The first of the three guns which make up the Revolutionary War Monument was fitted to its new carriage and mounted on a new masonry platform in 2009. Before that, two of the guns were resting on collapsing wooden carriages sinking into the mud and the third was imbedded in a concrete cone.
Properly restoring the two remaining guns will cost nearly $30,000. One is a long gun, similar to the first gun which has been restored, and the other is a shorter carronade that was cast by a different foundry. The quality of the iron used in the carronade is much inferior to that of the long guns and requires more extensive conservation, significantly increasing the overall cost of the project. The carronade has been shipped to the Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory in Ft. Leonard, MD for treatment to counteract the corrosive effects of being submerged in seawater for 111 years. It will be returned to the park in 2017.
A carriage for the long gun is currently under construction by Zymo Sculpture Studio in St. Louis and will be completed in the fall of 2016. It will be made of ipe wood, a very long lasting hardwood native to Central and South America.
The Conservancy is now raising funds and seeking donors to complete the restoration of this historically significant monument, one of the very few west of the Mississippi River that commemorate the Revolutionary War.
The three guns which make up the Revolutionary War Monument were raised from the wreckage of a British Man-of-War, the HMS Acteon, which was lost to the British during an attack upon Charleston, SC in 1776. The ship ran aground and could not be floated off so the British set her on fire to prevent her capture. A century later the wreckage was discovered and several guns were raised and sold at an auction. Members of a patriotic organization of former Union Army and Navy officers, the Missouri Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States, bought these three guns and, in 1897, donated them to Lafayette Park.
The British were unable to take Charleston. This important victory for the Patriot cause took place just days before the Continental Congress declared our independence in Philadelphia.