Confederate Park, Memphis, TN. getting new cannons

Cannons for Confederate Park, Memphis

During the Civil War, or more aptly named The War for Southern Independence, there were cannons stationed here on this ground in Confederate Park in downtown Memphis, and after the war some surplus Confederate cannons were placed in the park. These were later donated by the City to the WW2 scrap drive (1942). After that war, surplus WW2 cannons were placed in the park but these have now been removed, allowing for the return of replica Civil War cannons to be placed there.

The N. B. Forrest Camp 215, Sons of Confederate Veterans, has undertaken a fund-raising drive to return four replica Civil War cannons to Confederate Park. The cannon tubes (barrels) will be supplied by Steen Cannon & Ordnance Works. The four replica cannon will represent two of the many significant artillery batteries that were raised in Memphis at the outbreak of the War Between the States.

The first artillery unit raised was Bankhead’s Battery. This unit was formed May 8th, 1861 by Memphis attorney Smith P. Bankhead. It included four cannon: two 6lb field cannons and two 12lb field howitzers. These were manufactured by the Quinby & Robinson Company of Memphis.

The officers of this battery were also attorneys : 1st Lieutenant W. Y. C. Humes, 2nd Lt. J. C. McDavitt, 2nd Lt. William B. Greenlaw, 2nd Lt. William L. Scott. The unit served at such engagements as Shiloh, Stone’s River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Atlanta & Franklin. Smith Bankhead eventually rose to the rank of general, and district chief of artillery. After the war he returned to Memphis and became Deputy Attorney for the city.

Two of the replica cannons placed in Confederate Park, which is next to the Univ of Memphis School of Law, appropriately represent Bankhead’s Battery.

The second significant artillery unit raised in Memphis was the Appeal Battery. Sponsored by Memphis’ daily newspaper, The Appeal, (later the Commercial Appeal), the battery was mustered into service by Capt. W.C. Bryan on May 6th, 1862. Ten members of the staff of the Appeal, half the employees, joined the battery. The unit was issued four cannons in Memphis: two 3″ Iron Ordnance Rifles and two 12lb bronze field howitzers. These likely came from the Quinby & Robinson Company of Memphis. The unit served gallantly at the battle of Corinth, Miss. and Vicksburg, Miss, among others. This battery was reactivated during World War I and served with distinction in France.

Cannons representing the famous Appeal Battery will be one of the additions to the historical setting of Confederate Park.

Steen Cannon and Ordnance Works is providing four new decorative cannons to the park; two 12-pounder field howitzers that were originally made by Quinby and Robinson of Memphis and one 6-pounder of the 1841 style and marked Quinby and Robinson and one 3-inch ordnance Rifle.

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