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    Small Town Artillery I
    The Most Famous Piece of Ordnance in Texas

    Gonzales' Come and Take It Cannon
    Gonzales, Texas

    by  Norman Conquest
     
    Read four history books about the Texas Revolution and you'll have four versions of what occurred on October 2, 1835. They've pretty much settled on the number 18 for the Gonzalans present, but the numbers of Mexicans varies as does the cannon's composition. Sometimes the cannon is brass, sometimes it's iron. Sometimes it makes it to the Alamo where it was melted with the other cannons after the fall, and sometimes it's buried en route. One thing is for sure, Dr. Pat Wagner, who came into ownership of the cannon, spent many many months working with Doug Kubacek of Hallettsville to verify the pedigree of the gun, which now sits in the museum in Gonzales. The cannon had been lost, but very close to the Texas Centennial (almost to the day) a flood of the Guadalupe revealed the cannon you can see today.
    Gonzales Come and Take It Cannon & Dr. Wagner
    Dr. Wagner and Come and Take It Cannon.
    Courtesy of Gonzales County Archives
    X-rayed and magnified, to the point of using the huge x-ray machine at an airbase in San Antonio, both Dr. Wagner and Doug Kubacek confirmed  that this was a cannon made by a blacksmith in Gonzales, since they had access to a detailed diary the blacksmith kept on the repairs done to the touch hole. 
    Although it is portrayed in many different forms, a flared barrel, a different carriage and sizes from small to 2XX, it still is a tidy bit of work.

    Even if it doesn't measure up to legend, that doesn't take away from the fact that this was the defiant act that sparked the revolution and this cannon was the instrument.

    Dr. Wagner passed away early this year, but he generously allowed the cannon to be shown around the state where it could be seen by a greater audience. It now resides at the Gonzales Memorial Museum. 

    Come And Take It Cannon
    "Come And Take It" Cannon in displayed in the museum
    Photo courtesy Sarah Reveley, 2007
    Drawing of the "Come And Take It" Cannon
    Drawing of the "Come And Take It" Cannon
    Photo courtesy Sarah Reveley, 2007
    Related Stories:
  • Dr. Pat Wagner and the "Come & Take It" Cannon by Murray Montgomery
    Those of us who love Texas history can thank Dr. Wagner for the little cannon that is presently on exhibit at the Gonzales Memorial Museum.
  • The Women of 1836 by Linda Kirkpatrick
    ... In the midst of preparing to march to San Antonio, the people of Gonzales decided that they needed a flag. An appointed committee designed what they considered a flag of support for the cause... The flag would have a white field without a border and in the center a picture of the treasured cannon. Over the cannon a single five-pointed lone star was sewn and under the cannon the words, “Come and Take It!” ....more
  • Gonzales Memorial Museum
  • Gonzales, Texas

    Forum:
    Subject: The Gonzales cannon

    It has a 1½" bore, & at some point it was turned, the vent plugged, & a new vent bored on the other side. According to Noah Smithwick in Evolution Of A State, he did the work. The plugged original vent is what positively identified it as the actual Gonzales cannon when it was found in the 1930s. - C.F. Eckhardt, April 04, 2008
  • Gonzales Memorial MuseumGonzales Memorial Museum
    TE postcard archive
    Jack the Knife Murphy
    Jack "The Knife" Murphy demonstrating the ease with which the cannon could be concealed.
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