The saying was that the sun never set on the British Empire and the British lived up to the Latin proverb of "Empires are not kept through timidity". Their soldiers had fought hard for years to carve out their empire at the point of sword, spear bayonet and by the flash of musket, cannon and horse hoof.
Cannons were vital to any siege or defense of a city as cannons could fire heated shot* into blockading ships. They were also effective at long range engagements of tightly packed troops, the common formation of the day. The issue was that when the Americans tallied the total number of artillery in their possession, they found less than twenty pieces and only five of which were larger caliber than a 4pound gun**.
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*Heated shot was an ammunition type where gun crews would put the cannon ball into a furnace and heat it till it glowed read. The shot was then loaded into the cannon which was quickly fired at an enemy ship. The glowing shot would act as a tracer round and when it struck the ship that was highly sealed with pine tar and coated in oil to keep the wood from rotting, the round would explode into firey fragments that would send the ship up like a torch. This tactic was only employed by gun crews on the ground as no ship commander would be silly enough to allow a red hot glowing ball of death to have the possibility of slipping out of a crewman's control and rolling around a crowded gun deck.
** Cannon gun calibers were designated by the weight of the shot it fired. A 3# gun fired a cannon ball that weighted 3 pounds. A 6# gun fired a 6 pound shot and so on. While this may not seem like a large difference, the weight of the shot determined the distance the round could accurately be fired and the destructive capability the round would have when it arrived at its target. To paint the contrast, Americans were dealing with 3-6 pound guns where the British had whole batteries of 6 pound, 12 pound and 24 pound guns. To say that the Americans were out gunned would be an apropos pun.