National Geographic : 1954 Mar
293 National Geographic Photographer B. Anthony Stewart Twin-barreled Cannon, a Fiasco in the Civil War, Fired Only One Charge Two chained balls shot simultaneously were supposed to mow down Union troops like a scythe. When tested, the balls broke the chain and sliced wide of the mark. Athens keeps the relic on its city hall lawn. From the harbor in 1819 departed the Savannah, first steamship to cross the At lantic. Though she used sail during most of the crossing from New York, she heralded the new era of steam. Like a central keep overlooking the river, the old Cotton and Naval Stores Exchange is a quiet reminder of busier times (page 308). Savannah once annually handled one and a half million cotton bales and still ex ports more barrels of turpentine and rosin than any other harbor in the world. Georgians Invest in Port Expansion Upstream the picture changes. The harbor is expanding its facilities. Now in operation is a State-financed $20,000,000 dock and warehouse system, served by 26 truck lines and five major railroads. The newly com pleted project aims at a larger share of the Nation's export and import trade. I remember when pine groves and moss draped live oaks, scattered plantations and empty marsh surrounded drowsy Savannah. Then I could hear mockingbirds singing all day, smell magnolia blossoms and old-fash ioned roses, and walk in the calm of ancestral homes, walled gardens, and little lanes (page 288). Now the impact of a new South crashes at the gates of the gracious city. Factories, warehouses, and power plants; silos, oil tanks, ship and rail yards; mills and airfields are creating a commercial boom.* Still unchanged at heart, however, the quiet community of easygoing charm seems to ignore the clatter of industrial progress. Sa vannah listens instead to the insistent under tones of the past. Its residents politely dis * See "Dixie Spins the Wheel of Industry," by William H. Nicholas, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGA ZINE, March, 1949.