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Blue Whistler Returned To Pioneers'
El Paso TIMES     18 August 1911
McGinty Cannon to Be Delivered This Afternoon to Pioneers' - "Blue Whistler," the McGinty cannon, will be brought across the river at 5 oclock this evening...

McGinty Cannon to Be Delivered This Afternoon to Pioneers' - "Blue Whistler," the McGinty cannon, will be brought across the river at 5 oclock this evening by Brig.-Gen. Pascual Orozco and his staff and will be formally returned to the custody of the Pioneers' association at the American side of the Santa Fe street bridge. The Pioneers' association, Gen. Orozco and staff and friends of the revolution in El Paso will then form an escort for the historic old piece and it will be taken to the city hall park by way of Santa Fe, El Paso and San Antonio streets. It will be wheeled into position on the identical spot where it stood the night of March 16, when it was kidnaped and carried across the river for the revolutionary army.

The cannon will be delivered to the association by Gen. Orozco or his representative, who will make a short speech in Spanish. Dr. I. J. Bush, one of the kidnapers who took the cannon from city hall park, will speak, and W. M. Coldwell, city attorney and member of the Pioneers' association, will make the reply for the city and association.

McGinty's History - Much has been written and related about McGinty's early history - how it was used in the battle of Val Verde in New Mexico during the civil war, captured by Maj. Tell's Confederates, buried at Albuquerque and dug up 22 years ago and presented to the McGinty club after it had been left in a cellar in El Paso. Its later history is even more familiar, for its kidnaping from the city hall park on St. Patrick's day in the morning by Dr. I. J. Bush, Ned Harper, Abe Molins and Dr. Frank Thatcher and its trip down the valley and later across the river for the revolutionary army formed the source of much talk at the time of the capture of the famous old fighting piece.

G. C. Jones, a former sergeant of the Thirty-third infantry and a member of the Mexican insurrecto army, tells of its history, after it left El Paso for its second baptism of fire with the revolutionary army.

Jones says it was taken across the river at Fort Hancock after it had been buried in a stable in El Paso for many days. It was first taken to Ojinaga by a band of 135 revolutionary recruits, 25 of whom were Americans, under command of Antonio Villareal. The first time the old cannon was shot, according to the American soldier of fortune, was at Banderas, about 75 miles down the river from Ju醨ez.

Cannon's First Use - While the band which was escorting the cannon, with "Dynamite Slim" leading the American company, was encamped at Banderas, a foreigner joined the party and said he had walked from Ju醨ez. He was suspected of being a spy and a heavy guard placed over him to prevent his escaping during the first night he was in camp. The man, who was thought to have been sent by the federals to spy on the revolutionists, succeeded in getting his hands loose and in getting possession of two guns from two Mexicans who were asleep in the same house where he was a prisoner. He then shot two of the Mexicans and was firing upon the guards outside when old McGinty was unlimbered, wheeled into position and fired for the first time since the McGinties fired her to celebrate the declaration of war with Spain.
[April 1898-vrw] The gun was loaded by Jones with a can filled with scrap iron and the side of the house was blown away, but the man was not killed. As soon as it was daylight he was shot by one of the men with a Mauser rifle.

Only Old Barrel Returns - McGinty was then taken to Ojinaga, where it was fired twice during the siege of that town by the revolutionists. The first shot demolished a house where the federals were seeking shelter and the second shot tore the porthole of the breast works away and the cannon was out of commission. It was then taken over the mountains to Santa Rosalia, where it was shot a number of times by the revolutionists, although it bucked so bad when fired that all the framework was destroyed. The McGinty that is returned to El Paso will be the same only in its barrel. A pecan trail piece was put in the cannon at the T.O. ranch on the way to Ojinaga, a new set of wheels were added at Santa Rosalia and only the barrel remains in its original form.
This article is provided here by the kind permission of
Andy Alderette, Managing Editor, Link El Paso Times
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