Who was Turner anyway?

Who was Turner anyway?

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Field Musicians Wanted!

A Turner Bugler, 2004

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The Woodruff Gun–Annotations to “Researching the Woodruff Carriage”–The Gilbertville Guns

The Woodruff Gun

Annotations to “Researching the Woodruff Carraige”

The Gilbertville Guns

The week after the Company of Military Historians annual meeting in Moline, Ill., in October 2022, I received an email from the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM), which manages donations of surplus weapons to civic groups, that records indicated that two Woodruffs had been loaned to the American Legion post in Gilbertville, Ia., but no date was recorded for the transfer.   A followup with the post revealed that the two tubes displayed at the post were not Woodruffs and were in fact an unidentified type.

The Gilbertville Guns

TACOM reported that two Woodruff guns had been loaned to the American Legion Post in Gilbertville, IA, but these are not Woodruff guns.
Photo by Renee Pecenka.

Renee Pecenka, Manager of Post 714 of the American Legion in Gilbertville, reports that the guns are 27½” inches long with a 2″ bore. She says their records show the guns were acquired through the efforts of Rev. John Nemmers, a priest at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Gilbertville, who served from 1875-1928. They are apparently mentioned in the following news article from the Waterloo Courier newspaper of June 30, 1880:

“Our Democratic friends enthused a little over the nomination of Hancock and English. George Barnes sent his team to Gilbertsville [sic] and brought up the two cannons belonging there, and they were placed on either side of the river. After it grew dark considerable powder was burnt and the band was got out and played a few tunes while the faithful cheered for their nominees and made noise loud enough for considerable enthusiasm; but they probably thought with the Irishman who undertook to rub the bull’s nose in the dirt, that it was a “moighty foine thing to have the laugh furst.” After next November the laugh will probably be from the other side.”

The 1880 newspaper article could be referring to a different pair of guns, since the American Legion was not founded until 1919, and the TACOM report indicates guns loaned to the American Legion post.  If Woodruffs were loaned, the guns in front of the post are not those.