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The Cannonball

Contact: Elizabethtown Tourism & Convention Bureau
Phone: 800-437-0092
Fax: 800-437-0092
Location: All day, every day
Hours: 40 Public Square,  at the corner of West Dixie

— The Cannonball (located in downtown area) —


Elizabethtown, with its strategic location on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, was an important outpost during the Civil War. The only battle to take place was on December 27, 1862, when 3,900 Confederates under the command of General John Hunt Morgan attacked and subdued entrenched Union forces, 652 strong, commanded by Lt. Col. Smith. The Union defenders, greatly outnumbered, could offer little resistance. About noon, Morgan's artillery commander, Captain White, ordered his cannons to commence firing, with more than 100 balls of destruction within twenty minutes. Balls struck buildings and some homes in the downtown area.

One ball became embedded in the wall of a building, known as the Depp Building, at the corner of the public square and West Dixie Avenue (then called Cross Main Street).

This building was severely damaged by fire in 1887. The cannonball was retrieved from the rubble the following day. It was safeguarded for some time by Miss Annie Nourse, a local resident, and eventually placed in the wall of the present building, at the site as nearly as possible to the location it had been originally.