CAN YOU IDENTIFY THIS GUN?
In 1870 it was in Cheyenne, WY and was taken along by a private enterprise group of gold prospectors calling themselves the Big Horn Expedition. They were originally bound for the Black Hills by way of the Big Horn Mountains, but the US Army stopped them and ordered them not to proceed to the Black Hills as that area was still ceded to the Sioux by treaty. (Army commands in the Dakota Territory were nowhere near as zealous in keeping prospectors out of the Black Hills.) Half of the expedition returned to Cheyenne while the remainder turned west and prospected down the Big Horn and up the Yellowstone Rivers until they reached Bozeman and disbanded. Now universally called the Big Horn Gun, the cannon was purchased by a group of Bozeman businessmen for use in defending the town in case of a hostile Indian attack. Since no such attack ever occurred, it was mostly used for parades, political rallies and celebrating the 4th of July.