John Gilleland of Athens, Georgia convinced the town to build a double barrel cannon that could fire two cannon balls simultaneously. He was sure that the balls, connected by a long chain, would mow down enemy lines like a scythe cutting wheat.
The double six-pounder iron cannon was cast in one piece at the Athens Steam Company in 1862. Each barrel had its own touch hole so it could be fired independently, plus a common touch hole in the center to fire both barrels at the same time.
The cannon was tested in a field on the Newton Bridge Road in April 1862. When the piece was fired, one ball left the muzzle before the other, sending the two balls on an erratic circular course, plowing up the ground all around. Then the chain snapped and the balls careened off in separate, unpredictable directions. One killed a cow and the other demolished the chimney on a log cabin. Assembled spectators scattered in fear of their lives.
For the next few years the double-barrel cannon was used as a signal gun for the town of Athens, to warn of approaching Union soldiers. After the war, it was mounted on a carriage and placed in the town square, where it still stands.
Precisely cast white metal parts include left and right trail, cannon barrel and ready-to-mount wheels. Rammer head, water and grease buckets, rope, chain plus other detail and accessory pieces ensure a historically accurate model. Illustrated assembly instructions make for easy building. Assembly time 5-10 hours.