SAN ANTONIO – The Alamo is proud to announce the release of a new research report on the 18-pounder cannon, which details the cannon’s prominent role in the Battle of the Alamo and how a faithful replica can be made.
Accounts from 1836 have long shown that the 18-pounder was an important cannon for the Alamo Defenders, but the cannon itself was lost to history sometime after the battle. The information in this report sheds new light on what the cannon looked like, where it originated, and challenges commonly held beliefs about the cannon.
“It was important for us to do a deeper dive into the history of the 18-pounder,” Alamo History Researcher Kolby Lanham said. “The historical narrative of this cannon hasn’t changed for many years, and as students of history we have an obligation to re-evaluate the historical narrative when new information comes to light. The most important point for us was letting the primary sources speak for themselves – this was the driving force behind our research, and ultimately it helped reshape the way we look at this valuable piece of the Alamo story.”
Previously, researchers believed that the 18-pounder was British-made and originally manufactured to handle 18-pound ammunition. Now, the Alamo Research team has discovered that it was actually a Swedish-made cannon. In addition to this, it appears likely that the 18-pounder started its life as a 9-pounder and was later bored out so that it could fire 18-pound cannonballs.
This research was conducted as part of the Alamo’s 1836 Battle Cannon Replica Project, which will see high-quality, historically-accurate replicas of 1836 battle cannons installed in what history tells us were their likely locations throughout the historic battlefield footprint. The 18-pounder replica will be the third cannon put on display for visitors, with two four-pound cannons currently in Alamo Plaza. The 18-pounder replica is expected to debut on site in early 2021.