The modern-day users of a cannon found in a snow drift,” The Rebels” resemble authentic Civil War soldiers. By George Wetzel of war. Even though it was that now stands on Westminster In front of the American Legion a museum piece, he changed his Road. Post 116, on Westminster Road, mind. His religious scruples got in Between 1868 and 1888 the Reisterstown stands an old cannon on the way. Eventually the legionnaires “Leila” used her cannon but once, a a wrought iron carriage. It bears no did the job themselves. rarity considering the bellicose, if resemblance to the lumbrous cannon Once reconditioned it was ready sporadic, outbreaks of the oyster found on memorial battlefields of the to fire on April 4, 1959, and wars. Cruising with a party of Civil War, although it is of that afterwards entered into national visitors one afternoon, Captain period. competitions against other old Hunter Davidson, of the “Leila” The late Cliford E Sullivan of pieces, on an average of at spied two vessels illegally dredging Hanover Road, Reisterstown was least twice per year by the Second just off Sandy Point. working for the Maryland State Maryland Light Artillery, North- One shot was fired across the Roads Commission during the winter South Skirmish Association. During bows of the dredgers, and they of 1938. He was clearing snow, said these events it won for Post 116, surrendered. his widow, Mrs. Lillian Sullivan, several trophies for accuracy. The modern-day users of this old from part of an entrance to a private According to Carl Soine, the cannon are sometimes colloquially home on Valley Road near Falls cannon has been fired at: Ft referred to as “The Rebels”. Road – family of Bromo-Seltzer Shenandoah; Gainesboro, Virginia; Appropriately, Capt, Davidson was fame. Aberdeen Proving Ground (1960); also a confederate officer on the In the drifted snow in Mrs. Manassas Re-enactment (1961); southern “Merrimac”. Emerson’s yard Sullivan glimpsed an Reisterstown Memorial Day Service The “Leila” was withdrawn from old cannon. Its wheels and (1962); Gettysburg Re-enactment the force in 1885 after two more carriage were rotted away. Atop the (1963); Fort Meade, Md.; Fort Dix steamers had been added. What barrel was a legend; a large circle New Jersey; the Towson Centennial. happened to her two cannons in the within which was the great seal of Soine discovered that the 12- intervening years has remained a Maryland, identifying its former , naval Dahlgren , mystery. owner. More provocatively, below it was cast at the Tredegar gun factory appeared “State Oyster Police Force, in Richmond, Virginia in 1863 – a 1868”. On the muzzle rim was factory well-known for its Civil War inscribed “Tredegar Co. 1868.” ordnance. The “1868” date on the To all the Sullivan’s inquires muzzle rim suggests the piece was , Reisterstown, Maryland about the cannon, Mrs. Emerson obtained by the State of Maryland shook her head. She knew nothing later and may possibly have been of it of how her family obtained it. used in the Civil War. But, she added, since you’ve been The Maryland Oyster Police so nice about the snow, you can Force was organized in 1868 to have the cannon if you want it. enforce the state laws of the oyster Sullivan carted it off and left it at fishing industry. The force was the Esso station, at the corner of additionally hampered by a lack of Chatsworth Avenue and Main strong firepower caused by the Street, which was then run by stationing of a single sloop in each Arthur Heinzman, a relative. Here it river, the crew being armed with lay for many years. rifles or hand . To offset this When the American Legion Post effort, the state sent a steamer, 116 acquired a home on armed with cannon, which cruised Westminster Road in the early all over the Bay, giving the 1950’s, Sullivan made them a gift of individual sloops an edge in it. Once they had it, Said Bill Coale, firepower and cowing the pirates a legionnaire, they scoured it free of when they saw her. its film of verdigris, rebuilt the gun “Leila”, the first such vessel, was and re-tooled the inside of the inaugurated in 1868. She was armed barrel. But fashioning new wheels with two cannons and described as was a craft beyond their knowledge “looking like a pirate” herself. In at the time. 1884 a second steamer, the An Amish wheelwright agreed at “Governor Hamilton”, was similarly first to do the job, until he learned armed, and in time, several more. the wheels were to support a But it is the cannon from “Leila”