This impressive turn-of-the-century coastal defense cannon memorializes the 1898 Spanish American War and symbolically points south towards Cuba. The inscription on its monumental base describes it as an eight-inch (203 mm) gun on a "disappearing carriage" taken from Fort Dade, an old coast defense fort on Egmont Key at the mouth of Tampa Bay. Its full story is as follows:
The original Fort Dade gun described on the base was placed in Plant Park in November 1927, but was donated to a steel scrap drive during World War II. Following the war, an eight-inch (203 mm) cannon of similar vintage was obtained from Fort Morgan, Alabama, and installed on the 1927 memorial's vacant foundation. The new gun is mounted on the top portion of a railway gun carriage dating from World War I, rather than the "disappearing carriage" of the original Fort Dade cannon.
The monumental base for the cannon contains 8 faces, each with a separate inscription.
The monument is placed on the location of the 1898 headquarters for the Roosevelt Rough Riders, Wheeler Calvary, and the first Florida troops of 1898, as they assembled in Tampa in preparation for Cuba.