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This question probably will not have an easy answer. On March 12, Confederate soldiers under the command of Captain Solomon S. Calhoon, 9th Mississippi Infantry, manned two 24-pounder cannons near Eastport and exchanged fire with the Union gunboats "Tyler" and "Lexington."

From where did these two heavy guns come and what happened to them after the engagement?

Sources indicate that they had been sent to Brigadier General Leroy P. Walker at Florence in February. Calhoon's men were assigned to them because they had been trained at artillerists at Pensacola. The cannons might have been at Montgomery or Selma, or they might have been sent from Mobile. At some point in time, the cannons must have been removed from the earthwork battery and sent to a place of safety.

This inquiring mind would like to know.....

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Guest C.D.RICKMAN

This does not answer your question but it is interesting, go to the 38th tennessee infantry regiment, looney's tennessee infantry,march 15th 1862. and read brig. gen. james r. chambers report. could this battery of light artillery be the 9th miss. inf. Apparently in 1861 a lot of the units enlisting in mississippi were sent to Pensacola. And we wonder why there are no experts on the events surrounding the battle of Shiloh.

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Hello Art;

I really don't have an answer for your concerning where these guns came from, only a supposition. you no doubt remember that when the confederates captured the Norfolk Navy Yard, they come into possession of about 1,200 heavy guns.  These guns were shipped throughout the confederacy for various defensive purposes mainly at newly built temporary defensive works.  The majority were sent to VA, NC, SC but some were parcelled out to other areas.  The Mississippi river valley received a quantity for Fts Pillow, Randolph, Henry, Donelson, Heiman and Island #10, Columbus KY, Hickman Ky, Clarksville TN and Nashville TN.  Its a good possibility the guns asked about for Eastport came from this collection.  In fact, I believe its a very good possibility they came from Norfolk as this was the main source of heavy defense guns for the rebels at this time of the war, for new temporary positions.

Ron 

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Ron, I think it's a good bet that the cannons came from such a source. Looking at the ORs again, I see that Ruggles sent the 24-pounders to Walker from Corinth. They may have been there waiting shipment to some other area when the need for them along the Tennessee River arose.

 

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There is a very good (but hard to find) book on Eastport, which talks about the cannons but does not speculate on where they came from. Gunboats and Cavalry: A History of Eastport, Mississippi by Ben Earl Kitchens.

If you have never been there, Eastport has some very impressive earthworks in an outstanding state of preservation.

Tom

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Hi Tom Are the earthworks on private property or can they be accessed?Sounds like a interesting daytrip for me.let me know please.

Mona

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