The Swamp Angel
The Swamp Angel was a famous gun used by the Union in the Civil War. It was a 200-lb Parrott Gun used August 22 and 23, 1863, on Morris Island in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. The gun was massive and was built using iron made from Hecla Furnace.
The rebuilt gun is currently on display in the City Square in Trenton, NJ, as that’s where its remains were recovered.
Ironton Evening Tribune September 6, 1938
What’s all this about trying to locate the “Swamp Angel?” The “Swamp Angel” blew up at Vicksburg and killed her gun crew.
At least this is a story picked up from a local lad who knows his military history.
According to his account, the “Swamp Angel”, a cannon used in the Civil War, was cast for the Union army under General GRANT. It was made of iron from Hecla Furnace. In those days Hecla iron was the standard used by the government in measuring the good in other iron.
The “Swamp Angel” was so called because her berth was a swamp at Vicksburg. She was manned by a crew of Union soldiers. But during the battle at Vicksburg, one of Grant’s great victories, the “Swamp Angel” exploded, killing and injuring her gunners.
Therefore, according to this account of her, it’ll be a tough job finding her by the War Department or any other.
However, our young narrator offers the consolation that there might have been more than one “Swamp Angel.” If such is the case, Ironton may have one yet for the Northwest Celebration Oct. 6-8.
On the other hand he may be dead wrong on his Civil War history. Personally, yours truly is heading right now for a library to browse a bit for the elusive “Swamp Angel.”
Maybe the oldsters know it, but it’s a good guess that the young bloods don’t know that the county seat of Lawrence county used to be at Burlington.
But then the court house building at Burlington burned, and about that time Ironton was becoming the locale of some pretty wealthy business men. Iron was making Ironton about the most important spot on the county map. Ironton industrialists circulated a petition to the effect that the city, which was geographically and logically suitable as a county seat, be given the right to establish the county court house within Ironton city limits.
All that remains of the importance that was Burlington’s in those far away days of county seat recognition, is the old county jail.