Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
Artillery preserved in Mexico

Artillery preserved in Mexico

The aim of this website is to locate, identify and document historical pieces of artillery preserved in Mexico. 

Data current to 16 July 2017.

Buenos dias

Arnulfo Cadena Maldonado, collaborator at Museo Regional El Obispado (Bishop's Palace) in Monterrey, has asked for assistance in identifying the orgin, maker, model, calibre and date of manufacture of six smoothbore muzzleloading (SBML) Guns that stand guard outside this museum. The museum would like to add a descriptive commemorative plate to add to the display.  If viewers can advise, please send an e-mail with additional information to maldoncade@yahoo.com and hskaarup@rogers.com and this page will be updated accordingly.

Monterrey, Museo Regional El Obispado (Bishop's Palace)

The Museo Regional El Obispado is a baroque building dating from 1784, and is the oldest stone construction in the city of Monterrey, and has been a museum since 1952. The area has been the scene of significant battles fought here against insurgents in 1820, with the United States Army in 1846, with the Belgians in1862, with Zouavos, with the second USA invasion in 1913 or so, and with revolutionary forces in 1916 etc. A few years ago, a cannonball was found embedded inside of a niche over the main door of the museum.

2016 marks the 170th anniversary of the Battle of Monterrey which took place from 21-24 September 1846 during the Mexican-American War.  In this war, General Pedro de Ampudia and the Mexican Army of the North were defeated by the Army of Occupation, a force of United States Regulars, Volunteers and Texas Rangers under the command of General Zachary Taylor.  (Wikipedia)

  (Arnulfo Cadena Maldonado Photos)

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 1 of 6.  Millar style breeching ring.  The gun is mounted on a stone base.

 

 (Arnulfo Cadena Maldonado Photos)

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 2 of 6.  Possibly an American 24-pounder Iron Siege Gun (TBC), weight 5,750-lbs.  Length of gun from the breeching ring to the muzzle is 291-cm with an overall length of 322-cm. The bore is 15.2-cm in diameter. 5560 in engraved above the breeching ring.  The gun is mounted on a stone base.  The trunnions have been broken off.

Before the introduction of recoil mechanisms, removing the trunnions was a method of permanently disabling a gun.  If guns were about to be captured, and it was believed that they could be recaptured, they could be spiked by hammering a spike into the vent (touch-hole).  This disabled the gun temporarily, until the spike could be drilled out.  However, if a major withdrawal was intended, and for example, the siege artillery could not be taken, or if a fort was to be abandoned and the guns of the fort were not being taken, then they would blow one or both trunnions off the guns.  The trunnions were the main connection to the carriage and this would permanently disable the gun so it could not be used by the enemy.  One method of removing a trunnion was by placing another gun with its muzzle aimed at the trunnion and shooting it off.  Another was by sawing it off - much slower.

Monterrey had a fort (citadel) with about 30 guns, and some other artillery in the town.  The surrender terms allowed the Mexican army to take only a small battery, and they were given a week to prepare to leave (although they did not take that long).  The Mexican commander may have disabled his heavy artillery (removing the trunnions) to prevent them from being used by the Americans, who had left their siege artillery at the Rio Grande.  (Doug Knight)

       (Arnulfo Cadena Maldonado Photos)

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 3 of 6.  Marked with a crown over the letter P on the barrel.  Length of gun from the breeching ring to the muzzle is 291-cm with an overall length of 322-cm. The bore is 15.2-cm in diameter.  The trunnions have been cut off.  The gun is mounted on a stone base.

The Crown over a “P” engraved on top of the guns is a mark used to show that this gun was proofed at Woolwich in the UK. This mark is usually preserved for the guns for foreign governments, or for certain institutions such as The East India Company, or the Post Office.  This gun was probably cast some time in the second quarter of the 19th century.  By this period there are not many British companies capable of casting these guns, they are usually either Walker and Company, Bailey Pegg and Co, or Low Moor.  (Ruth Rhynas Brown)

 (Arnulfo Cadena Maldonado Photos)

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 4 of 6, mounted on a stone base, cascabel intact, trunnions missing.

 (Arnulfo Cadena Maldonado Photos)

Cast Iron 9-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 5 of 6.  10-cm (4-inch) bore diameter, length 217-cm (85.4-inches), 7.12-feet.  The trunnions have been shot away and there is no cascabel at the rear.  The gun is mounted on a stone base.  This gun is named El Jocoso (the Jocular). 

 (Arnulfo Cadena Maldonado Photos)

Cast Iron 9-pounder Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 6 of 6.  The gun is mounted on a stone base.  This gun is named El Grillo (the cricket).

Map of the town's defences that appeared in the Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant.  Forts de La Teneria and Diablo are to the east of the city.  Fort Soldado is in the lower left.  The second Map shows the disposition forces during the battle.

Monterry, Biblioteca La Ciudadela

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 1 of 6.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 2 of 6.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 3 of 6.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 4 of 6.

Cast Iron Smoothbore Muzzleloading Gun, No. 5 of 6.