Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 78: Civil War Cyrus Alger & Co. 1835 Bronze 12-Pounder Howitzer

Auction Date: August 26, 2022

Very Scarce Civil War Cyrus Alger & Co. U.S. Model 1835 Bronze 12-Pounder Howitzer with Carriage and Caisson

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $55,000 - $85,000

Very Scarce Civil War Cyrus Alger & Co. U.S. Model 1835 Bronze 12-Pounder Howitzer with Carriage and Caisson

Manufacturer: None
Model: None
Type: Other
Gauge: 12
Item Views: 2241
Item Interest: Very Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 100
Class: Other

This Cyrus Alger & Co. manufactured Model 1835 12-pounder howitzer is recorded as inspected by Thomas Jefferson Rodman on June 3rd, 1861, right at the beginning of the Civil War. The Model 1835 is considered to be much rarer than the similar but heavier Model 1841. Both models saw use in the Mexican-American War, Indian Wars (earlier production examples) and the Civil War. They were designed to be light and mobile artillery suitable for Samuel Ringgold's flying artillery tactics. Ringgold died from a mortal wound from a cannon ball at the Battle of Palo Alto and was the first U.S. officer killed in the Mexican-American War. Technically he died before the U.S. had even formally declared war. The battle was largely won thanks to superior American artillery. Four Model 1835 12-pounders are known to have seen severe action at Chickamauga with Captain Eli Lilly's 18th Indiana Battery during the Civil War. It has a post front sight, "1861" on the left trunnion, "C.A. & Co./BOSTON" on the right trunnion, "740" just above the right trunnion, "U.S." on top between the trunnions, "179/T.J.R." (registry number and initials of inspector Thomas J. Rodman) on the face of the muzzle, and "224" above the knob on the rear. The howitzer is fitted in a professionally built reproduction olive green carriage with black fittings. Also includes a professionally built reproduction olive green caisson. The howitzer measures 37 1/2 inches long from muzzle to rear tip and 11 1/2 inches wide at the trunnions, with a bore measuring 4 5/8 inches. The carriage with black iron hardware measures approximately 80 inches in length, with a 53 inch width, and a wheel height of 42 inches. The carriage is fitted with iron bound 12 spoke wheels, an elevation wheel, and includes tools and a pole measuring 126 1/2 inches long (10 foot 6 1/2 inches). For information and contract deliveries on these Model 1835 12-pounder mountain howitzers, reference pages 134-137 and Appendix 15A on pages 294-296 of "Field Artillery Weapons of the Civil War" by James C. Hazlett, Edwin Olmstead, and M. Hume Parks.

Rating Definition:

Fine with attractively aged darkened patina on the bronze with scattered dings and scratches, and clear markings. The reproduction carriage is very fine, the caisson is excellent.

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