August 31, 2012: 8 AM and the crane is in place to lift and turn the old Courthouse Cannons and place them on new stands. Naff Welding and Machine Works of Henry, VA did the huge job which took most of the morning. It was a great event for photo buffs and pros as well: you can see Ray Reynolds getting his shot right in the middle of this photo. The cannons have a new lift now and point over the old First National Bank building instead of at it.
More Info on the Cannons:|
Two Confederate Legends in Henry County (Submitted by Pat Ross to the Bassett High School Ben Growl Magazine in 2011)
Recently the Mildred Lee Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy loaned the staff at Bassett Historical Center old scrapbooks, photographs, information that have been stored at the old Henry County Courthouse for years. This information has opened our eyes to several things that have been told and believed over the years that we found to be incorrect. One such “legend” is that of the two cannons which were placed in front of the old Henry County Courthouse. Oral history has been passed down through the years and we were told that elephants from a traveling circus moved the cannons from the train station to the old Courthouse, moving them slowly up Broad Street from the train station. We now have found papers voicing the remembrances of Mrs. Kathleen Teague Carter who remembered vividly that there were no elephants involved; she remembered because she watched mules pulling the cannons while swinging on the gate in her front yard. It took almost a month for the mules to pull these two cannons to the old courthouse as it kept raining, and the cannons would get bogged down in the mud. This kept happening until the mud dried. Then, the mules would try again! These cannons figured in the Revolutionary War, were used for defense for the South in the Civil War, and were used at Fort McHenry, Maryland prior to being shipped to Martinsville.
The Confederate monument that graces the old Courthouse lawn was to have been placed at Oakwood Cemetery. On October 3, 1895, a cornerstone of the monument was laid at Oakwood. However, the Mildred Lee Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy decided, as ladies do change their minds, and with permission of the Henry County Supervisors, that the monument would be erected on the Courthouse lawn. On January 26, 1901, the monument arrived and was drawn from the train station on a wagon decorated with the Confederate colors. It was veiled, only to be unveiled on June 3, 1901, the fortieth anniversary of the departure of the Henry County Guards, the first organized company of Confederate soldiers to leave Henry County for the War Between the States. The two large cannons were then placed on either side of the monument.
September 8, 2012: Per Debbie Hall, Museum Director, plans are being made for cleaning the tops of each cannon. There is a deposit or some sort of material where the cannons were previously resting upside down.