Why are the cannons of San Jacinto called the twin sisters?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    More than you want to know I am sure

    TWIN SISTERS. On November 17, 1835, after Francis Smith convinced the people of Cincinnati, Ohio, to aid the cause of the Texas Revolution,qv the Ohioans began raising funds to procure two cannons and their attendant equipment for Texas. Since the United States was taking an official stance of neutrality toward the rebellion in Texas, the citizens of Cincinnati referred to their cannon as "hollow ware." Two guns, probably six pounders, were manufactured at the foundry of Greenwood and Webb in Cincinnati and then shipped down the Mississippi to New Orleans. William Bryan,qv an agent of the Republic of Texasqv in New Orleans, took official possession of the guns on March 16, 1836. From New Orleans the guns were placed on the schooner Pennsylvania and taken to Galveston Island. For some reason they were not accompanied by their limbers and ammunition, perhaps because the dangerous military situation in the republic did not allow for any delays. The cannons arrived in Galveston at the beginning of April 1836. On board the Pennsylvania was the family of Dr. Charles Rice, who was moving to Texas. Upon arrival in Galveston the guns were presented to representatives of Texas under the sponsorship of Dr. Rice's twin daughters, Elizabeth and Eleanor. Someone in the crowd made notice of the fact that there were two sets of twins in the presentation, the girls and the guns, and thus the cannons became the Twin Sisters.

    After several unsuccessful attempts to get the Twin Sisters to the Texas army under Sam Houston,qv which was retreating toward the Sabine before the forces of Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna,qv the Twins finally reached the army on April 11, 1836. A thirty-man artillery "corps" was immediately formed to service the guns, the only artillery with the Texas army, and placed under the command of Lt. Col. James Clinton Neill.qv Only nine days later the Twin Sisters saw their first action during a skirmish between the armies of Houston and Santa Anna on April 20. In this fight Neill was wounded, and command of the guns passed to George W. Hockley.qv The next day, April 21, 1836, saw the battle of San Jacintoqv and the securing of fame for the Twin Sisters. That afternoon near the banks of Buffalo Bayou the Texas army struck at Santa Anna's unsuspecting troops. The Twins were probably near the center of the Texans' line of battle and ten yards in advance of the infantry. Their first shots were fired at a distance of 200 yards, and their fire was credited with helping to throw the Mexican force into confusion and significantly aiding the infantry attack. During this battle the Twins fired handfuls of musket balls, broken glass, and horseshoes, as this was the only ammunition the Texans had for the guns. Among the crews serving the guns were several men who later made prominent names for themselves in Texas history, including Benjamin McCulloch,qv a future Confederate general who helped bring the Twins back from oblivion in 1860. In 1840 the Twins were reported to have been moved, along with other military stores, to Austin, where on April 21, 1841, they were fired in celebration of the fifth anniversary of the battle of San Jacinto. When Sam Houston was inaugurated as president of the republic that year, the twins were fired as Houston kissed the Bible after taking the oath of office.

    Little is known about them after this. In 1845 Texas was annexed by the United States. Under the terms of annexationqv the state was to cede to the federal government "all fortifications, barracks, ports and harbors, navy and navy yards, docks, magazines, arms, armaments, and all other property and means pertaining to the public defense." Historians have questioned whether the Twin Sisters, which were by 1845 considered to be historical relics with little military value, were in fact turned over to the United States. But evidence indicates that they were, and certainly the government of Texas and its citizens believed that they had been. All Texas military stores were removed to the federal arsenal at Baton Rouge, including the Twins, and there they remained unnoticed and neglected for fifteen years. Then came the election of Abraham Lincoln and the secessionqv crisis. Even before Texas called the Secession Convention,qv men were beginning to think about preparing for war. McCulloch, recalling his service with the Twin Sisters at San Jacinto, thought that these guns should once again be on Texas soil. He wrote to Governor Houston informing him of the current status of the Twins. Houston agreed and wrote to the United States secretary of war asking for the return of the Twins. Before action could be taken on this matter, however, Texas had seceded from the Union. The Texas Secession Convention appointed a commission to ask Louisiana for the return of the Twin Sisters, but inquiries showed that the cannons had been sold to a foundry in Baton Rouge as scrap iron some years before. Geo

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Twin Sisters Cannons

  • 6 years ago

    J.A. Sowell was one of the original Texas Rangers. He wrote a book in 1870 and stated that the Twin Sisters were buried "On the banks of Sandy Creek, southwest of Austin".

    Source(s): J.A. Sowell, "History of Ft. Bend County" 1870
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