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Chatham County Historical Markers

Washington Guns


  • Source: Ed Jackson
  • Marker: Washington Guns
  • Location: Immediately East of the Savannah City Hall, Bay St.

CHATHAM ARTILLERY’S

“WASHINGTON GUNS”

These bronze cannon were presented to the Chatham Artillery

by President Washington after his visit to Savannah in 1791. Of

English and French make, respectively, they are excellent examples

of the art of ordnance manufacture in the 18th century.

An inscription on the British 6 pounder states that it was

“surrendered by the capitulation of York Town Oct. 19, 1781.”

The English cannon was cast in 1758 during the reign of George II

and the royal insignia and motto of the Order of the Garter

appear on its barrel.

The French gun was manufactured at Strasburg in 1756. On its

elaborately engraved barrel appear the coat of arms of Louis XIV:

the sun which was the emblem of that monarch, and a Latin inscription

(which Louis XIV first ordered placed on French cannon) meaning

“Last Argument of Kings.” The dolphins were emblematic of the

Dauphin of France. The gun was individually named “La Populaire.”

Reminders of America’s hard-won struggle for Independence and

of the great man who led the Continental forces in the Revolution,

the historic “Washington Guns” were placed on public display here

through co-operation of the Chatham Artillery and the City of Savannah.

025 - 53 GEORGIA HISTORIC MARKER 1982