‘I am made of iron… and Uncle Sam needs me’

“A captured German cannon was gifted to the city [of Asheville] by returning soldiers at the end of World War I. At first, residents couldn’t agree on where to display the weapon. For a time it was unceremoniously stashed in the rear of the former courthouse yard before veterans won approval to move it to Pack Square in front of the Vance Monument.

“The cannon remained there for nearly three decades before mysteriously vanishing — not once, but twice. The final disappearance was reported in the Asheville Times on Oct. 29, 1942. No one, the paper noted, claimed responsibility. But a note (supposedly written by the cannon) was found at the Pack Square site. ‘There is another World War on, fellow citizens,’ the cannon proclaimed, ‘and this time I am on your side. I am made of iron and steel and Uncle Sam needs me.’ ”

— From “Local historians uncover Asheville’s hidden past” by Thomas Calder in Mountain Xpress (July 24, 2019)

The cannon story, attributed to retired head librarian Laura Gaskin, is among those compiled by Zoe Rhine in “Hidden History of Asheville.”


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