These British-made cannons were recovered in 1975 from the wreckage of the Confederate Cruiser SS Georgiana which was sunk on its maiden voyage off the Isle of Palms in 1863. The Georgiana was attempting to slip past Union blockades and into Charleston. She was spotted, however, and subsequently burned by federal forces with her cannons left on the ocean’s floor.
Featuring hook-slant rifling, these Type II Blakely cannons are the only ones of their kind known in existence. This is because they possess wire wrapping around the breach which enabled them to fire larger powder charges than normal and also to increase their range of fire.
As a sidebar, the Georgiana and her cargo belonged to banker and Confederate Secretary of the Treasury George Alfred Trenholm of Charleston. The charismatic and handsome Trenholm was as much a war-profiteer as he was a Confederate “patriot”. Thus, it has been alleged that Trenholm was the real-life inspiration for the famous Rhett Butler of Gone with the Wind fame.