Anderson in Anderson County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
The Old Reformer
Though not engaged in actual warfare since the Revolutionary War, when it was used by both the American and British Army, this old cannon has had much to do with the making of South Carolina history. It came into this section, first in 1814, in charge of the military forces of this district and was late used when great enthusiasm in General and Camp musters.
In 1860 it was used with wonderful effect spreading the news of South Carolina's secession and in rallying the manhood of the section to the cause so dear to the Southern heart.
In 1876, when the Democrats of the State determined to wrest political control from the Carpetbaggers, this old piece was again called into service, and with it, the shot was fired that reverberated from the mountains to the sea. In truth, it was during those trying days that it was christened "Old Reformer," for the service it then helped so nobly to perform it is hoped that it may be preserved.
Mayor of Anderson
Location. 34° 30.583′ N, 82° 38.95′ W. Marker is in Anderson, South Carolina, in Anderson County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of East Greenville Street (State Highway 81), on the left. Touch for map.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Robert Anderson Memorial Fountain (within shouting distance of this marker); James Lawrence Orr (within shouting distance of this marker); Orr Monument (within shouting distance of this marker); Boy High School (within shouting distance of this marker); "Old Reformer" Cannon (within shouting distance of this marker); Girls High School (within shouting distance of this marker); Frierson School House (within shouting distance of this marker); McGee Harness Shop (within shouting distance of this marker); Virginia "Jennie" Gilmer (approx. 0.2 miles away); Anderson County Library (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Anderson.
Also see . . .
1. Anderson Downtown Historic District. The Anderson Downtown Historic District is primarily significant as a well-preserved late nineteenth/early twentieth century commercial area. The district retains a typical town plan with a courthouse square in its center, as well as numerous good examples of Victorian, Romanesque (Submitted on August 1, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
2. Wade Hampton III. Wade Hampton III (March 28, 1818 – April 11, 1902) was a Confederate cavalry leader during the American Civil War and afterwards a politician from South Carolina, serving as its governor and as a U.S. Senator. (Submitted on August 1, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
1. The Old Reformer Cannon
The "Old Reformer" as it was known, was brought to Anderson by Luke Hanks, an alleged kinsman of Abraham Lincoln, in 1814. Hanks had taken the artillery piece from the old star fort at Ninety Six, where it had been used by the Tories to repel the Americans. The cannon acquired its nickname in 1876, when it was fired to celebrate the election of Governor Wade Hampton and the end of Reconstruction. A Civil War general, Hampton was a descendant of the Revolutionary War hero of the same name. (Source: Touring South Carolina's Revolutionary War Sites by Daniel W. Barefoot (1999) pg 144.)
— Submitted August 1, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
2. The Old
This little brass canon of English make was brought to Charleston in 1764 by a group of German immigrants who were befriended by the King of England when they were stranded in London. The king outfitted two ships with goods and arms, including the cannon, for the Germans' voyage to the New World. The cannon is believed to have been used in both the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Some years later, Colonel Eliab Moore, a Revolutionary War leader who settled near High Shoals and organized the Fourth Regiment of Militia, in which he served as First Colonel, acquired the cannon for use by his artillery company at Howard's Old Field. It was hauled to this area from Hamburg, a now vanished riverport on the Savannah River, by Luke Hanks. It was said the cannon was fired when Governor George McDuffie came to review the militia at annual musters. In later years Colonel John Moore and his brothers James and Sam (Eliab Moore's grandsons) bought a large tract of land belonging to Thomas Dean. While looking over the property, they found the abandoned cannon and had their nephew, John Smith, haul it to the city of Anderson. The cannon was turned over to Smith's custody since he had served as a sergeant at Fort Moultrie and was well-drilled in artillery. Tradition has it that the cannon's voice blazoned the news of the signing of the Ordinance of Succession in 1860.
When the Democratic gubernatorial campaign for Wade Hampton opened in Anderson in 1876, John Smith mounted the cannon on his wagon and carried it to political meetings all over the county and surrounding areas. On one occasion in Abbeville County while Smith was absent, the cannon was fired, loaded with chains and iron spikes. Cuts in the weapon were caused by this. After this campaign, the cannon was abandoned and lay buried in the dirt at the old Anderson depot for a long time. Finally, it was rescued by W.R. Hubbard and placed on his lawn. It remained there until 1905-06 when it was turned over to the Cateechee Chapter, D.A.R., and placed near the intersection of North Main and Orr streets. Eventually it became hazardous to automobile traffic, was removed and again disappeared from sight. It was rescued for a third time during Mayor Foster Fant's first term in office (1920-1922) and at this time it was mounted and placed in front of the courthouse where it stands today. By this time, its fine carriage had rotted away. The iron from the old support had been used during the Civil War to make ploughshares. (Source: Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce.)
— Submitted September 25, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
Categories. • War, US Civil • War, US Revolutionary •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on August 1, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,038 times since then and 26 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on August 1, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 2. submitted on May 6, 2011, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 3, 4, 5. submitted on August 1, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.