Best Buried Treasure (2007)

The Twin Sisters

In 1836, America was in the throes of a national frenzy of Manifest Destiny. In support of their brethren fighting Santa Anna in Texas, the citizens of Cincinnati forged two small cannons. The guns were shipped on steamboats down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers and then out of New Orleans to Galveston, where they were officially presented to the Texian army by twins Elizabeth and Eleanor Rice. Thereafter the cannons were known as the Twin Sisters. The guns served the Texans well at San Jacinto and were fired again to celebrate Sam Houston's swearing-in as the first president of the Republic of Texas. When Texas became a state in 1845, the guns were ceded to the federal government, which placed them in a Baton Rouge arsenal for 15 years. Just after the election of Abraham Lincoln and the secessions of Louisiana and Texas, the guns were returned to Texas. They were next employed against the Federal army at the Battle of Galveston on New Year's Day in 1863, but after that, nobody knows what happened to the Twin Sisters. An occupying soldier in the Federal army claimed, 44-years after the war ended, to have seen the guns near the Kennedy building, where he was lodging in August of 1865. Just after that, the story goes, a cabal of Confederates took the guns in order to stop them from falling into the hands of the Federal government, and buried them in a field near Harrisburg, where they remain to this day.


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