Because it was the lone Blakely rifled cannon in all the Vicksburg defenses, the Confederate soldiers called this 7.44-inch gun, "The Widow Blakely." During the siege it was mounted about 1 mile north of its present position. On May 22, 1863, the "Widow" was manned by a detachment of Company H, 1st Louisiana Heavy Artillery, Lt. A.L. Slack, commanding the detail.
In that day's action against Union gunboats, one of the "Widow Blakely's" own shells exploded in its muzzle. Later the Confederates cut away the damaged end and used the gun as a mortar.
After the war, "The Widow Blakely" spent 96 years on display at the U.S. Military Academy;s Trophy Point.