Gun Metal. – In speaking a few days since of the call made for brass and other gun metal, we stated that there were a number of old cannon stuck at the corners of different streets in this city that would serve an admirable turn in the present juncture. There is certainly enough gun metal thus located to make several batteries. We have seen no attempt yet made to use this property, which, without doubt, belongs to the State or is subject to its order. If one of the brass pieces presented to the State in former years by the French Government can, without any compunctions of conscience, be broken up and re-melted into modern field pieces, why cannot those at the corner of the different streets be dug up and put to similar use? A trip hammer judiciously used, would soon make them as useful as gun metal as any other description of old iron.
For many years these old cannon have stood silent sentinels of our progress, from an insignificant village to a considerable city. They have stood the winter’s cold and summer’s heat. Why cannot they be made to speak their indignation against the vandal hordes now seeking our destruction? In regard to the giving of church bells, while it does very well to illustrate the patriotism of our people here, is a question whether the trouble and expense to the parties making the “sacrifice” is not much greater than the good to be gained, seeing that one ordinary church bell would not make more than one half of a six-pounder cannon. In speaking of bells, we are reminded that the one in the steeple of Rev. Dr. Reed’s church was taken down yesterday, and sent to the Virginia Armory, to be converted into cannon.
– From the Richmond Dispatch, 12 April 1862, p. 2, c.3.