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Battery G acquires Old No. 8

- (June 2007) SLOVAN, Pa. - The 1st Pennsylvania Light Artillery, Battery G, a Civil War living history organization based out of Slovan, recently christened a new reproduction artillery piece. The ceremony culminated with a public firing demonstration and reception in Cochranton, Pa.

Battery G is affiliated with the Iron City Guards and the National Regiment, non-profit organizations whose mission is to portray the American Civil War through simulated living histories, battle recreations and other public demonstrations.

The gun is an exact replica of the Model 1857 Light 12-pdr. Gun-Howitzer, commonly referred to as a Napoleon. It was the workhorse for both the Confederate and Federal forces, designed to fire explosive shot and canister rounds.

Cast of 1,500 pounds of gun bronze, the Napoleon is a fully functioning replica capable of firing 12-pound solid shot up to one mile.

The gun is unique because two pennies were cast directly into it at the foundry. Battery president Chris Sedlak said one penny is dated 1861, the onset of the Civil War, and a 2004 penny marks the purchase year.

The gun's muzzle markings, No. 8 C. A. & Co. 1861, are the same as those of a cannon on display at Gettysburg National Military Park. The designation represents the original manufacturer, Cyrus Alger and Co. of Boston, Mass. Battery G's Napoleon, nicknamed "Old No. 8" as a tribute to the original, was manufactured by Cannon Limited in Coolville, Ohio

Battery G is comprised of 20 members. The unit prides itself on recreating historically accurate military encampments, functioning field kitchens and firing demonstrations.

The unit was founded in 2005. This year it will appear at many local and national Civil War events including those at Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine, Gettysburg and Fredericksburg National Military Park.

For information, call (412) 476-1863 or e-mail sedlakchristopher@yahoo.com

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