Friday, May 19, 2006


A reader asked this question on yesterday's post: "Did I hear something about a cannon being pulled out of the water down there that may have come from Blackbeard's pirate vessel?"

The answer is, yes, you certainly may have. In 1996 divers discovered, in nearby Beaufort Inlet, a ship they believed to be the sunken wreck of Blackbeard's flagship.

Excavations of the shipwreck are being conducted by the N.C. Division of Archives and History's Underwater Archaeology Branch in partnership with Maritime research Institute and the North Carolina Maritime Museum. You can read all about the project on their web site, The Queen Anne's Revenge.

The web site includes much information about the ship and the project. This is what they have to say about the vessel's armaments:

"Pirate ships were heavily armed and QAR was no exception. Historical accounts refer to as many as 44 cannon on the ship. So far, 18 have been found on the site, and three were recovered by archaeologists. Artifacts associated with the cannon include iron round and bar shot, lead aprons or touch-hole covers, bag shot with glass shrapnel, and possible carriage hardware. Small arms include a brass blunderbuss barrel, a side plate in the form of a sea serpent, a butt plate, chert gunflints and several thousand small caliber lead round shot. Although no edged weapons have been discovered, a whetstone and a quarter section of a millstone were recovered from the wreck. In addition, two powder-filled hand grenades with wooden fuses were recovered."

You can read our latest newsletter here. It's the story of the Invasion of Ocracoke & Portsmouth in the War of 1812.

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