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Cannon Plays Role in Southern Oregon Indian Wars

A cannon boomed a salute each day to the Indian fighters and Civil War veterans attending the Southern Oregon Soldiers and Sailors reunion in Grants Pass in June, 1906.  At the encampment, some of the old soldiers may have shared stories about the thundering brass cannon in earlier days.
In 1856 General Joseph Lane had ordered the cannon for the Rogue River Indian War.  It was shipped by schooner from San Francisco to the port at Scottsburg at the mouth of the Umpqua. From there, a four-horse team spent two weeks dragging the heavy weapon over barely passable roads to Fort Lane, on the south bank of the Rogue River.

After the Rogue wars, the cannon landed in Klamath County for use in the Modoc Indian War of 1872-73.  Later it was hauled to Ashland for shipment as surplus to Fort Vancouver. Some Jacksonville veterans sneaked off with the cannon and hid it for two years, when the government turned it over to the Rogue River Soldiers and Sailors Association.

Two years later some veterans at a reunion in Jacksonville got drunk and damaged it while attempting to shoot up the town.  A local blacksmith kindly donated the $10 repair.


Source:  "Old Veterans Hold Their 25th Annual State Encampment." Rogue River Courier 22 June 1906 [Grants Pass OR] : 1. Historic Oregon Newspapers. Web. 12 July 2016. .

Gail Fiorini-Jenner is a writer and teacher. Her first novel "Across the Sweet Grass Hills", won the 2002 WILLA Literary Award. She co-authored four histories with Arcadia Publishing: Western Siskiyou County: Gold & Dreams, Images of the State of Jefferson, The State of Jefferson: Then & Now, which placed in the 2008 Next Generation Awards for Nonfiction and Postcards from the State of Jefferson.