The Athens Double-Barrelled Cannon

The Athens Double-Barrelled Cannon (HMCUU)

Location: Athens, GA 30601 Clarke County
Country: United States of America

N 33° 57.597', W 83° 22.579'

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Inscription
This cannon, the only known one of its kind, was designed by Mr. John Gilleland, a private in the "Mitchell Thunderbolts," an elite "home guard" unit of business and professional men ineligible because of age or disability for service in the Confederate army. Cast in the Athens foundry, it was intended to fire simultaneously two balls connected by a chain which would "mow down the enemy somewhat as a scythe cuts wheat." It failed for lack of a means of firing both barrels at the exact instant.

It was tested in a field on the Newton's Bridge road against a target of upright poles. With both balls rammed home and the chain dangling from the twin muzzles, the piece was fired; but the lack of precise simultaneity caused uneven explosion of the propelling charges, which snapped the chain and gave each ball an erratic and unpredictable trajectory.

Lacking a workable firing device, the gun was a failure. It was presented to the City of Athens where, for almost a century, it has been preserved as an object of curiosity, and where it performed sturdy service for many years in celebrating political victories.
Details
HM NumberHMCUU
Series This marker is part of the Georgia: Georgia Historical Society/Commission series
Tags
Marker Number029-5
Year Placed1957
Placed ByGeorgia Historical Commission
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, September 28th, 2014 at 7:03pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 280425 N 3760259
Decimal Degrees33.95995000, -83.37631667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 33° 57.597', W 83° 22.579'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds33° 57' 35.82" N, 83° 22' 34.74" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)706
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 150 E Hancock Ave, Athens GA 30601, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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