I just found some interesting information in a stack of stuff I'd copied at the Archives back in the 1980's, and hadn't looked at since, believe it or not. This information kind of brings me up to the level of advancing a theory on this piece. Basically, my theory is that this is a ghost gun. What I mean by that-nowhere can I find anything regarding an official US "brass" (bronze) 6-pounder gun model that would have been in US arsenals from about 1816-1835. There's no mention of such a model in the well-researched book "Field Artillery Weapons of the Civil War" by Olmstead et al. There is one mention of the possibility in Warren Ripley's "Artillery and Ammunition of the Civil War." On pp. 19, writing of the history of US artillery tube development: "Consequently, with the exception of a few orders, the manufacture of bronze weapons ceased in 1801 and was not resumed until 1836."
I think this weapon was delivered to the U.S. under one of the "few orders" mentioned by Ripley.
The fact that a "brass 6 pounder" in the arsenals is evidenced by the delivery of 40 of them to New York, which I described earlier, and also a lengthy report of the testing of three models of 6-pounder guns in 1827 and 1828 at Fortress Monroe, by Lt. Bell, an Army ordnance officer. The guns he tested included a long iron gun (probably the model of 1819), a short iron gun (model unknown) and a "brass gun." The measurements he tabulated for the "brass gun" are very close to those of my "SNY" 6-pounder.
I think the only reason that both books contained no mention of this model is that at the time they were written, no specimens were known to survive. Also, the Civil War was central to the theme of both works, and this "ghost" model probably played no part in the Civil War.
Gotta run, but I can post some interesting excerpts from Lt. Bell's test reports of 1827/28 later if anyone is interested. The report even states that Bell had the 'brass" 6-pounder bouched with a 1" diameter wrought-iron bouch in the vent, since it was wearing excessively in that area during his 2000-round endurance test. You can see in the slideshow that the SNY "brass" gun has a ferrous-metal bouche that is about an inch in diameter. If you have looked at as many old cannons as I have, you will realize that an iron bouche in a bronze gun is quite unusual.
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