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Loose cannons: Trophies of war once guarded local court greens

For a large part of the 20th century, the sleepy court greens of Gloucester and Mathews counties were guarded by great guns of wars gone by. Where did the guns go?

One went back to war. At least two found homes at a patriotic organization. A few seem to be unaccounted for—loose cannons, in a sense. Today, the local court greens no longer present a militant aspect.

War surplus; war reuse

Gloucester County, in 1919, was to receive a "German cannon," as reported in the Feb. 6, 1919 Mathews Journal: "According to a letter recently received from Hon. S. O. Bland [the Congressman from the First District] by the Board of Supervisors of Gloucester County, a bill has been introduced by him to secure a German cannon or field piece to be placed on the Court House green as a souvenir of the great war in which many Gloucester boys fought." We have no record in our papers of what happened next.

However, the Gloucester Board of Supervisors, on Nov. 2, 1924, appl...

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