Anderson County SCGenWeb Project

Story researched & compiled by the Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce
Photo and Story Contributed by Linda Bratcher McGuire
Thank you Linda for your contribution.

"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.  Smith gave it the name "The Old Reformer."

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."

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