The Alamo 18-Pounder Cannon: Research To Replica

Fernando Raven seated on the 18-pounder in the 1890s
Credit: Edwards Aquifer
Mr. Fernando Raven with the 18-Pounder in San Pedro Springs Park

This research report focuses on the iconic 18-pound cannon that played a prominent role in the 1836 Battle of the Alamo. Through this new research, many new conclusions are now apparent that challenge commonly held beliefs about the cannon.

Abstract of the Report
The Alamo Trust, Inc. Collections Team endeavored to undertake a cannon replica project to help visitors better understand the artillery used during the Battle of the Alamo as well as the immensity of the fort at that time. The initial phase of the work is focused on the southern portion of the Alamo, along the south wall, Palisade, and southwest corner. The accounts of the early days of the siege speak of the 18-pounder cannon playing a prominent role in the response. The 18-pounder was lost to history sometime after the Battle. Unlike many of the other cannons that are already in the Alamo Collection, considerable research had to be conducted to determine what this cannon looked like and where it originated. Previously, researchers believed that the 18-pounder was British-made and originally manufactured to handle 18-pound ammunition. The current research has led us to several new conclusions that will change what was commonly believed about the cannon. Using period photographs and modern technology, the Collections Team has determined that the cannon was roughly 7 feet long and weighed nearly 3,000 pounds. Unique markings on the 18-pounder in the historical images revealed that this gun was actually a Swedish-made Finbanker from Finspang, Sweden. Although the measurements gathered from the photographs indicate that the cannon would have used  18-pound ammunition, the relatively short length and the light weight indicate that this cannon likely started its life as a 9-pounder and was later bored out to accommodate an 18-pound cannonball.

Click here for a copy of the report