[dateline] Philadelphia March 26. 1777
There are two ingenious Artificers, here, who have made a beautifull Field Piece of
Bar Iron. The Barrs were not bound together with Hoops, like that which was made in
Boston: But weldered together, and afterwards bored out. It is very light. It is a
Three Pounder and weighs, no more than two hundred and twenty four Pounds. It has
been tried every Way, and has stood the fullest Proof. It has been discharged Twenty
times, and upon discharging it three Times successively, as fast as it could be loaded
and fired, with several ounces of Powder more than the Usual Quantity, it was observed
not to be heated so much as other Guns of the same Calliber commonly are when of Brass
or cast Iron.
It is so light, that it may be transported about with the Utmost Ease, by a few soldiers
alone without Horses, and is therefore admirably adapted for a Regimental Field Piece.
The Generals Gates, Green and Mifflin, have examined it, and admire it. We are about
contracting for a Number of them. They are cheaper than Brass. They carry a Ball as
far and as direct. The only Objection is that they rebound too much. But this Inconvenience
is easily remedied, by strengthening the Carriage. The Names of the Smiths who made
it, are Wheeler and Wiley.