The accepted “shot heard around the world” was fired when the British attempted to ensure that only the British Army had access to artillery in Massachusetts. In the effort to secure the field pieces used by various militias General Gage decided to seize and destroy arms the patriots had stored at Concord, 20 miles northwest of Boston. On the night of April 18, 1775, 700 British soldiers began to march toward Concord. This expedition not only failed to secure the arms but lost 120 men in the process and left the British army largely bottled up in Boston. In order to unseat the British Army, Washington sent Henry Knox to Fort Ticonderoga to secure artillery which when placed on Dorchester Heights forced the British to consider Boston undefendable and evacuate.

Even with the fourteen cannon Knox was able to litterally drag across Massachuessets to Boston, the Continential Army was vastly outgunned. Eventually, American foundaries developed the capacity to manufacture cannon, and Congress was also able to obtain guns from France and the Netherlands but most of these weapons were the massive siege guns popular in Europe. Massive 24 and 32 pound cannon are idea for battering fortification walls and sinking ships and high-quality French siege artillery were key to the Franco-American victory at Yorktown in 1781 but difficultiesmanuevering these massive weapons in the forest and poor roads of America rendered them useless in field engagements in North America.

For the Continential Army, the most useful artillery pieces were not heavy siege guns, but lighter pieces that could be moved quickly on field carriages. Mobile field guns traveled with the armies and were used as anti-personnel weapons in battle. Large numbers of light guns also were needed at sea. America sent out hundreds of small privateering vessels, each armed with a few light guns, to prey on British shipping. During the war several American iron foundries got into the cannon-making business, not just to support Continental and state military forces, but to meet the demands of the privateers as well.

One example of a cannon foundry that concentrated on the production of light artillery pieces is Virginia’s Westham Foundry located near Richmond. By late 1779 the foundry had begun casting cannon for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Westham produced 4- and 6-pounder cannon as well as even smaller swivel guns. All were cast-iron guns, and none weighed more than about 1,000 pounds. The guns were sought not just for land service with Virginia forces but also for equipping vessels in Virginia’s state navy. The foundry produced ammunition for these guns as well, including cannon balls and grape and canister shot. Most states had at least one cannon foundry in operation during the war. The foundries certainly didn’t produce guns of the size and quality of the best British and French artillery pieces, and some of these foundries had serious quality control problems. Often American gun founders couldn’t get the raw materials they needed, and skilled labor was always in short supply. Nevertheless, these fledgling enterprises went a long way towards meeting America’s basic artillery needs during the war and made the American forces less dependent on imported tools of war.

Recipe Specs

  • Batch Size (G): 6.1
  • Total Grain (lb): 14.500
  • Total Hops (oz): 2.00
  • Original Gravity (OG): 1.072 (°P): 17.5
  • Final Gravity (FG): 1.002 (°P): 0.5
  • Alcohol by Volume (ABV): 9.13 %
  • Colour (SRM): 38.2 (EBC): 75.3
  • Bitterness (IBU): 32.2 (Tinseth)
  • Brewhouse Efficiency (%): 70
  • Boil Time (Minutes): 60

Grain Bill

  • 8 lb American – Pale 2-Row (55.17%)
  • 3 lb Cane Sugar (20.69%)
  • 1 lb American – Caramel / Crystal 120L (6.9%)
  • 1 lb American – Roasted Barley (6.9%)
  • 1 lb Molasses (6.9%)
  • 0.5 lb American – Chocolate (3.45%)

Hop Bill

  • 1 oz Amarillo Pellet (8.6% Alpha) @ 60 Minutes (Boil) (0.2 oz/Gal)
  • 1 oz Amarillo Pellet (8.6% Alpha) @ 15 Minutes (Boil) (0.2 oz/Gal)

Single step Infusion at 151°F for 60 Minutes.
Fermented at 68°F with Ale Yeast

Published by Michael Carver

My goal is to bring history alive through interactive portrayal of ordinary American life in the late 18th Century (1750—1799) My persona are: Journeyman Brewer; Cordwainer (leather tradesman but not cobbler), Statesman and Orator; Chandler (candle and soap maker); Gentleman Scientist; and, Soldier in either the British Regular Army, the Centennial Army, or one of the various Militia. Let me help you experience history 1st hand!

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