By Pearl Hendricks.

* * * * * * * * * * “CHAMBERS GUNS”.


Excerpt from an article in the Houston Chronicle
Sunday, October 25, 1942

      Even though the cannons that were brought to Texas by Thomas Jefferson Chambers for the use of the Texas revolutionists have been known by no more romantic names than the “Chambers guns”, they are of no little interest partly because at least one of them has been preserved and partly because of the mystery of their careers during the 106 years since they first arrived in Texas – too late for San Jacinto.

Historians have given the Chambers guns every caliber from 4 to 24 pounders. But General Chambers’ own report made in 1837, says, “I have also sent to the army . . . four 6-pounders, cannon mounted on fine carriages, with all the implements for field services – two Howitzers, 5 8/10 inches in diameter, completely mounted and equipped for the field. (The six pieces of artillery are new, and were made under my orders expressly for our service. . . . )

They served in the army, guarding the frontier against expected reinvasion during the early days of the little nation. During the “Sixties they were mounted at the fort at Harrisburg and fell into the hands of federal troops after Lee’s surrender. Destined to be taken “to grace the conqueror’s chariot wheels in some distant Northern city”, they were discovered by a kinsman of Chambers who appealed to the commanding officer to permit them to be left in Galveston. But during reconstruction, they were buried in the yard of the city’s fire company. Three were dug up in 1873. But two of them had been seen in Houston at the close of the war and had been described by the same Union soldier from Ohio who had seen the “Twin Sisters”, - as “two short and very common looking iron 24-pounders,” Engraved on each, in small capitals was, “Presented to the Republic of Texas by Maj. Gen. T. J. Chambers.”

Then in January, 1880, after many wanderings, of the Chambers guns returned to Texas from Baton Rouge and was proudly escorted to the capital at Austin. But the Chambers cannon now at Austin, at the entrance to the capital was brought back to Texas in 1910 from Washington, D.C. where it had been for many years mounted in front of the department buildings. So in the face of all these contradictions, about all we know definitely is: General Chambers presented “four 6-pounders cannon” to the republic in 1836.

* * * * * * and two of them now stand at the entrance of the State Capitol.

This Article
From the Archives of the Chambers County Historical Commission

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