Feb 15


This weekend was “Charm School” weekend when potential guides are trained on giving tours of the battlefield. One of the instructors, Rich Kohr, is BASICALLY taking a break from his arduous duties with Remco’s Johnny Reb Cannon which came out in either the Christmas of 1960, or sometime in 1961. This view was taken facing east at approximately 8:30 AM on Sunday, February 13, 2011.

The Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park is open every day except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Years Day. The winter months are frequently slow for guiding. Although most of the guides, of course, are studiously looking over battle reports and maps, some find other outlets to pass the time. Such as target practicing with a Johnny Reb Cannon.

This You Tube Video shows an advertisement for Remco’s Johnny Reb Cannon.


Rich Kohr shows us the loading process. First the projectile was a plastic cannon ball, and other sources state that a harder type of foam cannon ball was also available. This view was taken facing east at approximately 8:30 AM on Sunday, February 13, 2011.


He’s putting the projectile in the muzzle. The Johnny Reb Cannon was eventually taken off the market. This view was taken facing south at approximately 8:30 AM on Sunday, February 13, 2011.


Preparing to use the rammer. One source says the Johnny Reb Cannon was taken off the market because of safety concerns. This view was taken facing east at approximately 8:30 AM on Sunday, February 13, 2011.


Using the rammer to shove the projectile down the barrel into the spring loaded system. Other sources state that as the Civil Rights movement gained prominence in the 1960s, the cannon became too politically incorrect, and that is why it was taken off the market. This view was taken facing east at approximately 8:30 AM on Sunday, February 13, 2011.


The lanyard on this artillery piece does not work, so Rich has to use his finger to release the spring near the breach. This view was taken facing southeast at approximately 8:30 AM on Sunday, February 13, 2011.


It appears that Rich might be aiming wide right of the target, but that doesn’t take into account the windage/hot air in the guide room. The target could be National Park Service Supervisor Clyde Bell, or the object at his feet… This view was taken facing west at approximately 8:30 AM on Sunday, February 13, 2011.


… a chipmunk holding a gnome. This view was taken facing west at approximately 8:30 AM on Sunday, February 13, 2011.

In Video #1 Rich Kohr explains how the cannon is loaded, and fires his first shot. This view was taken facing east to northwest to southeast to east at approximately 8:30 AM on Sunday, February 13, 2011.

In Video #2 we show other attempts by Rich to his the target. In fairness to Rich, before we began filming, he hit the chipmunk on his first shot. The cannon ball does not fire in a higher arc, according to Rich, because of the absence of the lanyard. This view was taken facing a lot of directions at approximately 8:30 AM on Sunday, February 13, 2011.


Because of Rich was aiming challenged when we filmed him, a larger target, the Pepsi box was brought in. We have used our high speed photography to catch the projectile in mid flight as it hurtles towards the box. Actually the projectile is not moving at all — it’s just sitting on the carpet. This view was taken facing west at approximately 8:30 AM on Sunday, February 13, 2011.

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