Big Ol’ Grasshopper
What you see above is one of the biggest grasshoppers you will ever see! This six pound cannon, called such because of the weight of the projectile, is a recreation of the small and relatively light model used by both sides during the American Revolution.
This particular one is at the Cowpens Battlefield park and is based on one that the British used during their attack on the Americans under General Daniel Morgan. This model was used a lot by the light infantry on both sides and though it lacked the punch of some of its larger brethren, it could often turn the tide of a battle but firing solid shot, canister or basically anything that would fit down the barrel it was deadly, especially at close range.
So, why was it called a grasshopper?
When moving the cannon into position the crew would often use two long poles that connected to axle. With these poles they could push or pull the piece up and down hills and over rough terrain. It maneuvered much easier than the larger cannons. These poles would be removed once the cannon was in its final position. While they were in they provided the cannon with unique appearance. I tried to find a photo of the cannon with the polls in place, but that is a little elusive. So I will provide the next best thing.
That is about what it would look like, Except, you know, as a cannon and not an insect. At some point we will go over the story of the Race for the Grasshopper that happened during Cowpens. Stay tuned.