Posts Tagged With: troops

The double barreled cannon…


Double Barrel Cannon…

That just sounds awesome. Doesn’t it?

There are double barrel pistols, double barrel rifles, double barrel shotguns… But none of those sound as impressive as the double barrel cannon…

It was forged in the spring of 1862 in Athens, Georgia, according to the design of John Gilleland. He was a private in the Mitchel Thunderbolts, a homeguard unit for men too old for active duty. He was 53. The $350 needed to fund the manufacture of the cannon was raised via a subscription fund.

The cannon itself was roughly 13 inches wide and 4 feet 8 1/2 inches in length. It had two, three-inch barrels with a three degree divergence. It was also equipped with three touch holes. One for each barrel and one that would allow both barrels to be fired simultaneously.

Gilleland’s intention was for the cannon to fire mostly chain shot. Two six pound cannon balls connected by roughly ten feet of chain. The divergence of the bores was to ensure that the shot would extend to the full length of the chain as it sped towards the target.

This weapon was designed to be used against infantry with the intent to mow down swaths of soldiers as wide as the chain would reach…

Testing The Cannon

Mr. Gilleland took his new cannon north of Athens to a field near Newton Bridge for the initial test fire on April 22, 1862. A crowd of people gathered to see the new “secret” weapon in action. And here is where things got interesting…

When Gilleland touched the cannon off the first time, the two barrels did not fire simultaneously which caused the load to take a wild erratic course across the field missing the posts that had been erected as targets but wreaking havoc nonetheless. According to one account “It [took] a kind of circular motion, plowed up about an acre of ground, tore up a cornfield, mowed down saplings, and [then] the chain broke, the two balls going in different directions.”

A second shot was then attempted to try to get both barrels to fire simultaneously. This time the shot flew off into some pine saplings leading an eyewitness to report that, “[The] thicket of young pines at which it was aimed looked as if a narrow cyclone or a giant mowing machine had passed through,”

It is also reported that on another attempt, the chain broke and each ball took its own course. One hit a nearby cabin and destroyed its chimney. While the other veered off and struck an unwary cow killing it instantly.

Double Barrel Cannon

2

While it may seem like a successful test – wholesale destruction and slaughter – it really wasn’t. When the barrels didn’t fire together it was impossible to tell where the shot might go and when they did it was found that the chain always broke.

Nevertheless, Gilleland promptly declared the test an unqualified success. And he was supported by this article in the April 30, 1862 issue of the Athens paper Southern Watchman:

Double-barrelled Cannon. – MR. GILLELAND has invented a double-barrelled cannon for throwing chain shot, which has been tested and found to work satisfactorily. Two shots are confined to the end of a chain and one placed in each barrel of the gun, the bores of which diverge slightly, and cause the balls to separate the full length of the chain – cutting down everything in their path. Of course, the barrels are fired simultaneously.

The cannon was then sent to the Confederate arsenal in Augusta, Georgia, for further testing. The commandant there, Col. George W. Rains, tested the weapon extensively and reported that it was not usable due to unpredictable rates of powder burn and barrel friction which led to unpredictable performance. The cannon was then sent back to Athens.

This outraged Mr. Gilleland and he wrote angry letters to both the governor of Georgia and to the Confederate government in Richmond. All to no avail…

The double barrel cannon would never be adopted by the Confederate army, but that doesn’t mean it never saw battle…

Active Duty!

Upon its return the gun was placed in front of the town hall to be used as a signal gun in case of attack.

There it remained until August 2, 1864, when it was hauled out of town to the hills by Barber Creek to meet the approach of Brig. Gen. George Stoneman and his Union troops.

The double barrel cannon was positioned on a ridge along with several other conventional cannons. Both barrels were loaded with canister shot. The homeguard units were heavily out numbered, but as the Union troops approached the Athens homeguard fired a four shell barrage including the double barrel cannon. Against such stiff resistance the Union troops withdrew.

There were a few more minor skirmishes around Athens but all-in-all the city escaped Sherman’s march to the sea and the double barrel cannon was moved back into town.

After The Civil War

After the American Civil War ended the city of Athens sold the double barreled cannon.

At that point it disappeared until it was found, restored, and returned to the city in the 1890s.

These days it sits in downtown Athens in front of city hall.

It can be viewed free at anytime on the corner of Hancock and College Avenues.

Where it points north…

Just in case!

Categories: 2nd Amendment, artifacts, Civil War, Confederate, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

This Week in The Civil War…. Sunday, June 22


The Associated Press reported in a dispatch June 23, 1864, that the Confederates had been firing upon horse-drawn hospital wagons evacuating the wounded to waiting steamers off the Virginia coast. Union forces reported that “the Rebels pay no respect to our hospital flags; and on Thursday last they fired upon one of our hospital trains from a battery stationed near Petersburg, (Virginia), killing and wounding several horses.” The AP account said no one aboard the hospital wagons was wounded in that and other incidents as Union troops took aim at Petersburg 150 years ago in the Civil War. AP reported thousands upon thousands of bloodied men being evacuated, along with rebel prisoners like a Confederate lieutenant who had lost an arm in the fighting. Meanwhile, AP reported, artillery duels continued unabated for days near Petersburg. “The city is full of lofty shade trees, and the steeples of the churches are the only prominent objects on which to take effective range. The effects of the shooting have not yet been ascertained, aside from the burning of some of the buildings,” AP’s correspondent wrote in June 1864.

Union_soldiers_entrenched_along_the_west_bank_of_the_Rappahannock_River_at_Fredericksburg,_Virginia_(111-B-157)

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Betrayal in Benghazi….AIR FORCE EXPERT ON BENGHAZI


“Hands” Handley was my boss when I was on the USAF Stan Eval team
when you and I were both stationed at Ramstein in the late 70’s. I
guess “outspoken” is an understatement because Phil would tell it like
it was and that is the main reason he was so well respected by all of
those who ever worked for him. As far as I know he was the only pilot
“living” to loop a C-130. His “outspokenness” did get him fired as the
F-15 wing commander at Luke. At his going away speech he was given a 45
minute (or something close to that. I wasn’t there, just heard about
it) standing ovation. Phil is kind of like a George Patton in that he
needed to be wrapped up and saved for combat. He is a hell of a guy and
I would fly with him anytime.

Gentlemen

I would say every US fighter pilot, retired or on active duty, knows
that Panetta and Dempsey both are full of crap when they said there was
no time to send help to Benghazi. They claim it was a problem of
“time/space.” All my friends and I say, “Bullshit.” We know they could
have gotten F-16s there from Aviano.

“Hands” Handley is a well-respected USAF fighter pilot. Here is his short resume and what he just wrote about Benghazi below that. If
anything, Handley is pessimistic in his timeline of when F-16s could
have reached Benghazi. I think they could have been airborne even
sooner and turned quicker at Sigonella. The decision to not try was not based
on capability. We had the operational capability in every way.

I hope Handley’s taxes are in order. His IRS audit is forthcoming.

Eagle Biography

Colonel Phil “Hands” Handley

Colonel Phil “Hands” Handley is credited with the highest speed air-
to-air gun kill in the history of aerial combat. He flew operationally
for all but 11 months of a 26-year career, in aircraft such as the F-86
Saber, F-15 Eagle, and the C-130A Hercules. Additionally, he flew 275
combat missions during two tours in Southeast Asia in the F- 4D and
F-4E. His awards include 21 Air Medals, 3 Distinguished Flying Crosses,
and the Silver Star.
———————————————-

Betrayal In Benghazi

Phil “Hands” Handley Colonel, USAF (Ret.)

The combat code of the US Military is that we don’t abandon our dead
or wounded on the battlefield. In US Air Force lingo, fighter pilots
don’t run off and leave their wingmen. If one of our own is shot down,
still alive and not yet in enemy captivity, we will either come to get
him or die trying.

Among America ‘s fighting forces, the calm, sure knowledge that such
an irrevocable bond exists is priceless. Along with individual faith
and personal grit, it is a sacred trust that has often sustained hope
in the face of terribly long odds.

The disgraceful abandonment of our Ambassador and those brave
ex-SEALs who fought to their deaths to save others in that compound is
nothing short of dereliction-of-duty.

Additionally, the patently absurd cover-up scenario that was
fabricated in the aftermath was an outright lie in an attempt to shield
the President and the Secretary of State from responsibility.

It has been over eight months since the attack on our compound in
Benghazi . The White House strategy, with the aid of a “lap dog” press
has been to run out the clock before the truth is forthcoming.

The recent testimonies of the three “whistle blowers” have reopened
the subject and hopefully will lead to exposure and disgrace of those
responsible for this embarrassing debacle. It would appear that the
most recent firewall which the Administration is counting on is the
contention “that there were simply no military assets that could be
brought to bear in time to make a difference” mainly due to the
unavailability of tanker support for fighter aircraft.

This is simply BS, regardless how many supposed “experts” the
Administration trot out to make such an assertion.

The bottom line is that even if the closest asset capable of
response was half-way around the world, you don’t just sit on your
penguin ass and do nothing.

The fact is that the closest asset was not half-way around the
world, but as near as Aviano Air Base, Italy where two squadrons of
F-16Cs are based.

Consider the following scenario (all times Benghazi local): When
Hicks in Tripoli receives a call at 9:40 PM from Ambassador Stevens
informing him “Greg, we are under attack!” (his last words), he
immediately notifies all agencies and prepares for the immediate
initiation of an existing “Emergency Response Plan.”

At AFRICON, General Carter Ham attempts to mount a rescue effort,
but is told to “stand down”. By 10:30 PM an unarmed drone is overhead above
the compound and streaming live feed to various “Command and Control
Agencies” and everyone watching that feed knew damn well what was going on.

At 11:30 PM Woods, Doherty and five others leave Tripoli, arriving
in Benghazi at 1:30 AM on Wednesday morning, where they hold off the
attacking mob from the roof of the compound until they are killed by a
mortar direct hit at 4:00 AM.

So nothing could have been done, eh? Nonsense. If one assumes that
tanker support really “was not available” what about this:

When at 10:00 PM AFRICON alerts the 31st TFW Command Post in Aviano
Air Base, Italy of the attack, the Wing Commander orders preparation
for the launch of two F-16s and advises the Command Post at NAS
Sigonella to prepare for hot pit refueling and quick turn of the jets.

By 11:30 PM, two F-16Cs with drop tanks and each armed with five
hundred 20 MM rounds are airborne. Flying at 0.92 mach they will cover
the 522 nautical miles directly to NAS Sigonella in 1.08 hours. While
in-route, the flight lead is informed of the tactical situation, rules
of engagement, and radio frequencies to use.

The jets depart Sigonella at 1:10 AM with full fuel load and cover
the 377 nautical miles directly to Benghazi in 0.8 hours, arriving at
1:50 AM which would be 20 minutes after the arrival of Woods, Doherty
and their team.

Providing that the two F-16s initial pass over the mob, in full
afterburner at 200 feet and 550 knots did not stop the attack in its
tracks, only a few well placed strafing runs on targets of opportunity
would assuredly do the trick.

Were the F-16s fuel state insufficient to recover at Sigonella after
jettisoning their external drop tanks, they could easily do so at
Tripoli International Airport, only one-half hour away.

As for those hand-wringing naysayers who would worry about IFR
clearances, border crossing authority, collateral damage, landing
rights, political correctness, and dozens of other reasons not to act,
screw them. It is high time that our “leadership” get their priorities
straight and put America ‘s interests first.

The end result would be that Woods and Doherty would be alive.
Dozens in the attacking rabble would be rendezvousing with “72 virgins”
and a clear message would have been sent to the next worthless POS
terrorist contemplating an attack on Americans that it is not really a
good idea to “tug” on Superman’s cape.

Of course all this would depend upon a commander-in-chief that was
more concerned with saving the lives of those he put in harm’s way than
getting his crew rested for a campaign fund raising event in Las Vegas
the next day. As well as a Secretary of State that actually understood
“What difference did it make?” or a Secretary of Defense whose
immediate response was not to the effect that “One of the military
tenants is that you don’t commit assets until you fully understand the
tactical situation.” Was he not watching a live feed from the unarmed
drone, and he didn’t understand the tactical situation?

YGBSM!

Ultimately it comes down to the question of who gave that order to
stand down? Whoever that coward turns out to be should be exposed,
removed from office, and face criminal charges for dereliction of duty.
The combat forces of the United States of America deserve leadership
that really does “have their back” when the chips are down.

Categories: Politics, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

New map may explain Lee’s decisions at Gettysburg…..


On the second day of fighting at Gettysburg, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee listened to scouting reports, scanned the battlefield and ordered his second-in-command, James Longstreet, to attack the Union Army’s left flank.

It was a fateful decision, one that led to one of the most desperate clashes of the entire Civil War — the fight for a piece of ground called Little Round Top. The Union’s defense of the boulder-strewn promontory helped send Lee to defeat at Gettysburg, and he never again ventured into Northern territory.

Why did the shrewd and canny Lee choose to attack, especially in the face of the Union’s superior numbers?

While historians have long wrestled with that question, geographers and cartographers have come up with an explanation, by way of sophisticated mapping software that shows the rolling terrain exactly as it would have appeared to Lee: From his vantage point, he simply couldn’t see throngs of Union soldiers amid the hills and valleys.
“Our analysis shows that he had a very poor understanding of how many forces he was up against, which made him bolder,” said Middlebury College professor Anne Knowles, whose team produced the most faithful re-creation of the Gettysburg battlefield to date, using software called GIS, or geographic information systems.

Developed for the Smithsonian Institution to mark Gettysburg’s 150th anniversary, the panoramic map went live on the Smithsonian website Friday, giving history buffs a new way to look at the Civil War’s pivotal battle, which took place July 1-3, 1863.

“Our goal is to help people understand how and why commanders made their decisions at key moments of the battle, and a key element that’s been excluded, or just not considered in historical studies before, is sight,” Knowles said.

Long before the advent of reconnaissance aircraft and spy satellites, a general’s own sense of sight — his ability to read the terrain and assess the enemy’s position and numbers — was one of his most important tools. Especially at Gettysburg, where Lee was hampered by faulty intelligence.

“We know that Lee had really poor information going into the battle and must have relied to some extent on what he could actually see,” Knowles said.

The geographer applied GIS to find out what Lee could see and what he couldn’t.

To reconstruct the battlefield as it existed in 1863, researchers used historical maps, texts and photos to note the location of wooden fences, stone walls, orchards, forests, fields, barns and houses, as well as the movement of army units. High-resolution aerial photos of the landscape yielded an accurate elevation model. All of it was fed into a computer program that can map data.
But a GIS-generated map, with illuminated areas showing what Lee could see and shaded areas denoting what was hidden from his view, indicates the terrain concealed large numbers of Union soldiers.

“What really came through as a new discovery for us in this project was seeing how few federal forces Lee could see, particularly on Day 2, when he decides to send Longstreet,” Knowles said.

Historian Allen Guelzo, who wasn’t involved in the project, agreed that Lee’s view probably misled him. Guelzo, director of Civil War-era studies at Gettysburg College, took a visitor up to the school’s cupola and motioned toward the peak of Little Round Top, just visible in the distance.

“You can see a lot from up here, and Robert E. Lee might have thought on July 2 that he had seen everything,” said Guelzo, who has written a new book on the Battle of Gettysburg. “But, in fact, the dips and folds of the ground, the foliage as it was on the ground in various groves and woods, all of that concealed what turned out to be the deadly truth.”

Conversely, the Union Army occupied higher ground, and used it to great advantage.
Union Gen. Gouverneur Warren spied Longstreet’s troops just as they were about to launch their attack on an undefended Little Round Top. Frantic, Warren dispatched an officer to round up reinforcements. They got there just in time, and withstood the Confederates.

In Warren’s case, GIS confirmed what historians have long known.

For Knowles, the mapping project and the mysteries it revealed helped Gettysburg come alive.

“Commanders always had to make decisions with really limited information … committing men’s lives to scraps of information or intuition, or what you can see at a certain day or a certain time,” she said. “This analysis, for me, is making the battle more human.”
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/history-archaeology/A-Cutting-Edge-Second-Look-at-the-Battle-of-Gettysburg.html

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Afghanistan’s Karzai blasts U.S.


It is time to say “OK, we are leaving”….He has nothing but complain for the past two years on a regular basis. He wants our money and equipment but does not appreciate anything.
We should pull out and just let him fail and then refuse to go back. $Billions have been spent and given to his country and a fair share ended up in his pockets and the pockets of his cronies.
Bring our Troops home.

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U.S. sending troops to Jordan…..


Another civil war, another U.S. Involvement…..
=======================================================================
The United States has sent military troops to the Jordan-Syria border to bolster that country’s military capabilities in the event that violence escalates along its border with Syria, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday.
Speaking at a NATO conference of defense ministers in Brussels, Panetta said the U.S. has been working with Jordan to monitor chemical and biological weapons sites in Syria and also to help Jordan deal with refugees pouring over the border from Syria. The troops are also building a headquarters for themselves.
But the revelation of U.S. military personnel so close to the 19-month-old Syrian conflict suggests an escalation in the U.S. military involvement in the conflict, even as Washington pushes back on any suggestion of a direct intervention in Syria.
It also follows several days of shelling between Turkey and Syria, an indication that the civil war could spill across Syria’s borders and become a regional conflict.
“We have a group of our forces there working to help build a headquarters there and to insure that we make the relationship between the United States and Jordan a strong one so that we can deal with all the possible consequences of what’s happening in Syria,” Panetta said.
The development comes with the U.S. presidential election less than a month away, and at a time when former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee, has been criticizing President Barack Obama’s foreign policy, accusing the administration of embracing too passive a stance in the convulsive Mideast region.

Categories: Politics | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Sickening: Obama Didn’t Even Personally Sign Form Letters To Fallen SEALs


Outside of the Republican National Convention this week, Karen and Billy Vaughn spoke at the Defending the Defenders forum sponsored by the Tea Party Patriots. The Vaughn’s son, Aaron Carson Vaughn, was one of 30 – including 17 elite Navy SEALs – that were killed in a helicopter crash last August in Afghanistan, marking the “deadliest single loss for U.S. forces in the decade-long war in Afghanistan.”

As pointed out by the Gateway Pundit, The Vaughns brought the letter they received from “Barack Obama” – a form letter.

It was signed by an electric pen.

That’s not all. Karen Vaughn reached out to the parents of the other SEALs killed in that crash.Their letters were all the same. Form letters – signed by an electric pen.”
The deadliest single loss of American lives in Afghanistan over the last decade or so, and Barack Obama couldn’t even take the time to sign his name a few times with a pen.

Maybe you recall what the “evil” George W. Bush did during his time in the White House.

“Mr. Bush, for instance, has sent personal letters to the families of every one of the more than 4,000 troops who have died in the two wars, an enormous personal effort that consumed hours of his time and escaped public notice. The task, along with meeting family members of troops killed in action, has been so wrenching – balancing the anger, grief and pride of families coping with the loss symbolized by a flag-draped coffin – that the president often leaned on his wife, Laura, for emotional support.”
Obama has shown nothing but contempt for Our Military Personel, Our Country’s Flag and the American People…VOTE NO OBAMA IN 2012

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