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Civil War look returns with cannons at Memphis Confederate Park

September 6, 2012

Just in time for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, four cannons resembling those used during the War between the States were installed in Confederate Park in Downtown Memphis on Wednesday. 

Just as intended, the replica artillery immediately sparked a discussion rooted in history, in this case, between 62-year-old, bearded twin brothers born in a former hospital that served as Confederate headquarters in Vicksburg, Miss. 

"To me, it's a six-pound Napoleon," said David Hoxie, insisting that one of the new cannons is a type named after a grandson of French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.

 "It's not," said his brother, Danny Hoxie. "It's a six-pound gun," he insisted. 

The Hoxies were two of several members of the Nathan Bedford Forrest Camp, Sons of the Confederate Veterans group that paused in nearly 100-degree heat while two 12-pound field howitzers, a three-inch ordnance rifle and the six-pound field gun were bolted in place at the park overlooking Mud Island and the Mississippi River.

 "It's a six-pounder," said Allen Doyle, commander of the Forrest Camp, settling the disagreement between the brothers.

 Doyle, 58, an insurance agent, provided more of the history that the cannon are meant to inspire.

 "We want to make sure that people knew that Memphis was not defended by original cannons, but they were commemorated here after the war was over and the park (dedicated in 1908) was established here," he said. "There were actually six guns in the park, much larger than this, but this is as close as we could get."

 In 1942, during World War II, the city donated the surplus Civil War cannons originally at the park to a scrap metal drive. After that war, six World War II cannons, now stored and slated for renovation, replaced them.

 Led by the local Sons of Confederate Veterans, and including the Shelby County Historical Commission and the Riverfront Development Corp., the project to return more appropriate cannons took about a decade and was financed with about $72,000 in private donations, said Lee Millar, chairman of the project.

 The cast iron carriages supporting the new cannon reproductions were donated by Shiloh National Military Park, the Tennessee site of a bloody battle in April 1862. Lee Cole, a 53-year-old Arlington blacksmith helping to install the cannons, said the national park is replacing aging carriages with sturdier ductile iron.

 Steen Cannons, a family-owned company in Ashland, Ky., made the new cannons and stays busy supplying artillery representing a variety of wars to national parks, towns, cemeteries and other customers, said Marshall Steen, 60, company owner. During the Civil War, carriages were wooden, he said.

 The cannon types at Confederate Park represent those used by two Confederate artillery units — Bankhead's Battery, formed in 1861 by Memphis attorney Smith P. Bankhead, and the Appeal Battery, sponsored in 1862 by The Appeal newspaper (an ancestor of The Commercial Appeal) — according to Millar.

 However, there were no Confederate cannons overlooking the bluffs at the park on June 6, 1862, when eight cotton-clad Confederate boats were defeated in 90 minutes in a naval battle with eight ironclad Union ships.

 "There was a four-gun field battery that was here, but they left and had gone to Shiloh by then," Millar said.

Over 100 Cannons Missing

By Indika Sri Aravinda
 Sunday, May 27, 2012
Over 100 cannon guns have been reported missing from the Galle Fort, the Galle Heritage Foundation said.
The guns were used when Sri Lanka was under Dutch rule but has since gone missing. According to the Galle Heritage Foundation the guns were used at sentry points at the Galle Fort. National Heritage Minister Jagath Balasuriya told The Sunday Leader that investigations into the incident will be launched. Galle Heritage Foundation chairman Parakrama Dahanayake said that the foundation was formed in 1994 but there were no reports of cannon guns being missing. However later on it was brought to the notice of the Foundation that 100 cannon guns were missing. He said that the guns may have been removed to be used as scrap metal.

Historic cannon find at former Army site
 

By Brendan McDaid
Thursday, 19 January 2012

Two huge cannon from a historic Donegal naval base have been found buried at a former Londonderry military barracks.

The cannon are believed to pre-date partition in Ireland and would have been used by the Army at Fort Dunree near Buncrana as a coastal defence.

One of the cannon weighs five tons while the second weighs a mammoth 19.6 tons.

They were uncovered during the excavation of the parade ground at the former Ebrington Barracks, which will open on St Valentine’s Day as Derry’s second major outdoor arena.

Both weapons dwarf the other famous historic cannon in the city which were used during the Siege of Derry and now sit on the city walls across the river.

The smaller one has been identified as an Army breach loading Mark 6, which had a firing range of 9km.

The large cannon is still being authenticated but is believed to be a breach loading Mark 7, which has a range of 14.5km.

Alan Armstrong, Ebrington development director with regeneration company Ilex, said the cannons could be displayed in the city’s Maritime Museum.

Describing how they came upon the cannon, Mr Armstrong said: “When we were clearing out Ebrington Square there was a serious bit of excavation required to make the walkway and we just discovered the first one.

“These cannon, when|they were made, went to the Royal Navy first and then later were passed on to coastal defense and then went to the Army.

“We think this might have come from Fort Dunree — there was a lot of defense around the Swilly up until partition.

“This smaller cannon was introduced in 1894 and decommissioned in 1922.

“We think it might have moved from Fort Dunree to Ebrington at around 1912.

Blackbeard’s cannon salvaged from sunken flagship off NC coast after nearly 300 years

Wednesday, October 26

Blackbeards 2000 pound cannon

BEAUFORT, N.C. — A 2,000-pound cannon pulled from the waters near Beaufort Wednesday will give archeologists and historians more ammunition for separating fact from legend surrounding the infamous pirate Blackbeard. The Queen Anne’s Revenge Project brought the massive gun ashore and displayed it to the public before taking to a laboratory at East Carolina University. Onlookers cheered as the 8-foot-long gun was raised above the water’s surface.

“The last people who saw this were pirates,” QAR project director Mark Wilde-Ramsing told more than 100 spectators who later gathered in front of Beaufort’s Maritime Museum for a closer look at the 18th century weapon. Dozens of local residents turned out, while some Blackbeard enthusiasts drove in from other parts of the state.

“We read about it last night, and I asked the kids: are we going to skip school tomorrow and go see this?” said Joy Herndon, who made the roughly 230-mile trek from Greensboro with her children, Lucy and Kevin. Separating the Blackbeard legend from historical facts is one of the goals of the QAR recovery effort, which has so far netted some 280,000 artifacts, said Joseph Schwarzer, director of the North Carolina Maritime Museum. “This is about as close to that particular point in American history, and to piracy, as anybody is ever going to get,” Schwarzer said.

The recovery effort involves collaboration between the state departments of Cultural Resources and Environmental and Natural Resources, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, East Carolina University and other agencies. The gun recovered Wednesday was the 13th cannon raised from the shipwreck. Other items have included medical supplies, dishes, gold dust, prisoner shackles, African jewelry and small weaponry. Schwarzer said researchers believe the ship was built as La Concorde, a French slave-trading vessel, but was commandeered by Blackbeard and his crew six months prior to its grounding near Beaufort Inlet. Historians theorize that the ship was intentionally scuttled by Blackbeard, who then took off in a smaller boat, because he could no longer afford the expense of four ships and a pirate following estimated at 400. Neal Stetson, 58, said he and his wife drove a half-hour from Newport to see the recovered cannon.

“After we moved here, I became fascinated with Blackbeard, particularly all the tales and legends that surround him,” said Stetson, who came to the area from Maryland six years ago. “It’s amazing and fortunate that they found the wreck.”  An exhibit of the items recovered from the ship opened at the Beaufort Maritime Museum in June and has already attracted more than 100,000 visitors, said N.C. Cultural Resources Secretary Linda Carlisle.  Only about half the shipwreck has been examined so far, but Carlisle said the state has a goal of finishing the recovery effort by 2013.

“We’re really concerned about the site itself,” she said. “We live through each hurricane season with trepidation.”  The project could move more swiftly if additional funding was available. Carlisle said it costs about $150,000 annually for the recovery and lab work, but state funding has not kept up with the need. Though some flakes of gold dust are the closest to pirate’s treasure yet discovered, the project and museum exhibit has netted the state a valuable influx of tourism dollars, as well as drawn international attention to the state, Carlisle added. The cannon will be preserved at the lab at ECU while the research staff studies both the weapon and the cement-like shell of sand, salt and barnacles covering it, a process that could easily take five years, said Sarah Watkins-Keeney, chief conservator for the QAR project.

Blackbeard was an Englishman whose real name may have been Edward Teach or Thatch. After capturing La Concorde in the Caribbean, Blackbeard and his men blockaded the port of Charleston for a time. He was sailing north from Charleston when his ship went aground in what was then known as Old Topsail Inlet, now Beaufort Inlet.  After being granted a pardon from North Carolina Gov. Charles Eden in June 1718, Blackbeard was killed five months later by members of the Royal Navy of Virginia at Ocracoke Inlet. 

The Canadian Press

Date: Thursday Sep. 8, 2011

Historic Cannon Found

This photo shot by Sgt. Ken Stiel and provided by the Detroit Police department shows a cannon believed to be more than 200 years old in the Detroit River.

Cannon lost in 1796 found in Detroit River
WINDSOR, Ont. — A historic cannon has been found at the bottom of the Detroit River on the Detroit side.

A Detroit police dive team and the U.S. Coast Guard are working to recover the cannon that was found during a training exercise in July.


It was one of five British guns that were on a ferry that capsized in the river in 1796.

Three of the cannons were found in the 1980s and a fourth recovered in 1994.

This one is about two meters long and is estimated to weigh 540 kilograms.

The cannon will be put in storage until money can be raised to restore it.

Up-date: Oct. 6, 2011

200-year-old cannon finally pulled out of Detroit River!

Salvaged Cannon

A cannon estimated to be more than 200 years old is the center of attention after being pulled out of the Detroit River. The Detroit Police Department's dive team and a towing company were successful Wednesday after poor weather and visibility thwarted a recovery attempt last month

Sea spills secrets of yesteryear

September 5 2011 at 04:45am

Cannon Recovered from the sea

MEMORY LANE: A 250-year-old cannon was found off the coast of Mossel Bay last month, reminding KZN locals of the vintage ammunition found on Durban beaches last year. From left: Louis van Rensburg, Kobus van Rensburg, and Roland Scholz, a coastal ranger.

THE discovery of a 250-year-old cannon on the Mossel Bay coast last month has rekindled memories of military artefacts and munitions washed up on Durban beaches last year.  The cannon, said to be a remnant of the French warship La Fortune, which sank in 1763, was found by Louis and Kobus van Rensburg, and Roland Scholz, a coastal ranger for the Fransmanhoek Conservancy in Mossel Bay.
Marcia Holm of Mossel Bay Tourism said a copper plaque commemorating the sinking had been made, with money donated by the French consulate in Cape Town.

In January last year, beachgoers in Durban were intrigued by war relics washed up. While walking along the beach, people found a collection of rusty ammunition, old cartridges, bullets, old cutlery and coins, and even a mortar bomb.

“The sea is revealing its secrets and it could be a great contribution to South African history,” said Ken Gillings, a historian at the SA Military History Society, at the time.

“Objects that are discovered should be evaluated by archaeologists and if they prove to be of historic value, they should be preserved.”

However, Gillings revealed this week that most of the items had been destroyed.

“It was all badly degraded and it would be impossible to say how much these things were worth. They had been in the sea for so long, and were eventually disposed of.”

According to Gillings, weapons were calibrated and test-fired off Durban beaches during the Anglo-Boer War. “This would explain some of the spent ammunition that was discovered,” he said. “A lot of the items also came from World War II.”

Some of the items posed safety risks, as some of them were potentially explosive. “It could be very unstable,” said Gillings at the time. “A projectile or cartridge should not be touched.” Gillings said it was difficult to say how volatile a shell would be after so many years.

Police spokesman Colonel Vincent Mdunge said all the items were tested and he confirmed they had been used in old wars. He said after the discovery of the first few items, police combed the area for more potentially dangerous items, and removed all shrapnel they came across. “Once everything had been found, we called off the search,” Mdunge said.

Cannon stolen more than 30 years ago just replaced!

Stolen Cannon Replaced

Published on Tuesday 9 August 2011

OWNERS of the Lowther Hotel, in Goole, have taken a shot at reviving a part of the town’s history by installing a replacement cannon to take the place of the original that was famously stolen more than 30 years ago. The original, which was used for a 21-gun salute to mark the official opening of the town’s docks in 1826, was placed on the portico of the then Banks Arms - later to become the Lowther Hotel. Having stood there for 143 years, the cannon was stolen on the night of July 16, 1969, to public outcry.  It was never found and when Julie and Howard Duckworth bought the hotel three years ago they pledged to replace it. 

So it was, 185 years later that the replacement cannon was unveiled recently, by Mayor of Goole, Coun Keith Moore, amid guests from the Yorkshire Waterways Museum, Goole Town Council, members of the Goole Civic Society and others.  “The cannon was a symbol of the start of Goole Town. The new one is a symbol of the town’s regeneration,” said Mr Duckworth, who recently spearheaded a campaign to gain city status for Goole - the outcome for which has not yet been announced.

“Let’s hope that the cannon being replaced will protect not only the Lowther Hotel for another 185 years but also protect Goole for even longer. Even the weather was the same in 1826 - it rained!”

Cannons boom at Bull Run in Civil War re-enactment

Bull Run Cannons

GAINESVILLE, Va. Sunday, July 24, 2011 — Cannon fire and troop movement began under a hazy sky Sunday morning, as thousands of Civil War re-enactors fought the Battle of Bull Run amid heat and a crowd similar to those that came out to watch the original battle.

The event marked the final day of Manassas’ 150th anniversary celebration of the first land battle between Union and Confederate soldiers, a fight that set off four years of bloodshed that historian continue to analyze and remember.

“Between 1861 and 1863, we in Prince William County were on the front lines of the American Civil War, right here,” said David Born, the announcer for Sunday’s re-enactment and coordinator of Prince William’s historic preservation division.

The Confederate victory at Bull Run - also known as the Battle of First Manassas as the South named its battles after nearby jurisdictions while the North used nearby bodies of water - meant fighting would continue because Union soldiers were prevented from storming Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, which would have put an end to the revolt.

Hundreds of spectators Sunday in raised bleachers and along the perimeter of the combat area cheered as cannons thundered, horses galloped and soldiers dressed in mismatched uniforms stood shoulder to shoulder, firing their rifles into the oncoming enemy.

“This fight is like a barroom brawl,” Mr. Born said. He said the skirmishes weren’t “crisp” because the men had not grown accustomed to fighting and that the temperature for the original battle was about 100 degrees, “which is not hard for us to imagine.”

The four-day anniversary coincided with a heat-and-humidity wave that blanketed the region and forced the cancellation of some programs and events.

As he waited for his sergeant to announce a post-battle lunch, Michigan resident Troy Bongard said jokingly that his favorite weather to fight in is 105-degree heat, especially when he layers on his wool uniform.

The second of three generations of re-enactors, Mr. Bongard said the sense of family is one reason he took up Civil War re-enactments, along with the fact that “we’re all kind of history buffs. It’s also like the big-boy game of cowboys and Indians.”

Sunday’s battle was the first national battle for Mr. Bongard’s 13-year-old son, Lucas, who had the important job of acting as color bearer for the Union soldiers in Battery D, 1st Michigan Light Artillery.

The re-enactors understood who would win the day, but according to Jason Leggett, a 17-year re-enactor veteran, that doesn’t always mean soldiers fight according to plan.

“It doesn’t look right if no one falls down,” the Lisbon, Ohio, resident said of the faux casualties. Some re-enactors can get carried away trying to stay in the battle, so the ones who do end up taking a fall “are a lot of times the same people,” he said.

Sunday’s battle included many casualties - the Civil War Trust puts the real total at 4,700 - including the collapse of dozens of charging Confederate soldiers as they attempted to push back the Union troops.

18TH CENTURY TURKISH CANNON RETURNS HOME TO GREENWICH
By 24 Hour Museum Staff 24/10/2007



The cannon was first installed at Greenwich in 1807. © Greenwich Foundation

A 5.2 tonne Turkish cannon has been unveiled at the Old Royal Naval College, returning to Greenwich 200 years after it was first installed.

The cannon was originally captured by Admiral Sir John Duckworth from the island of Kinaliada in the Sea of Marmara near Istanbul in 1807.

It was then taken to London and presented to the Royal Naval Asylum, later the Greenwich Hospital School, in the same year, but when the school moved to Suffolk in 1933 the bronze cannon went with it.

Duncan Wilson (l) and Vice Admiral Peter Dunt (r) unveiling the cannon. © Greenwich Foundation

Its return to Greenwich and inauguration on October 20 2007 marked the beginning of the redevelopment of the current visitor centre at the Old Royal Naval College. The new interpretation and education centre, Discover Greenwich, will open in autumn 2009.

The barrel of the cannon was cast in 1790-91 in the reign of the Ottoman Sultan Selim III, while its cast-iron display carriage was made later by the Royal Carriage Department of the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich.

Its decorative plaques mark British naval victories including the Battle of the Nile and Trafalgar. It is thought that it was first presented to the Royal Naval Asylum to commemorate the battles that had created the need for such a school for children whose fathers had fallen in battle for the Royal Navy.

Bronze cannon unveiled

(10/21/2007)
A 5.2-tonne Turkish bronze cannon was unveiled at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, 200 years after it was first installed. The cannon was originally presented to the Royal Naval Asylum to mark its formal inauguration on Trafalgar Day, 21 October 1807.

Swivel Cannons


Historic Cannons to Be Fixed?

4/10/2006

Restoration work on the main quad's two historic war cannons is in its infancy stage and major work is scheduled to begin later this spring, according to Director of Facilities Sally Katz.

"Our hope is that they will be back before the fall, but like everything else that schedule may slide if more pressing work arises," said Katz. "We want to get them repaired and back out on the campus, but we have to fit the work into the schedule of other projects."

As of now, Katz stated the cannons are being stored in the Buildings and Grounds holding area and "are behind a fence and bounded by barriers and palettes."

Upon further investigation by Tripod reporters, however, it was discovered that the cannons are lying outside in the Facilities lot surrounded by dumpsters and tires. There was no fence or barrier surrounding the cannons to prevent anyone from vandalizing them.

The cannons, which were used during the Civil War aboard the U.S.S. Hartford, were removed from their spot along the Lower Long Walk overlooking the athletic fields last spring because the wooden bases that held them in place were beginning to disintegrate. When the Navy League of the United States borrowed the cannons in 1994 for display during commissioning ceremonies for the second U.S.S. Hartford, they replaced the bases with new ones whose design was drawn from original plans in the Smithsonian Institution. "Unfortunately, the wood used was not properly cured and the [bases] proceeded to deteriorate more rapidly than their predecessors," explained College Archivist Peter Knapp '65. "Since each cannon weighs about 9,000 pounds, it was prudent to remove them from public display for reasons of safety." The bases need to be completely rebuilt from scratch.

Michael Roraback of Buildings and Grounds, who oversees the skilled trades team, is heading the restoration project and has ordered several different wood types that will be able to withstand exposure to New England's harsh elements. Roraback will be able to rebuild the bases because he has been able to get blueprints detailing the original bases. Katz noted that the skilled trades team is very busy right now preparing for graduation ceremonies and Reunion Weekend. Once Reunion Weekend (June 8-11) is over, Roraback and his team hope to be able to spend a lot of time reconstructing the bases for the cannons.

In regards to funding, Katz does not have final pricing on the project yet. However, President Jimmy Jones said, "On the money front, the cost to refurbish them and to remount them is quite modest and was included in the Buildings and Grounds budget for 2005 (this fiscal year ends on June 30, 2006)."

Where the cannons came from and how they ended up at Trinity is an interesting story, one which Knapp wrote about in the September 1995 issue of the Trinity Reporter. In the article, Knapp recounts the role of the U.S.S. Hartford in the Civil War. Commanded by Admiral David Farragut, the Hartford, along with other Union naval forces, captured New Orleans in April of 1862. Later, Farragut focused on capturing Mobile, Ala., an important industrial center, during the Battle of Mobile Bay. Knapp writes, "On August 5, 1864 occurred the battle with which Farragut and the Hartford became synonymous for their heroic achievements and which gave rise to Farragut's immortal utterance, 'Damn the torpedoes [i.e., mines], full speed ahead!'"

After the war, the Hartford served overseas before having its armament removed in 1894. The ship was decommissioned in 1926, and declared a relic in 1945 before being sunk in 1956.

The City of Hartford received four of the Hartford's cannons in 1898 and they were originally situated at each corner of the State Capital grounds. In 1949, Keith Funston, Trinity's president, learned that two of the cannons were in the city's storage yard and asked whether they could be loaned to Trinity as a memorial for students who fought in the Civil War. Of the 105 Trinity men in the war, 81 fought for the Union and 24 for the Confederacy, and 16 died. In 1950, the cannons were brought to the campus.

In the Reporter, Knapp describes the cannons as "a symbol of supreme heroism and selflessness."

Students that the Tripod spoke with seem to miss the cannons and hope they come back soon. "They made me feel really safe when I was walking on the lower Long Walk. If I saw a menacing figure approaching me at night, I would think 'No problem! If he tries anything, I've got these big cannons. Nothing can touch me!'" said Claire Haley '08. Summer Cannon '08 hopes the cannons are returned soon "because they are part of the history of the school. I'm sure the tour guides miss them."

Some students wonder how safe Trinity is from rival schools now that the cannons are gone. "We're far less safe from a sneak attack from guerrilla fighters from Wesleyan," noted Haley. Similarly, Isaac Oransky '08 asked, "How will we defend ourselves from Yale if not for the cannons?"

Ultimately, members of the Trinity community are confident that the cannons will be appropriately restored and do not mind any extra time that it has taken to fix them. "Considering that care must be taken to do the job right this time, a few additional months or so is not of major consequence," commented Knapp. "Situated once again on the quad looking out over the playing fields, the cannons will remain a fitting memorial to the Trinity men who served in the Civil War."

 

Experts puzzle over cannon mystery!

Friday, 10 March 2006

    

The cannon is more likely to be used now as an ashtray.  It has been part of the furniture in the heart of Londonderry for centuries, even being mistaken for a fancy ashtray, but it is actually part of a cannon.

The very old artifact sitting in the city's Shipquay Street may even have been used during the Siege of Derry, but its history still remains a mystery.

This weekend, a specialist team will remove it from the ground. Attempts will then be made to trace its origin. In all, 34 cannons from the city walls are being restored in a multi-million pound two-year project.

It will be taken away for analysis as part of an ongoing project.  Some date back to 1590 and were used during the Siege of Derry.

They have been transported to Dunmurry and stripped down before being given a fresh lick of paint.
The project also involves an expert dating the cannon and establishing which foundry they were made in, as well as cataloguing anything found inside, even if it's just cigarette butts.

Tony Monaghan of Derry City Council admitted they did not know much about the Shipquay Street cannon. "That's why we are taking it away to have it stripped down and checked out," he said.


The historic cannon are being restored "What we do know from our historians is that the cannon gun was used as a bollard in the street and in earlier centuries as a halting point where people would have tied up their horses.

Of course, the gun may well turn out to have no real historical significance, in which case it could be returned to its prominent position in the city for all to see.

Perhaps then, people in the city will take more notice of it.

Summit Hill celebrates return of pieces of history
Two cannons that had been sold are rededicated at park.

By John J. Moser
Of The Morning Call

9/25/05

Like a Union soldier returned home from battle triumphant, two Civil War cannons unwittingly sold to a private collector in 2000 were proudly put back on display at a Summit Hill memorial Saturday.  The guns, their polished bronze shining in the sun at Ludlow Park, were rededicated in a ceremony filled with reverence for the soldiers' sacrifices they represent and anger at forces that speakers say threaten their memories.

Quoting from the memorial's original 1914 dedication, attorney Carole Wildoner-Walbert said the cannons are ''a symbol of conquest — not of war, but of right over wrong. Right will always prevail over wrong.''  Wildoner-Walbert, a history aficionado who sued Pittsburgh-area collector Kenneth Watterson to get the cannons back, said right triumphed when they were returned.

The federal government granted the cannons to the borough to honor Civil War veterans and they were displayed for about 85 years. But in 2000, the borough's American Legion, wrongly believing it owned the guns, sold them to Watterson, who replaced them with replicas.  It was two years before a Panther Valley School District history teacher and his students, trying to do rubbings of serial numbers and other identifying marks, discovered the original cannons were gone.

The borough reached an agreement to refund Watterson the $70,000 he paid, plus interest, and went to Venetia, Washington County, to retrieve them in February 2004.  Since then, they have been undergoing restoration to their original luster.

Saturday's keynote speaker, Charles E. Kuhn Jr., national junior vice commander in chief of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, said Summit Hill's victory was ''just one battle in a greater war ... the fight to preserve and protect our history.''  ''Devious and deceitful brokers who take advantage of the unknowing'' have removed cannons from memorials nationwide, depriving the public of important reminders, said Kuhn, who spoke wearing a Union soldier cap.

For years after the Civil War, more than 11,000 obsolete cannons were donated to towns and veterans groups. Many were donated to scrap-metal drives during the world wars, and only 5,636 remain.  At least 560 of them, Union and Confederate collectibles valued at $10,000 to $200,000, are in private hands, officials say. Watterson has 26 in what he says is the nation's second-biggest private collection.

But since Summit Hill's success in getting back its cannons, Kuhn said, ''a number of other cannon tubes have been returned,'' and federal authorities are becoming aware of the problem.  ''The tide of that war is beginning to turn,'' Kuhn said.

He called for legislation to protect all veterans monuments from not only private collectors, but ''attacks from developers and bulldozers.''  Summit Hill Councilman David Wargo, who helped lead the fight to get the cannons back and was Saturday's master of ceremonies, said it was his way of thanking a great-great grandfather who fought in the Civil War and other relatives who were veterans.

Town officials who sold Civil War cannon get shelled at the ballot box!

By BEN DOBBIN
Associated Press Writer

September 14, 2005, 4:58 PM EDT



KENDALL, N.Y. -- The town board's hush-hush sale of a Civil War cannon to a private collector in Pennsylvania has backfired at the polls.

Longtime town Supervisor John Becker was routed in Tuesday's primary by William Vick, a retired engineer who joined in a successful effort this spring to retrieve the 816-pound muzzleloader. Two other seasoned councilmen on the five-member town board also went down in flames.

"I don't think you can deal with the memory of the generations of people who have fought to defend this country in that way _ and get away with it," Vick said Wednesday. "That (cannon) represented the Second World war, the Vietnam War, the war in Iraq, you name it, and the people weren't going to stand for that."

Dozens of Civil War cannons that have adorned cemeteries and parks around the country for a century or more have ended up in private hands over the last 20 years. But few of the sales created the kind of outcry that reared up six months ago in this town of 2,800 people in farm country near Lake Ontario.

The upshot? A dramatic turnaround at the ballot box.

Becker, who was elected in 1991 to the first of seven terms as supervisor, garnered just 142 votes, or 28 percent, to Vick's 363, or 72 percent, in the Republican primary. Calls to his office and his home were not returned Wednesday.

Vick's running mates, Charles "Skip" Scroger and David Schuth, also easily defeated town board incumbents Michael Weisenburg and Gary Kludt.

"People are looking for completely open government," said Vick, 66, who served on the town board back in the 1970s. "They want the trust, they want the confidence of these people. And the way you show that is by being totally open with the people."

The cast-iron cannon, installed in tiny Greenwood Cemetery in 1909, was sold to the Civil War Artillery Museum near Pittsburgh and whisked away in March. The board, which accepted $15,000 plus a replica cannon valued at $5,000, said it kept the deal largely under wraps out of fear of attracting thieves.

At a town board meeting in April, Scroger, a retired state trooper, presented a petition with 521 signatures urging the board to get the cannon back. Members of veterans' groups loudly complained that the town had been duped into selling off a vital piece of its heritage.

The buyer, Kenneth Watterson, agreed to sell back the cannon. But he refused to take back the replica and charged an additional $7,000 in expenses. The extra costs were covered by a $15,000 New York state grant.

Watterson's 5-year-old museum in Venetia, Pa., which housed 26 cannons, howitzers and mortars, opened by appointment only, drawing a few hundred visitors a year, but appears to have been closed for months. Watterson has said he's thinking of loaning his estimated $1 million-plus collection to a museum in Virginia.

He also has agreed to return a 1,700-pound cannon he bought for $15,000 last year from Groton, a village near Ithaca in central New York.

The Macomb County Historic Commission plans to start out with a big bang this summer.  Plans are in the works to dedicate two new cannons during Bath City Week on August 27th in Mount Clemens at 10:30 a.m.

     The two original cannons once stood on the grounds of the courthouse square, one on the southwest corner, the other facing northwest.  The Alexander Macomb Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution dedicated the cannons on Memorial Day in 1901  in honor of Major General Alexander Macomb, and to Macomb County’s  Soldiers and Sailors of the Civil War.

     The southwest cannon was re-dedicated in September of 1914 by H.D. Terry Post # 216 (Mt. Clemens) G.A.R. in honor of Colonel John Stockton. The addition of a bronze plaque mounted on the side of the cannon’s stand acknowledged Stockton’s leadership and training of the men of the Eighth Cavalry in Mt. Clemens during the Civil War.

     The government donated the original cannons to the Common Council of Mount Clemens through the Condemned Cannon Distribution Act of 22 May 1896.  The city received two 42-pounder guns weighing 8,450 lbs. each from Fort Mefflin, Pa. where they were used to defend the city from Lee’s army in 1863.

     Members of the Macomb County Historic Commission, formed by the Chair of the Macomb County Board of Commissioners, Nancy White, have been intent on the replacement of the two cannons, and Vice Chairman Donald Green brought this vision to reality.  The Mount Clemens Rotary is generously donating the cost of the replacement cannons in honor of the Rotary’s 100th birthday.

      The Alexander Macomb base will hold a Six-pound cannon; aptly named for the balls of lead or iron fired that weighed six pounds each. Both the British and the Americans used these cannons during the war of 1812.  It was in this war that Brigadier General Alexander Macomb distinguished himself during the battle of Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain in 1814.  Macomb served as Commanding General of the U.S. Army from 1828 until his death in 1841.

   The southwest corner of the County building will accommodate a 10 Lb. Parrot Rifle cannon similar to those utilized by the 8th Michigan Cavalry Regiment during the Civil War.  Colonel John Stockton was authorized by the government to raise an independent regiment in 1862, and set up its training camp on South Gratiot in Mount Clemens.  The bronze dedication plaque to Colonel Stockton appropriately commemorates the Eighth and all that served from Macomb County.

 

 

May 5, 5:04 PM EDT 

   Another village is angered over the sale of its Civil War cannon!

   By BEN DOBBIN

  Associated Press Writer 

   ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) -- One New York village got its Civil War cannon back - but at such an inflated price that state taxpayers are footing the bill.    Now another village is awakening to a rising commotion over the sale of its rare Navy cannon to the same private museum in Pennsylvania.

   "It is important these artifacts do stay in New York because it was mainly veterans of these conflicts who brought them  here to commemorate their sacrifices," Michael Aikey,  director of the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga  Springs, said Thursday.

    In the half-century after the war, thousands of obsolete cannons were given to veterans' groups and municipalities across the nation, chiefly in the Northeast. About 7,000 were melted down in scrap metal drives during the world wars and fewer than 5,700 are known to have survived. 

   Since the mid-1980s, Civil War buff Ken Watterson has  rounded up 26 cannons, howitzers and mortars for limited display at his Civil War Artillery Museum near Pittsburgh.  At least four of the cast-iron barrels came from cemeteries  in upstate New York.  

  Residents of Kendall, a town of 2,800 in farm country near Lake Ontario, created such a ruckus when they discovered  their town board had quietly accepted $15,000 for their Union muzzleloader that Watterson agreed to send it back in April. 

   The retrieval price: $27,000. Watterson not only tacked on $7,000 for broker fees, transportation and other out-of-pocket expenses but charged $5,000 for a replica cannon made in Georgia.  

  The extra costs will be covered by a $15,000 state grant obtained by Charles Nesbitt, the minority Republican leader in the state Assembly and a decorated helicopter pilot in Vietnam who has represented Kendall and surrounding communities in western New York since 1992.  

  The all-Republican town board in Kendall "made an error in  judgment and they have now reversed that," Nesbitt said.  "These sort of things are sad that we have to go through, but this one has a good outcome."  

  Only about $3,000 will be left over to spruce up tiny Greenwood Cemetery where the 816-pound cannon had sat

undisturbed since 1909. The 5-foot-long barrel will be clamped in place to thwart thieves and it will be rededicated at a ceremony in late May or June.  

  The brouhaha over Kendall's Army cannon has ignited a controversy about another little-known sale of an 1861 naval cannon donated in 1901 to a veterans' group in Groton, a village of 2,500 northeast of Ithaca.  

  The 1,700-pound Parrott rifle, which could fire 20-pound  shells, is one of only 78 known survivors from the Civil

War. It was sold to Watterson for $15,000 last year by the private operators of Groton Rural Cemetery and whisked away.  

  Tompkins County's district attorney, George Dentes, is looking into whether the cannon remains federal property and can be retrieved.  "We do not as a policy make any comments on ongoing investigations," Dentes said in a statement.  

  Calls to Watterson and his agent, Bruce Stiles, were not  returned Thursday.  

  While Army cannons from the 1861-65 war are much more numerous and valued anywhere from $20,000 to $200,000,  Groton's naval gun is only worth $15,000 to $20,000, said artillery expert Wayne Stark, who maintains a "National Registry of Surviving Civil War Artillery."  

  "There's not a demand for them," Stark said. "Civil War re-enactors want the Army field pieces, ones drawn by  horses."  

  The cannon was listed as serving aboard the USS James S. Chambers, a schooner bought by the Navy in 1861 that later  ran a gantlet of Confederate ships off Mississippi.  

  Whatever its monetary value, it is a vital piece of New York's heritage, Aikey said.   "It's unfortunate that a number of communities just are really not aware of the importance of these pieces," he said. "I think they're being taken advantage of."

Civil War cannon returns to GAR Park

Saturday, February 12, 2005


By Laura Cook - Turlock Journal
By Laura Cook

    A confederate soldier is responsible for returning a Union cannon to Turlock’s Grand Army Republic Park.
    Wayne Rickey, a Confederate Army reenacter, restored Turlock’s Civil War cannon and watched proudly Friday morning as it was re-installed at the downtown park.
He volunteered more than 1,500 hours of labor to restore the cannon at P & T Machines on S. Broadway.
    He did not charge for his service, worth about $18,000, because he wants people to appreciate the Civil War history.
The Turlock Historical Society raised money for the project, most of which was spent on putting new concrete and plaques in the park, Rickey said.  “When I saw that they needed help, I just volunteered,” he said. “I appreciate the opportunity to restore a historic monument for Turlock. I’ll remember it for the rest of my life.”  The cannon had not been restored since 1981 and weather and vandalism made it necessary.
T    he deteriorating wooden wheels were replaced with look-alike steel wheels. Several parts were rebuilt.  “We discovered it was bronze underneath and we didn’t want to take away its original color,” Ricky said.  The cannon has been in Turlock since 1914. The Women’s Relief Corps worked with a state senator to purchase the cannon and bring it to the G.A.R. Park, which was dedicated to Civil War veterans in 1916.
    The canon now represents pride and honor for all citizens.
    “We don’t tend to take sides anymore,” said Rickey, who has an undying interest in the era and reenacts war scenes as a Confederate soldier.  City officials are happy to see that community efforts have kept the seventeenth century relic in tact.“This is a great example of what people in the community can do together,” City Manager Steve Kyte said. The public can see the canon on the corner of Marshall Street and Minaret Avenue.

DeBraak cannons back in Delaware.

By Kate House-Layton, Delaware State News 11/23/04

Chuck Fithian, archaeologist for Delaware State Museums, left, and Brent Rudmann, supervisor of the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes, right, examine a restored 18th century cannon from the HMS DeBraak, a British war ship that sank in 1787 off Cape Henlopen.Delaware State News/Kate House-Layton

DOVER - Some real big shots came to Delaware on Tuesday.

Arriving two hours late from New Jersey, they were greeted with relief and enthusiasm.

And because they are more than 200 years old, they were carefully carried to their new home in Dover.  The last time they were in Delaware, they were hoisted from the sea, where they had been since May 25, 1798.  Delaware State Museums welcomed back four of 16 restored cannons from the HMS DeBraak, a British Royal Navy war ship that sank off Cape Henlopen in the 18th century.

The cannons were returned to the state after undergoing two years' worth of restoration in New Jersey and will be kept in storage until a display site is determined.

The DeBraak, which was found in 1984, went down in a 1798 squall after it was separated from a convoy of British and American merchant ships it was escorting to various points along the East Coast, said Chuck Fithian, an archaeologist for Delaware State Museums.

The state has more than 20,000 artifacts, including coins and personal items, from the DeBraak. Some are on display at the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes and in Legislative Hall in Dover.

Dan Griffith, director of the state Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, said Delaware State Museums is evaluating how much space would be needed to display the cannons and the DeBraak's hull.  "We're trying to get our heads around 'how big is that,' and what would a facility like that look like," Mr. Griffith said. "That's a few years away."

He said the DeBraak collection attracts worldwide interest.  "We've had calls from Australia, England, all over the place, to examine things from the DeBraak collection," he said.

Restoring the cannons, two anchors and an architectural reinforcement cost the state $500,000.  The state ended up with most of the artifacts because the ship was in state waters and because the state museums monitored the recovery.

The salvagers were able to keep some of the artifacts and sold the rest to the state for $300,000, Mr. Griffith said.  A team from the Cultural Preservation and Restoration Co. from Newton, N.J., restored the cannons, which were pulled from the ocean coated in rust and mineral deposits.

Mr. Fithian said a 200-year seawater marinade actually converted the iron cannons and their ammunition into graphite.  Part of the restoration process involved chemical cleaning to remove the saltwater and mineral deposits and coating them with more solutions to keep them from further oxidation.  Lots, and lots and lots of time with lots of hands," said conservator and restoration team leader Gary McGowen of Cultural Preservation and Restoration.

He said the cannons, each weighing about a ton, were slowly dried and then placed under infrared lamps to preserve the metal. The corrosion was removed by hand.  "It's almost like archeological excavation, just on an object, where you're removing the material slowly," he said.

The team created its own tools to clean the cannons' interior and the surfaces. After the corrosion was removed, they were coated with an acid for a protective barrier, as well as acrylic and wax.

"These will never be exhibited outside," Mr. McGowen said.  Instead, they will have to be displayed in special climate-controlled conditions.  Four more cannons will undergo similar conservation treatment.

11.12.04
Cannons return home
 

    On Veterans Day, two of the oldest veterans in the area are back where they belong. Three cannons gone since 1865 are finally back home at Fort Fisher.
    The most prized of the trio is the 150 pound Armstrong. The cannon weighs in at two tons. The Union Army seized it from Confederate troops after the fall of Fort Fisher, and took it home as a trophy of war. It's been held up North ever since.
    Getting it back to Fort Fisher was no easy feat. It has taken four years of negotiations to get them here.
    Its been nearly 140 years since the Armstrong last fired on the North Carolina coast. The gun is extremely rare, and is the only seacoast piece left from Fort Fisher.
    "It's a wonderful asset to the site," says Museum director Barbara Hoppe. "It's part of North Carolina's history and we're so excited to have it return."
    The Army is leasing the cannon to Fort Fisher for the next year. It is accompanied by two of the Navy's cannons.
    "It's so wonderful forming this alliance between the Army and the Navy, especially since this was the most ambitious amphibious Army/Navy combined operation in the Civil War," says Ray Flowers, who works at the museum.
    The cannons are covered for now, and will remain so until the exhibit opens November 19th. They won't be fired, though. This blast from the past is forever silent.

Reported by Ashley Hayes

A new home for an old cannon

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

By Serena Essapour - Turlock Journal

The Civil War cannon formerly kept at G.A.R. Park has been restored. The Turlock Historical Society unveiled the restored relic Tuesday evening. Charter members of the 10-year-old organization were also honored on Tuesday.

The cannon had been displayed in G.A.R. Park for many years and was then put into storage. After receiving complaints from Turlock residents several months ago, the City Council asked the Turlock Historical Society to oversee the restoration of the cannon.

The restoration cost the Historical Society approximately $2,000, according to society board member Bob Endsley.

City officials, members of the American Legion and the chief restoration expert on this outstanding project, Wayne Rickey had been asked to join in the unveiling.

The restored cannon has been displayed as an exhibit at the Museum on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Saturdays from 1 to 4 p.m., until Dec. 14.

A meeting will be hosted by the Turlock Historical Society at Berg Hall that evening. Covenant Village veterans of war will be speaking about the cannon’s history and significance.

The cannon will eventually be placed back at G.A.R. Park.

“People will hopefully see the significance of this historical cannon being placed right in the heart of Turlock,” said museum coordinator Thea Harris. “People definitely drive by the park and will see it once again in tip-top shape.”

Army says Franklin can keep cannons

Now that the lost cannons have been found, the city can just keep them.

That's the word from the U.S. Army, which sent a letter to Franklin Mayor Tom Miller last month, issuing ''conditional deeds of gift for the four guns, 6 lb Field M1841's on display around the Confederate Monument in your town square.''  The Army went looking for the artillery this summer as part of its Donations Program Group. The group did an inventory nationwide as part of its record-keeping program that tries to keep up with the equipment lent to museums and community groups.

Franklin is one of many communities around the nation that received the letters looking for the cannons.  The city didn't have to look far to find its equipment, which was lent to Franklin in 1908. Those cannons, of course, are sitting right smack in front of every city resident's nose on the town square.

In its letter sending the city conditional deeds on the cannons, the Army also enclosed an annual certification of status for each gun that must be filled out every year no later than Jan. 15. ''Completion and return of this form certifies that you have the equipment, you still wish to keep it and you are properly caring for it,'' the letter says. ''As indicated on the certificate, you must also submit a current 35 mm color print of the equipment each year.''

In other words, keep the cannons. Just take good care of them. — Nellann Mettee

UPDATE 12/23/04

Thanks for posting the article on the Summit Hill cannons.  I am happy to report that the legal fight is over, and the cannons are home to stay.  I developed a lot of expertise on the subject in the course of the court fight, and will happily share it with anyone that needs information:  Carole Walbert, Esquire, P.O. Box 4087, Jim Thorpe, PA  18229

From The Morning Call -- October 14, 2004
Deal to return cannons nearly done
Summit Hill Legion sending $70,000 back.


By Sarah Fulton
Special to The Morning Call

A pair of Civil War cannons that Summit Hill's American Legion post sold to a Pittsburgh area collector in 2000 may soon officially be declared borough property. Legion officials signed an agreement to return the $70,000, plus interest, that collector Kenneth Watterson of Venetia, Washington County, paid the post for the cannons.

The agreement, which Borough Council and Legion officials signed at Tuesday's council meeting, also grants the borough up to $5,000 for any costs incurred in the battle to return the cannons.  Councilman David Wargo said the paperwork will be sent to Watterson for his signature. Only then is the agreement final and will the cannons be declared property of the borough, Wargo said.

''We're very hopeful that this will satisfactorily resolve the matter so we can move forward,'' he said.  In 2000, the Legion was approached by broker Bruce Stiles to sell the cannons, which sat in Ludlow Park for decades.

The Legion believed it owned the cannons, and sold them. Unnoticed, the guns were removed and replicas were put in place at Ludlow Park.

Then in 2002, Panther Valley School District history teacher Robert Henninger, who had his students do rubbings of serial numbers and other identifying marks on the cannons, noticed the guns in the park were fake and alerted the Summit Hill Historical Society.

Wargo said federal statutes showed the cannons did not belong to the Legion but were granted to the borough by the federal government in 1915.  Residents persuaded the state attorney general's office to investigate and the office found the sale was a mistake and not an illegal act.

That put the issue before council, which was unwilling to pay for a legal fight. Attorney Carole Walbert offered to work free and filed a civil action to reclaim the cannons.  After a January hearing at which Walbert used old newspaper stories and congressional records to show the cannons belonged to the borough, Carbon County Judge Roger Nanovic ruled the community could post a bond and seek their return.

Council posted a $140,000 bond. Watterson did not post a counter-bond that would have let him keep the cannons until the case was resolved.  Council then collected donations and set off across the state to haul the artillery back to the borough, where the cannons have remained in an undisclosed location while the legal fight continued.

Wargo said he hopes the cannons will be fully restored in coming months so they can again grace Ludlow Park.  ''The council's just happy to conclude this matter,'' Wargo said. ''Once he signs the paperwork, it's concluded. We're done.''

Sarah Fulton is a freelance writer.

UPDATE

Stolen Civil War Cannon Found

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

A civil war artifact that disappeared from a Luzerne County cemetery last week has been found.  An anonymous caller told police it was dumped in state game lands in Shickshinny. Officer Fred Nichols decided to check it out.
"I was walking through the woods and i tripped over it.. that's the only way i found it," said Nichols.  Police will dust the cannon for fingerprints before returning it to the Shawnee Cemetery in Plymouth.

Thursday, October 7, 5:55 p.m.

By Jon Meyer

Civil War Cannon Stolen  

A Civil War cannon that stood guard at a cemetery in Luzerne County for decades is missing. No one was guarding it against thieves.  

Stealing it couldn't have been easy. The antique weapon weighed more than 1,000 pounds. The Shawnee Cemetery in Plymouth first opened in 1870. Those who care for it said there have been small thefts there and some vandalism in the past but nothing like the theft of the cannon.  

George Ravert said four sawed off iron posts are all that's left of the Civil War era cannon. Ravert was mowing the lawn Wednesday when, "I looked over, sat on the stone and thought something's wrong here. I looked over and, the cannon's gone!" Ravert recalled. "They have to be sick, sick or nuts. It's a shame." 

George's uncle, Harry Ravert cares for the cemetery too. He has helped there for 50 years and explained the other three cannons remain, all solid cast iron. "I couldn't believe it. I was shocked. I said, 'what? how did they get it out?' It seems impossible," George Ravert said. 

The Ravert estimate the cannon weighed a half ton, at least. "That looks like a professional job," said Harry Ravert. "They must have had a truck or something. They couldn't pick that up by themselves," George added. 

That part of the cemetery is the final resting place of men who fought in the Civil War and the Spanish-American War. The folks who care for the cemetery said the theft is a disrespect to the men even though they fought so long ago.  

"They should respect them more. They have to live with their conscience," said Harry Ravert.  The group that cares for the cemetery is offering a reward. Plymouth Borough Police would like to hear from anyone with information on where the cannon can be found.

Army engineers find cannon from Lynnhaven shipwreck!

 

By JASON SKOG, The Virginian-Pilot

© September 25, 2004 | Last updated 9:54 PM Sep. 24

 VIRGINIA BEACH — After three days of digging, workers trying to solve the mystery of a sunken shipwreck at Lynnhaven Inlet on Friday finally found what they wanted most: the cannon.  “We got it!” said Keith B. Lockwood, an environmental scientist with the Army Corps of Engineers.  The corps is leading an effort to recover and identify pieces of the wreck, which is perhaps 300 years old, and clear the channel for boaters.  

Lockwood said a salvage crane was bringing up less and less debris when it hit something big and heavy. When the load was dumped onto the barge, “there was this loud boom.” “We think it’s the one they had documented in 1994 and wasn’t relocated in 2003,” Lockwood said, “so it was pretty cool we were able to get it.”     The cannon measures 5-feet-1-inch long, has a muzzle that’s 10¼ inches across and a bore that’s 3¼ inches in diameter. Lockwood said it’s heavily encrusted after spending at least 200 years beneath the sea, but otherwise it’s in good shape.

To prevent damage from the air and sun, the cannon was immediately set in plastic sheets and filled with sea water and the same muck from which it came. Later, it will be moved to the corps’ Craney Island facility in Portsmouth, where it will be cleaned and inspected. David Whall, a marine archaeologist helping the investigation, hopes to find some markings. “It may have a date or manufacturer or a country of origin stamped into it,” he said.  Any information could help determine the identity of a ship that has yielded few clues since the corps first surveyed it in 1994, after finding it during channel dredging. Since then, the wreck was largely left alone until last year’s Hurricane Isabel uncovered it, creating a hazard for passing boats. When all the wreckage is removed, the channel will be straightened.

Saturday, August 28, 2004 — Time: 5:07:59 PM EST

            U.S. Army claims cannon!

 By MIKE MANSTON Staff Writer manston@ndweb.com  

The federal government has laid claim to one of Minot's oldest landmarks a historic cannon that's been on display for generations in Minot's Roosevelt Park.

The Minot Park District received a letter from the U.S. Department of the Army about a year ago saying the cannon belongs to it. The cannon was recently a topic of discussion by park board members for another reason, public safety, which resulted in the Army's claim being made known to The Minot Daily News. 

"They sent us a letter saying that it belonged to them and I guess if they ever really needed it, they would probably come and get it," said Leo Brunner, director of the Minot Park District. 

The cannon, which was manufactured in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1862 (according to a stamped date on the cannon) is speculated to have been involved in the Battle of Gettysburg. But that has never been proven, a fact that adds to the cannon's mystique.  

More sketchy is how the cannon arrived in Minot. According to a 1983 story in The Minot Daily News, people interested in the history of the cannon believe it was shipped to a frontier fort in North Dakota and when those forts were closed, the piece somehow found its way to Minot sometime prior to 1923. 

Dr. V. A. Corbett, a Minot dentist and one of the founders of the Minot parks system, said in the 1983 article that he was unable to track how the cannon got to Minot. Corbett noted that some people at that time theorized it may have arrived in Minot when the veterans of the 1916 Mexican border war came back to the city, but that has never been authenticated.  

It is believed that the cannon was also on display in a park on North Hill at a location referred to by locals as "lovers' lane" prior to taking up its current residence in Roosevelt Park.  

"The details of how it got here are still a little foggy," Brunner said. "We've gone through papers and tried to find out more about it, but we haven't been able to come up with anything definite."

Brunner said the Minot Park District has not done much in terms of upsetting the natural aesthetics of the cannon other than building a support base and transferring it to wheels. 

"About the only thing we've done with it over the years is shore up the base a couple of times," Brunner said. "We'll probably have to do something like that again, but we want to try and keep it as authentic as we can."

A number of years ago, a military installation from Williston expressed an interest in possibly shooting the cannon, but after the barrel was X-rayed and determined that it was not suitable for ignition, the idea was dropped, according to Brunner. 

Even without the details of how this historic piece of equipment made its way to Minot, the important thing is that it is here now and available for the public to view and conjure up its own images of the role the cannon has played in the shaping of the nation.

Antique cannon getting extreme makeover and new home

By: ROBERT H. BEER , Dispatch Staff Writer 08/26/2004



ONEIDA - A cannon that was cast about 1885 for an Oneida drill group is being presented to the city of Oneida to be placed at Triangle Park.

The drill group was started in 1884 and had the cannon cast at Oneida Iron Works for a political campaign; The Madison County Historical Society is not sure for whom.

The 300-pound cannon is property of the Madison County Historical Society and was never used in a war.

The cannon will be restored and weatherized with the goal of being placed at Triangle Park, which is at Main and Stone streets, by Veterans Day in November.

At Tuesday's common council meeting, the city agreed to allow the canon to be permanently displayed at the park, which is where Memorial Day parades traditionally start. The only contribution the city is required to supply is a concrete base.

Money raised by the Centennial of the City of Oneida Committee left over from the celebrations will be used to refurbish the cannon, said Marion Cierek, the centennial's chairperson.

The cannon was located in front of the Historical Society for many years. It was moved and placed in front of the city municipal building in the 1970s. The cannon is now back at the society and will be shipped to
Vermont to be mounted on a granite slab.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Push is on to preserve Warren Federal Blues Armory

Warren Federal Blues Captain Edgar Hebert and members of the historic militia unit are mounting a campaign to restore the cannons that were once displayed in front of Warren Town Hall and the armory, a former carriage house.

Tantae' and 'Pallas — a brief history

* 1760 — cannons cast in a foundry in Strasbourg, France
* 1778 — cannons arrive in America and are given to the Continental Congress
* United Train of Artillery given the cannons to liberate Newport; they participate in the battle of Rhode Island
* Used by United Train of Artillery during War of 1812
* 1842 — Dorrites seize cannons (Dorr Rebellion), but are unable to fire them
* Warren Artillery finds them; General Assembly turns cannons over to Warren Artillery
* Just after the beginning of the 20th century — Warren Artillery ceases
* Guns remain in Warren where they are displayed, with their limbers and carriages, in front of Town Hall
* 1979 — Canons removed from Town Hall and brought to town yard for repair and storage
* 1981 — Transfer station at town yard burglarized, cannons stolen
* 1994 — Canon barrels, cut in pieces, recovered in bottom of pond at Roger Williams Park.
* 1994 — Cannon barrels returned to town; put in storage
* 2003 — Federal Blues ask for and receive custody of cannon barrels from town officials and permission to restore them.
* 2004 — Federal Blues firm up plan for restoration of cannons, and likewise for the armory on Baker Street in which they will be permanently displayed.
Compiled from information supplied by the Warren Federal Blues

Army Tracks Down Cannons Missing Since 1908

July 7, 2004


The U.S. Army's Donations Program Group is trying to track down items that were loaned to museums and communities across the country but never returned. Recently, the government contacted the mayor of Franklin, Tenn., to inquire about the town's historic cannons -- loaned to it by the Army in 1908. NPR's Steve Inskeep talks with Mayor Tom Miller about renewed interest in the old weapons.

Divers recover bronze Cannon and Ming treasure off Terengganu, Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR - Thousands of artifacts believed to date back to the Ming dynasty have been recovered from a 400-year-old shipwreck in Malaysian waters.

Experts raise a cannon from the sunken Portuguese trading vessel.

More than 6,000 pieces of porcelain each with an estimated value of between RM700 (S$315) and RM1,400 were salvaged from the wreck off eastern Terengganu by marine archaeologists.

'Hundreds of years of immersion destroyed most of the cargo...we believe the 21-metre vessel sank after an explosion or was blown up by a rival ship,' said Museums and Antiquities director-general Adi Taha. About 20 per cent of the treasures were in original condition, the rest were in pieces.

The ship is believed to have been built in the Philippines by the Portuguese. The porcelain it carried could have been made at China's imperial kilns in Jingdezhen and Zhangzhou during the 17th century. -- AFP, The Star/Asia News Network

   

Divers find treasure in recently discovered shipwreck

28/05/2004



 

Divers explored the recently discovered Portuguese ship, the Correio da Azia, and found quite a treasure. The ship is thought to have been traveling from Lisbon, Portugal to Macau when it sank in 1816. Jeremy Green is head of maritime archaeology at the West Australian Maritime Museum. Green led the expedition that located the Portuguese ship off the northwest coast of Western Australia after an aerial survey ended the 16-year search.

Coins found in the wreck
A collection of artifacts was retrieved by divers. These included silver coins, iron canon and iron ballast. Museum divers also found sounding leads (used to determine water under the ship before technology was available). The coins found were identified as Spanish-American silver dollars. The expedition team doesn't know exactly how many coins were on board at the time of the sinking. Archaeologists will now study and date the coins. This will help to confirm the ship's identity.

Cannon & Treasure discovered off southern coast of Vietnam

BINH THUAN — Three tones worth of coins and a cannon have been discovered off the southern coast in Ham Tan District, Binh Thuan Province.

Divers salvaged the coins from an ancient ship after one of them happened upon a string of old shekels while exploring the wreck.

Subsequent dives led to an undamaged cannon being found.

Both the coins and the cannon are dated back to 1822, during Minh Mang’s reign, according to experts in Binh Thuan Museum.

Experts also expressed their surprise that more cannons were not found as ships in that era would ordinarily have at least two, or possibly even four.

They also estimate the total amount of coins is a hefty three tones, although only a partial amount has been retrieved so far.

The cannon itself is about 300 kg, one meter long with a barrel diameter of 0.75cm.

Binh Thuan Museum purchased the cannon along with ten cannonballs for VND5 million. — VNS

Article published Tuesday, April 27, 2004 (THE BLADE )

 FORT MEIGS STATE MEMORIAL PARK

Man charged in theft of reproduction cannon

Members of the re-enactors group prepare to fire the cannon during the July Tall Ships Festival in Toledo.


Police arrested an East Toledo man last night in connection with the theft of a cannon from Fort Meigs State Memorial Park and said he cut it up and dumped most of it in the Maumee River.

Police were able to recover only a few metal parts of its carriage in the ashes of a wood-burning stove on Dearborn Avenue.

William C. Jarzynski, of 223 Longdale Ave., is charged with theft, a fourth-degree felony. He was booked at the Wood County Jail and is expected to be arraigned today in Perrysburg Municipal Court.

The cannon's bronze barrel, a reproduction displayed at the fort since the mid-1970s, wasn't found. Police say Mr. Jarzynski, a body shop owner, used his tools to cut it into pieces.

"He never tried to sell it," Detective Sgt. Dan Paez said. "Once he had it in his shop, he realized he was stuck with it so he cut it up and dumped it into the Maumee River.

"It's a senseless act. He really doesn't give a reason why he did this."

Perrysburg police questioned the suspect at his residence about 6 p.m. yesterday after receiving tips late last week.

The carriage parts were found in a wood stove at Ben's Garage, 469 Dearborn, Mr. Jarzynski's body shop. Police were able to recover a homemade landscape trailer, on which the cannon was stored for the winter.

The cannon reproduction, valued at $37,000, turned up missing Wednesday night. It was mounted on a gray wooden carriage with wooden spoke wheels and was stolen from a parking area just outside the fort walls.

Sgt. Paez said authorities began getting tips on Thursday from people who saw the cannon in the Dearborn Avenue area.

On the same day, Mr. Jarzynski told police, he moved the cannon into his body shop and late that night began cutting it up. On Friday he dumped the pieces in the river and burned the carriage.

"He really doesn't remember where [he dumped the pieces]," Sgt. Paez said. "It was everywhere from Point Place to East Toledo. Everywhere he could find a spot to get close to the river, he would drop pieces in."

Larry Nelson, site manager at Fort Meigs, said park officials will re-evaluate its security measures but the fort is in a park that is easily accessible.

"I am real disappointed we are not going to get the gun back but I'm relieved they got on the case as quickly as they did and that it is solved," Mr. Nelson said.

 

Cannon carriages restored

The timber carriages supporting the two bronze cannon in front of St John's Co-Cathedral, Valletta have been restored by government employees on the initiative of the Valletta Rehabilitation Project.

VRP coordinator Ray Bondin said one of the carriages needed minimum restoration but substantial work was carried out on the other.

Restoration work was made under the supervision of Amanda Degiovanni, an architect.

The cannon date back to the time of the Knights but the carriages were made in the middle of the 19th century by the Royal Carriage Department of Wolwich, UK.

Only a few of these original carriages still exist.

Article published Friday, April 23, 2004

Bronze cannon stolen from Fort Meigs Park

A cannon and its wooden carriage, with a combined weight of about 1,200 pounds, were stolen from Fort Meigs State Memorial Park in Perrysburg sometime between 5:20 p.m. Wednesday and 8 a.m. yesterday, police said.

The cannon has a bronze barrel and a six-pound cannon ball. The cannon was mounted on a gray wooden carriage with wooden spoke wheels and was stolen from a parking area just outside the fort walls, police said. The cannon and the carriage are valued at $37,000.

Also missing was a black homemade landscape trailer, on which the cannon is stored in winter, police said.

The cannon, which is owned by the Ohio Historical Society, is a reproduction of a Revolutionary War-era weapon.

It is one of about half a dozen cannons at the fort, all of which are reproductions, Dr. Larry Nelson, Fort Meigs site manager, said.
 

Admiral Nelson's favorite ship found at last!

By Richard Savill

(Filed: 27/03/2004)  

A team of international treasure seekers believes it has pinpointed the resting place of Admiral Horatio Nelson's favorite ship, Agamemnon, which was wrecked off the coast of Uruguay in 1809.                  

The 64-gun vessel, in which Nelson seduced Lady Hamilton and lost an eye in battle, has been hidden for nearly 200 years in shifting sands and currents between Uruguay and Brazil.

The team, led by an American, Crayton Fenn, has been searching the sea bed for 10 years after finding a single cannon later verified as from the Agamemnon, which fought at Trafalgar in 1805. The cannon had the initial N for Nelson, the number 20 for its position on the battery, and the royal crest of King George. 

This week, the team has discovered two more cannons, one of which has been raised. However it will take five years to prove their provenance. They will be taken to a specialist laboratory for cleaning and preservation. 

The cannon that has been raised has the date 1787 stamped on it and the letters AB. The team will now try to raise more artifacts. 

The operation's backer, Hector Bado, a Uruguayan millionaire, said of the discovery of the first cannon: "There were 3,550 cannons fighting in the Battle of Trafalgar and this is probably the only one surviving. 

"But now we have found two more cannons. We must wait to see." 

Mr. Bado said he hoped the cannon would be shipped to England. Agamemnon led the British in the Battle of Santa Domingo before being wrecked in 1809.

Company salvaging Confederate cannons

 BY SCHUYLER KROPF, Of The Post and Courier Staff

6:58 a.m. Thursday, April 15, 2004

The burial of the H.L. Huntley crew isn't the only Civil War news in South Carolina this week. Archaeologists are drooling over the discovery of what may be the single largest collection of Confederate cannon found since the war ended. 

The Long Bay Salvage Co. of Murrells Inlet has been granted ownership of a shipwreck containing at least 24 large-bore cannons, recording their find in waters off Cape Romain. 

At least four of the heavy guns have been recovered and cleaned. Officials say they likely played a role in the defense of Charleston. 

In June 2001, searchers located a sunken barge containing railroad rails, railcar wheels, a locomotive cow-catcher, and at least 24 guns. The barge is believed to have been lost at sea in the 1890s, and was moving outbound from Charleston carrying materials, which at the time was considered post-war scrap, said Marc Marling, an attorney for the company. 

Long Bay Salvage filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia to gain ownership of the barge and its contents. It was granted ownership in September 2003. So far the company has recovered four cannons. 

One of the guns is a 10-inch Columbiad cast in 1863 at the Bellona Foundry, a small foundry outside Richmond, Va., with a serial number of 22. 

An identical Columbiad cannon, serial number 20, is at Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston where the remains of the final eight Huntley crewmen will be buried Saturday. Until the discovery of the wreck, 18 10-inch Columbiads were known to exist.  

According to historical records, there were possibly 70 10-inch Columbiads shipped directly from Richmond to Charleston where they were likely put to use keeping Union ships at bay.

"This is undoubtedly the largest single collection of Confederate cannon to be discovered since shortly after the Civil War, and its eventual disclosure will create great interest among Civil War historians and aficionados," said Wayne E. Stark, a Civil War artillery historian. 

Long Bay Salvage is developing a plan to recover the remaining cannons, Marling said.

SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE PHOTO / SARAH BRITAIN , Montachusett Area Rotary Club member Chet Martin shows one of the Confederate Army cannons currently being stored at Putnam Place in Fitchburg on Thursday.  

Group Restoring Civil War Cannons

 By Evan Lehmann : Friday, March 19, 2004 - 11:06:35 AM EST

 FITCHBURG -- Cannons that likely fired 12-pound metal balls at Northern troops during the Civil War will return to their old home on Main Street as soon as this summer.

 Two of the one-ton antique weapons will be placed in Monument Park on Main Street, 50 years after they were removed from the site.

 The Confederate cannons, captured by the Union at war's end, have sat for years under the stage at the Senior Citizens' Center.

Then members of the Montachusett Area Rotary Club hauled them into the open this winter and began renovating their broken wooden wheels.

 They also fixed the cannons' hefty 140-year-old carriages as a community project for the group's 100th anniversary.

"I always wondered where the heck those cannons came from," said Rosemary Wuoti, president of the club.

 One cannon has been completely renovated. Its 1,196-pound bronze muzzle, made from re-forged church bells and statues, is now supported by new wheels, and the original carriage has been sanded and painted. "They're absolutely beautiful," Wuoti said. 

Two brothers, Chet and Charlie Martin of Fitchburg, are spearheading the project. 

The brothers are ordering new parts and grinding off old paint and grime that accumulated during years of no maintenance. 

"We used to play on these cannons when we were kids," said Chet Martin, 73, remembering when four of the weapons were stationed in Monument Park. 

After being stashed in various city buildings, the cannons were loaned out in 1960 to the Massachusetts Volunteers for the 100th Anniversary Civil War celebration.  

Two were returned six years later; an FBI investigation failed to recover the other two.

All four cannons came to the city on loan from the federal Department of Defense in 1873, according to articles published in the 1960s in the then-Fitchburg Sentinel. 

Now, 50 years after the cannons were removed from Monument Park, at least one of the antiques will make a return appearance in the Civic Days Fourth of July Parade, Wuoti said. 

Residents can't wait, she said. 

"It's just unbelievable to me that there is so much interest in the cannons that haven't even been in the park since 1954," Wuoti said. 

Chet Martin said the Rotary Club needs about $10,000 in donations to get the second cannon's muzzle back on its carriage. The hollow metal cylinder is currently laying on the cement floor in Putnam Place, where the restoration is being done.  

Wouti said the club will hold an art auction to raise money on April 30 at the Senior Citizens' Center in Fitchburg. 

Next to the muzzle, its two 57-inch wheels are stacked flat; many of the wooden spokes are missing or broken, and the hub is cracked in two. 

"The wheels are in tough shape," Chet Martin said. 

On "cannon No. 1," as Chet Martin has been calling the refurbished antique, a clear imprint -- CS -- is visible on the muzzle. It stands for Confederate States, he said. 

"The South, Confederates, made about 80 of these" cannons, Chet Martin said, explaining that the North used the same design.  

The cannon, a Napoleon model, is a mid-size weapon, able to throw a 12-pound ball just under a mile. It's meant to demolish walls, fortifications and "anything that was in your way," Chet Martin said. 

Until recently, the cannons' muzzles were stuffed with debris, from cigarette butts to crumpled soda cups, Chet Martin said. 

"It was loaded," the lanky Korean War veteran said. "We had a tough time getting it all out." 

His brother, Charlie Martin, 78, traveled from Nebraska, where he lives, recently to work on the cannons.  

"Charlie came out here for 10 days and they (the brothers) worked on it every day all day," Wuoti said. "Chet and Charlie are just amazing guys."

MARITIME ARTIFACTS
Baking process expels corrosion, restores cannon


Conservationist: Method cheap, sound

The Associated Press March 10, 2004

An unusual restoration technique - baking - may be the answer to the expensive and time-consuming process of cleaning chunks of oxidized corrosion from artifacts hauled from the ocean.

This week, corrosion was chipped off a cannon that had cooked for two weeks in a 1,400-degree kiln at Dan Finch's pottery shop in Bailey.

Finch, who has a background in metallurgy, said when the iron is heated to a high temperature and turns cherry-red, the chlorides that corroded the cannon are driven out of the metal through a process called sublimation.

"Oh yeah, that looks good," said Nathan Henry, conservator for the Office of State Archaeology's underwater division, as the carbon-encrusted cannon was revealed to him for the first time since it went into Finch's custom-made kiln.

Henry said Finch and the spectators may not think the cannon looked good, but he told them they didn't see it when it was first hauled out of the sea.

"Underneath is a conserved cannon, and that's what we want," Henry said.

Before loading the cannon onto a flatbed and taking it to a conservation lab at the coast, Henry tapped on the cannon with a claw hammer, brushed off the crust and revealed the shiny metal surface underneath.

"That's like new metal underneath," Finch said as he stroked the cannon.

The cannon had been lying on the bottom of Beaufort Inlet for centuries before it was brought to the surface in June 2002, along with six other cannons, by Intersal Inc., a private salvage company.

The company was searching for the 1750 wreck of El Salvador, a treasure-laden Spanish merchant ship.

In an agreement with the state, Intersal recovered the cluster of cannons and turned them over to the Office of State Archaeology in hopes that the ship's identity might be known.

Henry said the restoration method of baking impurities out of metal could revolutionize preservation techniques. Baking is much faster than the traditional electrolysis technique and is less expensive and more effective, he said.

After years of electrolysis, it is difficult to know when the artifact is ready, he said.

He said five years of electrolysis would cost nearly $10,000. The baking method cost about $1,500 and took two weeks.

The cannon that Finch baked was chosen because it came from an unknown wreck and was in the worst condition compared with the other six cannons in the group that was recovered.

It was less valuable than a cannon from a known wreck, such as the pirate Blackbeard's flagship Queen Anne's Revenge, which is said to lie just outside Beaufort Inlet.

        

U.S.: Where are our cannons?

By DONNA HEALY
Of The Gazette Staff

January 27, 2004

In 1915, the U.S. government loaned two Civil War cannons to the city of Billings.

About two weeks ago, the Army asked where the cannons were.

"Anyone got a clue?" City Administrator Kristoff Bauer e-mailed city department heads.

Lee Stadtmiller, the city cemetery superintendent, asked veterans' groups, librarians and museum directors but found no evidence of the ancient armaments.

The missing cannons were bronze or brass and came with their "carriages" and a "suitable outfit of cannonballs for display."

They were loaned through an act of the 63rd Congress, said Edward Woolverton, chief of the U.S. Army's Static Display and Ceremonial Rifle Program. The act authorized loaning vintage cannons to a bevy of cities and civic groups for monuments and memorials across the country.

"The last paragraph of the act says they remain at the discretion of the secretary of war at all times, which means it's still government property," Woolverton said.

He has no proof the cannons ever arrived in Billings.

Why did the government wait nearly 90 years to check up on the Civil War relics?

"We're in the process of doing an inventory," Woolverton said.

As far as he knows, the inventory is the Army's first attempt to track down the cast-off military equipment loaned to various groups.

"It's not Homeland Security. It's a matter of history. This is property that actually belongs to the public," Woolverton said.

Civil War cannons are typically worth $25,000 to $50,000.

Woolverton has pinpointed hundreds of locations that could potentially have vintage cannons on display. His office is also tracking several thousand pieces of less-antiquated military equipment ranging from tanks to howitzers.

In Montana, cannons were loaned to Great Falls, Hamilton and Fergus County, he said. Two, 12-pound Civil War era cannons are displayed at the city cemetery in Sheridan, Wyo., but Woolverton remains uncertain about the fate of six cannons in Cheyenne and two cannons in Evanston, Wyo.

Bauer and others speculate the missing Billings cannons may have been melted down to feed scrap drives during World War I or II.

After a fruitless search for the missing relics, Bauer e-mailed a reply to the Army's query.

"I sent a little message saying, 'Sorry, we couldn't find them,' " Bauer said.

The response: "Thanks for looking."

Donna Healy can be reached at 657-1292 or dhealy@billingsgazette.com.

Exhibition to Feature Armada Treasures
Jan 2 2004

ARTIFACTS from the sunken ship La Trinidad Valencera are to form the centrepiece of a new Spanish Armada exhibition.

The Heritage Lottery Fund has provided £1.45 million to finance the project, which begins in Londonderry next month as part of a larger scheme to refurbish the city's Tower Museum.

The Story of Derry, Emigration and St Colmcille exhibitions are to be temporarily relocated to the Harbour and Workhouse Museums while renovations take place.

La Trinidad Valencera was a refitted Venetian merchant ship commandeered by the Armada in Sicily, which ran aground and broke up in Kinnagoe Bay in Co Donegal over 400 years ago.

The wreckage was discovered in the early 1970s by members of the Derry Sub Aqua Club, only a few years after Belgian archaeologist Robert Stenuit began excavating the wreck of the Girona on the north coast of Co Antrim.

"Since the recovery of these historic artifacts, Derry City Council has been keen to put them on public display,'' said Harriet Purkis of the council's heritage and museum services.

She added: ''Once completed, the Spanish Armada exhibition will significantly enhance the cultural and educational resources of the city and will be of interest to both local residents and international visitors.''

Among the items on display will be two giant siege cannons and pieces of pewter tableware.



 

Lawsuit seeks return of Civil War cannons Summit Hill says American Legion had no right to sell old artillery. 

From The Morning Call -- December 17, 2003  By Chris Parker 

Summit Hill has fired off a lawsuit to get back two Civil War-era cannons it believes were improperly taken from a borough park and sold for $70,000 to a Pittsburgh area collector. 

Jim Thorpe attorney Carole J. Walbert filed the suit against Kenneth P. Watterson and his private Civil War Artillery Museum on Monday in Carbon County Court on behalf of the borough. She also filed a request that the cannons be returned to the borough pending the outcome of the lawsuit. 

Watterson, who has moved from his Venetia, Washington County, home since buying the cannons, could not be reached for comment. 

The suit contends the cannons belonged to the borough and that the Summit Hill American Legion Post had no right to sell them. 

Walbert on Sept. 9 wrote to Watterson, asking that the cannons be returned. Watterson refused, according to the suit.  Walbert is doing the legal work, authorized by council on Oct. 13, free of charge.  

''Small municipalities can't afford the cost of taking these things on,'' Walbert said. ''But it's very important that we take care of and protect our history. Those cannons are a war veteran’s memorial.'' 

The Legion sold the cannons in May 2000 to Bruce Stiles of Emmaus. Stiles, a broker, bought the old artillery for Watterson. 

The cannons were replaced with replicas. Most townspeople learned of the sale when Mayor Paul McArdle divulged it at an August 2002 council meeting. 

Legion officials have said they were shocked to find the cannons were going to western Pennsylvania, a five-hour drive from Summit Hill, and not nearby Emmaus, as they were led to believe. 

Ownership of the big guns lies at the heart of the problem. 

Legion officials contend the cannons were given in 1913 to Summit Hill veterans who fought in the Civil War. The Legion has produced paperwork to back its contention. 

Many residents believe the cannons were given to the borough in 1915 by a veterans group called the J.F. Breslin Camp, No. 17, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, descendants of Union Army soldiers who inherited all Grand Army of the Republic property. 

The cannons sat on markers inscribed with the Breslin Camp name. 

The turmoil over the sale split the community, and one concerned citizens group called the state attorney general's office to investigate. In April, the attorney general concluded that no criminal charges are warranted.  

''It appears that there was a genuine mistake as to the ownership of the cannons and the proceeds from the sale have been maintained in a bank,'' states the April 2 letter from the attorney general's office to Carbon County District Attorney Gary Dobias. 

''It's a great shame when a mistake like that occurs,'' Walbert said. ''And it was a mistake, at least at the local end.'' 

Resident David Hiles, who spearheaded a petition drive that gathered 377 signatures to press for the return of the cannons, was thrilled with Walbert's research. 

''We found the actual federal law that was passed, giving those cannons to the borough,'' he said. ''Here's proof, without a doubt, that these cannons belong to the town and we want them back.''

He's positive the suit will bring the cannons home.

 

 

BANGKOK: Bangkok metropolitan workers have unearthed four antique cannons — believed to be 200-year-old imported weapons — in the heart of the old section of the city, officials said. The cannons were discovered on Thursday by Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA) workers who were excavating a section of the historically-rich Sanam Luang (royal grounds), near Emerald Budha Temple, to make preparations for King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s 72nd birthday celebrations. — DPA

Historic shipwreck with cannons discovered off Norway

12.10.2003 11.30 am

OSLO - A sunken 18th-century ship laden with artifacts has been found off Norway's coast during a gas pipeline project, archaeologists said on Tuesday.

The ship's bell, bearing the date 1745, had been raised as well as an empty French wine bottle, presumably from 1760 to 1780, but five canon, parts of the ship's rigging, almost a thousand other bottles and ceramics were seen on the deck.

"This is a relatively well preserved and big shipwreck from the second half of the 18th century with thousands of artifacts," marine archaeologist Marek Jasinski told Reuters.

"There's no sunken treasure so far," Jasinski said.

Archives are being checked in Norway, Germany, Russia and Britain to try to identify the ship.

- REUTERS

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