The main weapon used to defend the fort is the cannon. Fort Roberdeau was fortunate to have four cannons assigned to it, one in each bastion.
A cannon crew should consist of five men, but in the Continental Army there weren’t always enough men available, so they made do with what they had.
To load a cannon, first a gun powder cartridge is seated at the muzzle of the gun.
A ramrod is used to push the powder cartridge down the barrel of the gun.
Next the shot is seated at the muzzle and again the ramrod is used to push the shot down the barrel.
Once the gun is loaded, the next thing to do is prick the vent, which means to poke a hole in the powder bag through the vent hole of the gun so the fuse can be inserted into the powder.
A slow match is used to light the fuse and fire the cannon. In combat it is very important to make sure the slow match always stays lit so the cannon is always ready to be fired.
The cannon crew must protect their ears and stay clear of the front and rear of the cannon as the cannon is fired.
The worm is a long pole with a metal coil at the end. The worm is used to fish debris out of the gun after every shot.
A pole with a damp sponge at the end is inserted into the barrel to remove any smoldering embers from the breach of the gun. The cannon is now ready to be reloaded.