Double Barreled Canon

Double-Barreled Cannon

November 20, 1979 Athens Banner-Herald
provided by Larry Parr

Double-Barreled Cannon Honored
Perhaps with a little more tinkering this view of Athens' double-barreled cannon might have struck a different mood in its viewers looking south 115 years ago than it did Monday Afternoon. As it was, Athens dedicated a new plaza for the cleebrated cannon at the northeast corner of city hall, with Mayor Upshaw Bentley, leading the ceremonies and former congressman Bob Stephens offering remarks. Noting the paradox of celebrating a cannon that did not quite work. Stevens said "It's not that failure we recognize here today: it is the patriotic service of John Gilleland, who had devised something he thought would be of service. We are here to dedicate a unigue park to a unique cannon in a unique war." Three of Gilleland's great-grandchildren, Mrs. David Robinson and Mrs Marion Bond of Athens and Julian Pridgen of Spartanburg. SC and their families were on hand for the ceremonies and were presented locally cast minatures of the cannon by the Chamber of Commerce."

John Gilleland's daughter Eliza married Alva Carter Pridgeon, son of Nathaniel Waller Prigdeon. 2 of the three people mentioned were from Nathaniel.

This cannon was designed to fire two cannon balls at once with a long chain connecting them. It was to destroy Yankee lines. They could never get the balls to exit at the same time. The first time it was fired one ball left first and the second spun around killing a cow and knocking down a barn. It was used again when the Yankees tried to enter Athens but the barrels were loaded with buck shots. It sits today on the court house square.

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