An unlikely lawn ornament

While in Columbia, South Carolina last week, filming an episode of Select Fire at FN (much more on that, later) I visited the South Carolina State House

While it looks nice, it was 95 degrees, with 95 gnats to match!

In the woods and shade just off to the side of the building, while walking down Gervais Street to Trinity Cathedral– which is breathtaking– I spied this small 6-pounder (57mm) gun on a naval mount almost hidden in the brush.

Why, hello there…

On closer look, it was indeed historic, one of the battery of six such anti-torpedo-boat-guns carried by the ill-fated armored cruiser USS Maine (ACR-1). The vessel sank in Havana Harbor in February 1898, an event that led to the outbreak of the Spanish–American War that April.

The gun was salvaged after the conflict and installed in 1931 at its current location.

While South Carolina raised over 1,000 volunteers in two regiments for the short conflict that in the end saw little of it, the city of Columbia acquired the gun in 1910 as a monument to the effort and installed it in Irwin Park, near the Gervais Street Bridge, in 1913. The city moved the gun to its current location and unveiled it on 22 October 1931.

While a Driggs-Schroeder type 57mm/40cal, the tube markings have worn away over time.

The brass mount is an 1894 Mark III. Notably, the largest battery of remaining Driggs 6-pdrs is preserved on SpanAm War veteran USS Olympia (C-6).

While relics from USS Maine are scattered from Havanna to New England and the West Coast, including several of her guns, from what I can tell, this is her only 6-pdr on display.

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

One response to “An unlikely lawn ornament”

  1. john says :

    I ran across a Nordenfelt gun in a park in Portland,I think,can’t find photos there was also another piece in same area.PC creeps are getting rid of things like this in many areas.

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