Civil War-era cannons vandalized on Missionary Ridge; federal agents investigating

Civil War-era cannons vandalized on Missionary Ridge; federal agents investigating

March 26th, 2013 by Todd South in News

The DeLong Reservation on Missionary Ridge is pictured in this 2010 photo.

Photo by Staff File Photo/Times Free Press.

WHERE TO CALL

Anyone with information about the vandalism at DeLong Military Reservation is asked to call Chief Ranger Todd Roeder at 423-752-5213 ext. 119.

Cannons

Photo by Laura McNutt/Times Free Press.

The DeLong Military Reservation on North Crest Road in Missionary Ridge will remain closed while park rangers investigate and repair two vandalized Civil War-era cannons.

Chief Ranger Todd Roeder with the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park said a visitor called rangers Sunday to report the vandalism.

One of the cannons was turned on its end into the ground and had minor damage, he said. The other cannon was turned over and broken completely.

Cannons at the park weigh between 800 and 1,200 pounds, Roeder said.

Because they are unstable, the site is not safe for visitors, according to a parks news release.

The rangers will investigate the incident. Because the damage occurred on federal property, the penalties fall under federal jurisdiction.

Depending on charges, those responsible could face fines and prison time, Roeder said.

The two-acre site, which also houses the 2nd Minnesota monument, is closed during the investigation and repair. Roeder said he hoped to find a contractor to do the repairs within the week.

He did not have a cost estimate of the damage as of Monday.

The multiple area Civil War sites often are unguarded; Roeder said park personnel trust the public to respect property at the parks.

Roeder said in the past five years cannons had been "disturbed a handful of times."

"We can't protect them 24 hours," he said. "But we have a good association up there on Missionary Ridge that takes care of the site."

Contact staff writer Todd South at tsouth@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6347. Follow him on Twitter @tsouthCTFP.