The Ohio Statehouse has four cannons on display: two 6-pounders and two 12-pound Napoleons. These smoothbore cannons are cast from bronze and weigh almost one ton each. Six horses were required to haul each cannon with its limber box (a container for ammunition and supplies). Each cannon can fire a solid projectile approximately one mile.
The cannons were manufactured at the Miles Greenwood Foundry in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1864. The Statehouse's 6-pounders are two of only three existing 6-pounders that were made there. Although they were originally built for use in the Civil War, the Statehouse's cannons were never used in combat.
The guns were restored by Paul "Big Boom" Miller of Cannon Ltd., in Coolville, Ohio, and were returned to the Statehouse in 1995. While the carriages have been replaced, the bronze tubes and some of the iron work is original. They are still used today for ceremonial and educational purposes.
The Union Artillery considered the 12-pounder Napoleons the "workhorses" of the artillery during the American Civil War. With a range of approximately 1600 yards, they were effective for both offensive and defensive purposes. The term "pounder" refers to the weight of the projectile.