The Origin of the Bell Battery (Chris)

This is a transcript of “The Origin of the Bell Battery” reminiscence found in the “Personal Reminiscences and Essays” series, box 76 of the North Carolina State Archives’ Military Collection.

First page of the Origin of the Bell Battery

First page of the Origin of the Bell Battery from the “Personal Reminiscences and Essays” series of the North Carolina State Archives’ Military Collection. Click to see a larger image.

The Origin of the Bell Battery

When the south seceded and declared her Independence we had few guns and little money with no foreign credit.  The Government called for the bells to be cast into cannon which gave rise to the poem(?) “Meet the Bells.  Edenton responded at once and every one set to work to gather hand bells, dinner bells, court, academy, shipyard and church bells.  Of the latter there were two, the Methodist and St Pauls.  These two last from their lofty towers, where for years they had called the faithful to worship, pealed forth the wedding chime and tolled the requiem of the passing soul, were cast into two guns fittingly called the ” Fannie Roulhac” for the lady who gave the Methodist bell, the St. Paul for St Pauls bell.  The other bells with a few preserving kettles made three other guns called the Columbia, Albemarle and Edenton, the five comprising the Bell Battery from which the Edenton chapter took its name and did good service on many hard fought fields especially the battle of White Hall, where several of our Chowan boys laid down their lives for the cause they loved so well.  The guns of the battery were never captured, but surrendered at the close of the war and the last shot fired by Old St Paul was picked up and given to St Pauls, Edenton, where it is now cherished as one of its most precious relics.  The Bell Battery chapter of Edenton have tried to get these old guns returned to the town to be place as sentinels around our Confederate monument but as yet they can’t be found and may have been recast and lost to us forever.