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lelliott19

Q about Edenton Bell Cannon at Shiloh

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We were at the battlefield this past weekend and Tom Rambeau showed us the Edenton Bell cannon at Ruggles Battery. (She's the 2nd cannon from the road and also the 2nd one in the row in the photo below)

 

The Edenton Bell cannon were made from the melted down church bells and cast at Tredegar Foundry in April 1862, so obviously it did not see use at Shiloh but was presumably one of the cannon that was sent to Shiloh when the US War Dept emptied the warehouses in the early 1900's.

 

We were pleasantly surprised to have Woody Harrell lead our afternoon car caravan tour on Saturday and he indicated that some "trading" went on in the early days ;) from one park to another. This "trading," he said, had allowed Shiloh National Military Park to amass one of the (if not the) largest collection of authentic Confederate cannon anywhere! He also said that such "trading" would certainly be frowned upon today.  :huh:

 

Ive seen a photograph of the cannon piled up on the bank at Pittsburg Landing but Woody's remarks got me to wondering...was the Edenton Bell one of the cannon originally sent to SNMP? Or was it "traded for?"

post-562-0-51403100-1428361505_thumb.jpg

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Thanks John. I hadn't seen the previous thread and appreciate you pointing it out.

 

Ill await Ron and others who may know if the Edenton Bell cannon was originally assigned to the park or acquired through the park to park trading that Woody eluded to. 

 

Thanks again for your reply. 

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I would think Tom and/or Ron would probably know, or be able to find out, about any horse trading for cannons. Pretty cool that you got the Woody Harrell special edition tour. :)

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No kidding! It was an unexpected treat for sure. Don't get me wrong, I certainly hated that Jimmy Whittington was ill and hope that he is feeling much better real soon. 

 

We did enjoy Woody's tour very much - especially his description of David Stuart's position and the "fleet-footed 71st Ohio." :D  And getting the inside scoop on the "trading" was very cool! I wish I had thought to ask him if the EB cannon was part of the original collection.  :unsure: 

 

In case you're interested in the itinerary, I posted a detailed "After Action Report" of the trip at Post #5 here  http://shilohdiscussiongroup.com/index.php?/topic/1626-2015-battlefield-hikes-in-an-adobe-format/

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I wonder who did the trading and what were their thoughts behind it.  Did someone really like parrot guns or were they trying to get a good cross section of the artillery used during the war for their park?

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Actually, there were four Edenton Bell cannons cast in early 1862 from the church bells of Edenton North Carolina, used to form a battery that served in NC and later VA.  They were 6 pounder bronze field guns cast iron in the style of the M-1841 field gun.  After the war, two seem to have survived the civil war and eventually one ended up in Edenton NC.  There was a great movement of these old surplus cannon from the war as many were donated to cities and other local governments as monuments.  Many others were sent to the new national battlefield parks to decorate the parks and to indicate a position of artillery batteries.  One of these Edenton Bell cannon was discovered to be at Shiloh when the identifying marks disclosed it to be a Edenton Bell gun.  It was loaned to Edenton NC as part of a project the town had.  The loan agreement required the city to provide a reproduction of the EB cannon during the duration of the trade, a reproduction to replace the original sent back to Edenton NC.  The cannon I saw at Shiloh was the reproduction but the original was returned in 2011 and that is what you saw.  The early movements by the government to place these surplus civil war cannon at various parks and sites may have listed the guns by type, serial numbers but I can not find any such list that indicated what was sent to the parks.  If the Edenton Bell cannon was sent to Shiloh at the time the park was formed in 1896, it was lumped with many others.  The park probably did not know they had it until it was discovered when somebody read the markings sometime in the second half of 1990's.

 

All of the national battlefield parks have civil war cannons and many others are placed in cities, townships as monuments.  Some of these guns are hard to find but are there.  Example is the four or five 9" Shell guns in Mackinaw City Michigan mostly hidden behind the overgrown bushes. 

Ron 

Ron      

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Thanks Ron. Is there anyone at the park now who would know or would that be a Woody only question? 

 

Mtalplacido - from Woody's description of the trading that went on, I got the impression that he was "executing" some of the "deals" himself or that at least some of them were executed under his tenure. He did add that such trading nowadays would likely be impossible. He seemed quite proud of the way the trades turned out - with SNMP amassing one of the largest (if not the largest) collection of authentic Confederate artillery......in the world? of all the National Parks? Unfortunately, he didn't say and I didn't ask.  :huh: But his pride in the collection made me think that he was at least partially responsible for the "deals" that resulted in the current collection.

 

Wish I had asked more questions! Maybe someone who is still there will go on the car caravan tour tomorrow and ask the Q for us?  

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Shiloh does have what's probably the best collection of James Rifle anywhere, and they also have some rather unique cannons here and there, such a twos or three different Wiard Rifles in the park. I don't know one way or the other about the largest collection of Confederate cannons. It would be a good question to ask though. 

 

Perry

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Indeed, Shiloh does have the largest collection of confederate cannon in their collection.  It probably easy for Shiloh to claim this honor as there was nobody come even close. 

Ron

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