Report from the Fort30 September 1836 · Richard Delafield, Captain of Engineers
[The] erection of a gun shed, for such artillery and carriages as shall not be mounted in battery ? may not ? be perfected this fall.National Archives
A year later, in November 1837 completion of this large-scale shed was reported. It was added to the parade ground during the fort renovation of 1835-39 to hold wheeled ordinance and unmounted cannon. Transport and erection of the monolithic granite pillars that support the timber framing and trusses for the main roof and second floor would have been an engineering challenge. Their strength was calculated to provide the necessary support for storage and winching of heavy cannon. Block and tackle mounted in the center of the structure was the most efficient method for lifting iron cannon to the storage area on the second-floor platform.
Cannon Type . . . . . . . . . . Weight
24 pound . . . . . . . . . .5,500 pounds
32 pound . . . . . . . . . .7,500 pounds
42 pound . . . . . . . . . .8,500 pounds
On the first floor, gun carriages, field artillery, caissons, ammunition wagons, and other wheeled vehicles would have been stored.
After larger and permanent Rodman cannon and rifled guns were mounted in 1865, the Artillery shed was used for other storage and a carpentry shop. In the 1940s a temporary fourth wall was built to enclose it completely. Restoration to its original function and appearance was carried out by the 365th Engineer Group of the 79th U.S. Army Reserve Command in 1976.
All the cannoneers should be perfectly familiar with all the different kinds of ammunition, their uses and application, and where they are to be found. They should understand ? how to spike a gun and how to remove a spike*; how to blow up ammunition chests, and render artillery unserviceable temporarily and permanently. The greater the extent to which the soldier carries this kind of knowledge, in addition to his other duties, the more serviceable will he be, and the greater will be his chances for promotion.
* To spike a cannon meant ramming a metal spike into the vent hole, rendering the gun unusable to the enemy.Customs of service for non-commissioned officers and soldiers as derived from law and regulations and practiced on the Army of the United States. 1864.