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The Double-Barreled Cannon - Athens, GA
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member ChapterhouseInc
N 33° 57.597 W 083° 22.579
17S E 280425 N 3760259
Quick Description: Only such cannon ever constructed, it never mde it past testing stage. On display outside the historic courthouse.
Location: Georgia, United States
Date Posted: 9/3/2009 5:09:00 PM
Waymark Code: WM759G
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 0

Long Description:
"(15) The Double-Barreled cannon, SW. corner Hancock and College Aves., made at the Athens Foundry during the War between the States, is believed to be the only gun of its type in the world. The inventors devised a plan for chaining the balls together nd mowing down the enemy in great numbers but unfortunately failed to synchronize the firing of the two brrels. An eyewitness of the trial shot states tht the chain broke, one ball demolishing a Negro cabin, the other plowing up an acre of ground and killing a yearling calf in a distant field."
--Georgia, A Guide to its Towns and Countryside, 1940
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This cannon has been on display my entire life. I believe it mightve moved once. There is a Georgia Historic Marker about it, the text is included below.

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 buisness and profesional 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 chail dangling from the twin muzzles, the piece was fired; but the lack of precise simultaneily 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.
Book: Georgia

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 156

Year Originally Published: 1940

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