SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – A Savannah nonprofit is revealing new details about the cannon found in the Savannah River — they may not be from a British vessel after all.
Originally, they thought the cannon might be from a Civil War-era ship, but they weren’t the right size.
Then, a year later, researchers announced that they thought the cannon were from a British ship that sank. Now, they are saying they could also be from an American or even a French ship because the French supported the patriots during the Revolutionary War.
Researchers are not ready to say why they believe the ship may not be British.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sent the cannon to the conservation lab at Texas A&M University where researchers are still in the process of carefully removing the layers of mud and crustacean.
This is a painstaking process that takes years. They’re looking for a maker’s mark that will help identify who they belonged to.
They have also prepared them to be exposed to the air and not deteriorate by using electrolysis to remove the salt and therefore prevent a chemical reaction with the air.
Partial cannon that are not being conserved are on display right now at the Savannah History Museum.
The Coastal Heritage Society will be the steward of these artifacts. That’s the nonprofit that operates the Savannah History Museum.
They already tell the story of the Revolutionary War and the Battle of Savannah.
The CEO of the Coastal Heritage Society says this is the largest discovery of its kind and the cannon will be displayed together in a brand new exhibit that will open in July of 2026 to coincide with the American 250 commemoration.
“You do not hear about the fact that the American Revolution touched Georgia and Savannah, but it did, and so we should be proud of the role that we played in the fight for the American Revolution, the fight for our freedom,” said Nora Fleming Lee, CEO of the Coastal Heritage Society. “This is a tangible example of something that actually came from the Revolutionary War and from here in Savannah that will be here for our community.”
The Corp of Engineers is paying for part of the conservation; the Coastal Heritage Society is now fundraising for the remainder of that cost and the cost of the exhibit.
This will take hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you’d like to contribute, click here.