Alamo gets its largest cannon back after conservation effort (VIDEOS)

A large cannon that has not been on display at the Alamo battlefield since 1908 is restored and is now back home.

Thought to be an 18-pounder (although later theorized to be about a 16-pounder with a 5.2-inch bore), the gun was believed used during the iconic 1836 battle but the years had not been kind to the artillery piece. As part of a project with the Texas A&M Conservation Research Lab in College Station that has rejuvenated a number of guns in the Alamo’s collection, the final cannon, also the largest, was returned last week.

In the above ceremony, the gun is handed over from an honor guard of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets to a living history group from the Alamo and among the speakers is another Texas icon, Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell.

Below is an interview with Dr. Bruce Winders and Texas A&M’s Dr. Jim Jobling about the conservation process on the gun, which involved lengthy soaking it in sodium hydroxide to remove decades worth of corrosion and protect the original iron. Then the whole cannon gets boiled in a rinse and coated in tannic acid– in effect rebluing the gun. Then comes industrial paint to protect it.

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