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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cannon Falls in Goodhue County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
 

“We Must Have a Gun”

 
 
"We Must Have a Gun" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, July 22, 2011
1. "We Must Have a Gun" Marker
Inscription. The Grand Army of the Republic (the GAR) was organized by Civil War veterans. The Cannon Falls George McKinley GAR Post #92 closed its minutes on February 1, 1897, with this note: "We Must Have a Gun." Its members were determined to acquire a Civil War cannon for Cannon Falls as a symbol of their shared sacrifice and to honor Colonel William Colvill, hero at the battle of Gettysburg. It took more than 10 years, but in 1910, a Civil War cannon was shipped from the Benicia Arsenal in California.

This original 3-inch wrought iron ordnance rifle was one of the most reliable and accurate guns of the Civil War. It could fire a 10-pound shell over a mile at 5-degree elevation, or could use a canister at closer range. The tube was made by the Phoenix Iron Company in Philadelphia and weighs 817 pounds. Over 1,000 ordnance rifles were manufactured and around 350 remain today. Historians are confident it saw action in the Civil War because of its low serial number, N183, and its early manufacture, 1862.

The cannon was placed in the cemetery where Col. Colvill had been buried in 1905 and where his statue was erected in 1909. The carriage is an exact replica, with an oak frame and cast aluminum wheels. Funds for the restoration of the cannon were provided locally and from other interested parties.

"We Must Have a Gun" Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, July 22, 2011
2. "We Must Have a Gun" Marker
Colonel William Colvill Monument is to the left.
One can almost hear the cry from the battle at Gettysburg on July 2, 1862, when General Hancock commanded Col. Colvill and the approximately 290 men of the First Minnesota to "charge those lines." The fight at Gettysburg that day was won by the Union, and it is generally thought the battle was the turning point of the war.
 
Location. 44° 30.542′ N, 92° 53.465′ W. Marker is in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, in Goodhue County. Marker can be reached from East State Street (State Highway 19 at milepost 192), 0.1 miles east of North Almond Street, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is in the southeastern area of Cannon Falls Cemetery. Marker is in this post office area: Cannon Falls MN 55009, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 5 other markers are within 15 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Colonel William Colvill Monument (here, next to this marker); 1888 Cannon Falls Fire Hall (approx. 0.6 miles away); Vasa: Mattson's Settlement (approx. 8.3 miles away); Thomas Anderson Veblen and Kari Bunde Veblen Farmstead / History of the Veblen Farmstead (approx. 13.5 miles away); Nerstrand City Hall (approx. 14.5 miles away).
 
Also see . . .
1. Phoenix Iron Works. Wikipedia entry. "During the Civil War, the factory churned out
Civil War Cannon image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, July 22, 2011
3. Civil War Cannon
Griffen 3" Ordnance Rifle
over 1,000 Griffen-designed 3" Ordnance Rifles, giving it the largest market share of the over 1,400 pieces eventually used by the Army." (Submitted on September 3, 2011.) 

2. Griffen Gun Photos. (Submitted on September 3, 2011.)
 
Categories. Man-Made FeaturesWar, US Civil
 
Colonel William Colvill Monument Site image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, July 22, 2011
4. Colonel William Colvill Monument Site
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 859 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on , by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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