Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Niles in Berrien County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Parrott Civil War Cannon

Riverfront Park Historical Trail

 
 
Parrott Civil War Cannon Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 17, 2013
1. Parrott Civil War Cannon Marker
Inscription. Nearly 12,000 memorial cannons were donated by the U.S. Government, between 1872 and 1916, to local Posts of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) and other civic and patriotic groups for the purpose of display as a veterans' war memorial. They were formally dedicated by surviving veterans, to serve as "silent-sentinels," in tribute to the memory of all who served and sacrificed during the American Civil War. We have the G.A.R. to thank for our national observance of Memorial Day, which they initiated on May 30, 1868. Since then, countless communities have traditionally held their tribute to veterans (of ALL eras), near their Civil War Monument. Therefore, these memorials are tied to a community's cultural heritage, as well as its historical heritage.

Unfortunately, less than half remain of all the cannons that were originally dedicated as veterans' memorials. It's estimated that only 5,467 of these cannons survived the "scrap-metal" drives of World Wars I and II. Therefore, the historical value of the cannon and the special significance of the memorial in Niles is multiplied.

Niles's cannon is a Model 1861 6.4-inch (100 pounder) Army Parrott Rifle. The gun was invented by Robert Parker Parrott, who graduated third in the West Point Class of 1820. It was cast at the West Point Foundry in New York on June 1, 1863
Close-up of Image on Parrott Civil War Cannon Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 17, 2013
2. Close-up of Image on Parrott Civil War Cannon Marker
Caption: Parrott Civil War Cannon arrived in Niles on May 13, 1897
(Photo source 1932 Niles High School Tattler)
(foundry #717, Registration #128) and was inspected by Ordnance Officer Alfred Mordecai Jr. before being placed into service. The 100 pounder was used by the Army primarily as a siege and fortification weapon. It was also used aboard ships of the U.S. Navy during the Civil War. It could fire a 100 pound solid shot or long shell at ranged of about 6,900 yards at a 28 second time of flight. Of the 233 accepted by the Army between 1861 and 1865 only 53 remain as part of veterans' memorials across the country. The 9,747 lb. cannon in Niles is one of these 53. Marking on the muzzle and trunnions of the cannon represent the above information.

Frank Graves G.A.R. Post 64 in Niles petitioned the U.S. Ordnance Department and was granted donation of the cannon for their veterans' memorial. It arrived in Niles on May 13, 1897 from the Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois along with 20, 10 inch shells from the Allegheny Arsenal in Pennsylvania. Record of the donation appears in the 1899 Annual Report of the US War Department's Chief of Ordnance (Letter ID #20589). As the successor organization of the G.A.R., the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) is proud to maintain their traditions.


A committee of Niles citizens received approval to establish a regiment rendezvous point and training camp at the Niles Civil War era village fairgrounds site, the approximate
Close-up of Image on Parrott Civil War Cannon Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 17, 2013
3. Close-up of Image on Parrott Civil War Cannon Marker
Caption: Camp Barker model built by Bruce Leavitt as his Eagle Scout project in 1982.
Model is housed at Berrien County Historical, Berrien Springs, MI
locations was between Superior, Michigan, 11th and 9th Streets to be named Camp Barker. The fair buildings were converted into barracks with additional barracks and buildings constructed by recruits. There were ten barracks, one for each company. The oval fair race track was used for drills, training and marching.

Recruitment for the Michigan 12th took place during the fall and winter of 1861-1862, consisting of 10 companies of 100 men each. The original companies comprised enlistees coming from individual towns. For company A–Cassopolis; B–St. Joseph; C–Buchanan; D–Albion; E,F and K–Niles; G–Lansing; H–Lawton; and I–Berrien Springs.

On March 18, 1862 after rudimentary training was complete, the 12th Michigan marched across town to the Michigan Central Railroad station and set off by train for St. Louis, Missouri. After engaging in numerous battles the 12th was mustered out of service February 15, 1866 at Camden Arkansas.
 
Location. 41° 49.807′ N, 86° 15.584′ W. Marker is in Niles, Michigan, in Berrien County. Marker can be reached from W. Main Street (State Highway 139) 0.1 miles west of Front Street, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is located in Riverfront Park just north of the Main Street bridge. Marker is in this post office area: Niles MI 49120, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Close-up of Image on Parrott Civil War Cannon Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 17, 2013
4. Close-up of Image on Parrott Civil War Cannon Marker
Caption:
Marker sponsored in memory of
PVT. FRANCIS MARION ROOK
Union Army 20th Illinois Infantry Company B
June 13, 1861-July 16, 1865
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Niles Veterans Memorial (a few steps from this marker); John B. Reddick Building (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); PA-WA-TING (approx. 0.2 miles away); Wesley United Methodist Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Four Flags Hotel (approx. mile away); Trinity Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Chapin House / Henry Austin Chapin (approx. 0.3 miles away); U.S.S. Maine Memorial (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Niles.
 
Categories. War, US Civil
 
Close-up of Image<br>on Parrott Civil War Cannon Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 17, 2013
5. Close-up of Image
on Parrott Civil War Cannon Marker
Caption: Michigan 12th's motto "Michigan expects every man to do HIS duty".
Battle of Shiloh Painting by Darren Smith, Artist and Civil War historian
Parrott Civil War Cannon Marker<br>in Riverfront Park image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 17, 2013
6. Parrott Civil War Cannon Marker
in Riverfront Park
Model 1861 6.4-inch (100 pounder)<br>Army Parrott Rifle image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 17, 2013
7. Model 1861 6.4-inch (100 pounder)
Army Parrott Rifle
Muzzle of Parrott Rifle image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 17, 2013
8. Muzzle of Parrott Rifle
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 719 times since then and 25 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
Paid Advertisement