Cannons placed at Corinth's Civil War center

BY LENA MITCHELL

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

CORINTH – A visual interpretation of the battery earthworks at the Civil War Interpretive Center has been enhanced with the addition of two 12-pound Howitzer cannons.

The weapons, transported from Shiloh National Military Park, rest on metal wagons with their muzzles pointed through barricades that flank the center's entrance.

“This was a very, very common type of artillery piece,” said National Park Service Ranger Tom Parson.

Parson made it clear that the cannons and their placement are not meant to recreate Battery Robinett, one of the nation's oldest surviving Civil War earthworks. The Interpretive Center shares the grounds of the historic earthworks.

“This is just an example of three stages of the earthworks – the construction, the use and the remnants that exist today,” Parson noted.

These cannons cannot be specifically linked to battles at Corinth, Parson said. Of 217 cannons on display at Shiloh, only two of them are known to have been used there.

A third cannon has more local connections, coming from Shiloh to be displayed in the center lobby.

“The 12-pound James Rifle has a history at Corinth,” Parson said. “On the second day of battle – Oct. 4 – members of the U.S. Infantry captured that rifle. It was manned by the 1st U.S. Infantry, and they captured it, dragged it behind their lines and used it in battle. They engraved on the cannon where it was captured.”

A wooden carriage is being made to house the James Rifle before it is brought to Corinth for display.

“To actually be able to identify a cannon to a specific battle is rare,” Parson said. “Not only did they fight with it here, but it was captured here, just a few hundred yards from this spot.”

Contact Lena Mitchell at 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com