Thursday, August 30, 2007
A battlefield practical joke in Marianna
This is the Holden House on West Lafayette Street in Marianna. Constructed during the 1850s, the home was one of a number of similar structures that overlooked the fighting of the Battle of Marianna on September 27, 1864.
Two interesting battle-related stories are told about this house. The first involves a bit of a practical joke played on the occupants of the home by Union soldiers following the battle. In the hours after the fighting ended, Union soldiers "raided" homes all over Marianna, including the Holden House. A couple of them apparently decided to have some fun with the residents of the home and placed a 12-pound cannon ball in the middle of the parlor floor, warning the family members that it would explode if moved. The projectile was actually a solid shot, but the family had no way of knowing this so they left in in place in the middle of the parlor for more than 100 years. A local high school teacher picked it up for a closer look while visiting the home during the 1970s, much to the shock of the people then living in the house. They gave it to him as a keepsake once he convinced them it would not explode.
The cannonball undoubtedly was left behind by soldiers from Company M of the 2nd Maine Cavalry. This unit manned the two 12-pounder howitzers attached to the regiment. It was the only known use of artillery during the Battle of Marianna.
For more information on the Battle of Marianna, be sure to visit my site: http://www.battleofmarianna.net/.