published Saturday, July 7th, 2012

Civil War cannon roars on Lookout Mountain, Tenn.

Artillery programs are scheduled at Point Park on Lookout Mountain today.
Artillery programs are scheduled at Point Park on Lookout Mountain today.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

IF YOU GO

What: Point Park cannon firings

When: 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. today

Admission: $3 per person; children 15 and under get in free.

The sound of cannon fire will reverberate today through Lookout Mountain, Tenn.

Cannoneers will shoot off a 3-inch-diameter ordnance rifle at Point Park at five demonstrations throughout the day.

Point Park is near upscale, older homes. Yet neighbors don't complain about the sound of artillery, said Chris Young, a park ranger at the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.

But then, the noise is nothing new.

"Years ago, every morning, they fired a cannon off at Point Park," Young said. "That was when our rules were a little bit more lax."

Police Chief Randall Bowden confirmed that no one's complained about re-enactor gunfire in all the time he's been a Lookout Mountain, Tenn., police officer.

"Hadn't in 26 years," Bowden said. "My dad [fired] 'em back when I was 6 years old. My dad was a ranger up there when I was a boy."

The cannoneers are volunteers who signed up in the spring to take a cannon-firing class so they could take part in several artillery demonstrations. The highlight will come on Sept. 15-16, when six cannons manned by 36 men will re-enact a battery-gun crew at Chickamauga Battlefield on the 149th anniversary of the Civil War battle there.

For safety's sake, the park doesn't fire any of its antique weapons because they might explode. The iron ordnance rifle to be fired today is a modern-day reproduction of a Civil War weapon.

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about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers Catoosa and Walker counties for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California. Stories he's covered include crime in blighted parts of metro Detroit and Reno, Nev.; environmental activists tree-sitting in California's Sierra Nevada foothills; attempts by the Michigan Militia to take over a township┬╣s government in northern Michigan. A native of Michigan, ...

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