-pounder with a plaque that states "Surrendered by the capitulation of Yorktown, Oct. 17, 1781” (see pictures).

The ball remains in very nice condition, having a mostly smooth surface, indicative of an early recovery. 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. As with all items on the website, the very friendly layaway is available.

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$8.50 (Fixed shipping cost)