Officials in New London have apologized to some outraged residents and are promising to return a landmark cannon to its longtime home.

The cannon had sat on a green off Williams Street for as long as anyone could remember, commemmorating the spot where local citizens defended the city against invading British troops in 1781.

But neighbors noticed the 19th century relic was missing Friday and demanded that city officials return it. The city had moved the cannon to the Custom House Maritime Museum when a former city clerk became concerned after discovering that a trench mortar weapon placed on the site in 1937 was missing.

City officials say they meant well and have promised to return the cannon to its familiar spot.