This Model 1829 Cannon # 209 was affectionately called a "32-pounder". This simply means it shot a 32-pound, round iron shot. Most of the large cannons used at Forts DeRussy, Henry, Donelson, Pillow, and Island #10 were this size. Cast in 1839 at Fort Pitt Foundry in Pennsylvania, the cannon weighs nearly 4 tons and can fire a shot up to 1 1/2 miles. If you look closely at the lower breech, you can see the weight number 7545 stamped on the cannon.
Confederate General Polk had at least 56 cannons of this type among his 140 cannon artillery standing watch over the Mighty Mississippi here at Columbus. The Confederate Army obtained hundreds in 1861 when they seized the U.S. Navy Yard in Norfolk, Virginia.
It is not known if # 209 was one of the cannons left behind by Polk when he evacuated Columbus in 1862. The Union Army and Navy later shipped dozens of captured confederate cannons here for temporary storage. This cannon and a confederate 128-pounder were found here after the war ended. During the great flood of 1927 the other cannon fell into the Mississippi River and was never recovered.
In the 1930s, during the development of Columbus-Belmont State Park, the Civilian Conservation Corps placed #209 on a replica wooden carriage for exhibit. In 1943, a large strip of land along the bluff of the river collapsed, taking the cannon with it. Cannon # 209 would not be seen again for 55 years.