Double-Barreled Cannon

The Double-Barreled Cannon was the brainchild of Dr. John Gilleland, a dentist from Jackson County, Ga., and a member of Mitchell’s Thunderbolts. Built in 1862 at the Athens Foundry and Machine Works, the Double-Barreled Cannon is today little more than a bookmark in history and a rather unique relic. The cannon was designed to fire two cannonballs connected by a chain so as to “mow down the enemy somewhat as a scythe cuts wheat.” According one account, the cannon was tested on a site along Newton Bridge Road, but since the two barrels did not have the same range, the chain broke in mid-air. According to some sources, one of the cannon balls killed a cow in a field nearby. According to a number of sources, including books and newspaper accounts, the cannon was not used in battle. But, according to a Confederate Veteran article, the cannon was used during a skirmish, but not as originally designed.

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301 College Ave., Athens, GA 30601