FORT SUMTER NATIONAL MONUMENT ó A gun like those used by Confederates in the final months defending Fort Sumter is again back on the ramparts of the Charleston fort.

A mountain howitzer cast in 1863 was put back this week after six years. It had been removed after its original wooden carriage deteriorated from spending years in the elements.

The 120-pound howitzer was kept in the museum but now has a new protective coating and is mounted on a $12,000 steel carriage. Rick Dorrance is the fortís chief of resource management. He says Civil War sites nationwide are increasingly replacing wooden gun carriages with those of steel.

During the final months of the defense of Sumter, the wheeled howitzers were stored in bombproof areas in the daytime and rolled to the walls at night.