Friday, October 22, 2010
The Cannonball House - Macon, Georgia
Built in 1853 by Judge Asa Holt, the house earned its name on July 30, 1864, when it was struck by a Union cannonball fired from across the Ocmulgee River during the Battle of Dunlap Hill (also called Dunlap's Farm). The iron ball hit the sand walkway in front of the house, bounced up and smashed through a column before going into the house and landing in a hallway where it left a permanent dent in the flooring.
The cannon that fired on Macon were located in the yard of the Dunlap House across the river (now part of Ocmulgee National Monument). Union troops led by General George Stoneman had failed in their effort to enter Macon to free the Federal prisoners of war held at Camp Oglethorpe. Realizing that they could not storm through the Confederate troops that had swarmed to meet them, they turned their cannon on civilian areas of Macon. The accounts and reports of Union officers indicate that they fired intentionally on civilian targets in the city, obviously knowing that women, children, slaves and other noncombatants could be killed or maimed.
The Cannonball House stands today as a reminder of that day. A museum owned by the Sidney Lanier Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, it is open to the public and visitors can still see the damage caused by the cannonball. To learn more about this fascinating house and museum, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/cannonballhouse.