The Pilot Knob Gun - Fort Davidson - Pilot Knob, MO
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member YoSam.
N 37° 37.242 W 090° 38.376
15S E 708314 N 4166352
Missouri saw many battles during the Civil War being only third behind Virginia and Tennessee. The Battle of Pilot Knob was the beginning of Confederate General Sterling Price's final raid to secure Missouri for the Confederacy in 1864.
Waymark Code: WMM7H7
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 08/05/2014
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Geo Ferret
Views: 1

County of Display: Iron County
Location of Display: MO-V, Visitors Center Fort Davidson Historic Site, Pilot Knob
Marker erected by: Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Division of State Parks

Marker Text:
This six pounder field gun is believed to be one of two Confederate cannons emplaced on Shepherd's Mountain during the Battle of Pilot Knob. After opening fire on Fort Davidson, this piece was dismounted while the other cannon was hauled away to escape Federal fire. The dismounted gun could not be retrieved from the mountain and was abandoned.

In the early 1900s, loggers found the gun and dragged it to a farm near Pilot Knob. In 1967, St. Louis Civil War enthusiast John L. Wagner learned about the gun purchased it, and restored it for use in reenactments. The Missouri Department of Natural Resources acquired this unique artifact from Wagner for display in the visitor center planned for Fort Davidson State Historic Site.

Technical Data:
Missouri State Museum researchers believe that this gun belonged to Capt. H.C. Hynson's Texas Battery. The barrel is not typical of Civil War artillery, but is similar to the U.S. Model 1831 iron six-pounder. The 65-inch barrel has a bore of 3.675 inches and was found to be loaded with two six-pound solid shot. According to an eyewitness, the gun was dismounted by a shot from a Federal 32-pounder siege gun that killed and wounded 12 men.

More information on this style cannon can be found here: Civil War Artillery

Web link: [Web Link]

History of Mark:
Rosecrans did not believe reports that Price was in southeast Missouri with an army. Also, Rosecrans had but 10,000 or so men spread throughout the state, defending against relentless guerrilla raids. Grant did not hold Rosecrans in high regard and had given Major General A.J. Smith, on his way to Sherman with a 6,000 man detachment of the XVI Army Corps, descretion to divert if he was needed to reenforce Rosecrans against an invasion. Smith had arrived at Jefferson Barracks, south of St. Louis, on September 17. September 26 found about 1447 soldiers and volunteer citizens at Pilot Knob from the following commands: the 14th Iowa Infantry (142), the 47th Missouri Infantry (500), Company F of the 50th Missouri Infantry (80), Battery H of the 2nd Missouri Light Artillery (134--6 guns), the 3rd Missouri State Militia Cavalry (347), Company L of the 2nd Missouri State Militia Cavalry (44), Company G of the 1st Missouri State Militia Infantry, (serving as artillery, 58--7 guns) plus a number of white and black civilian volunteers. For the Confederates, Fagan's Division (1,775) was composed of Cabell's Brigade of 8 Arkansas Cavalries with a battery of 2 guns, Slemon's Brigade (459) of 4 Arkansas Cavalries, Dobbin's Brigade (835) of 3 Arkansas Cavalries and a battery of 2 guns, McCray's Brigade (1,700) of 2 Arkansas mounted infantries and the 15th Missouri Cavalry, and 3 unattached Arkansas Cavalries totaling 300 men. Marmaduke's Division (3756) was composed of Clark's Brigade (2,200) of 7 Missouri Cavalries, 2 batteries of 3 guns each and an engineer company, Freeman's Brigade (1,356) of 2 Arkansas and 1 Missouri Cavalries, and Slayback's Detachment (200) of Missouri Cavalry. Fort Davidson itself is a hexagonal earthenwork surrounded by a dry moat. It was connected by two rifle pits extending north (190 yards) and south (150 yards) accessed by sally ports (tunnels). The fort had a drawbridge and sat in a valley between the mountains Pilot Knob (east) and Shepherd (south). It contained the following impressive concentration of artillery: four 32 pound siege guns, three 24 pound howitzers and six 3-inch ordnance rifles. In the center of the fort was a buried powder magazine.

Additional point: Not Listed

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