Tennessee steeple makes for good practice target | PostIndependent.com

Tennessee steeple makes for good practice target

MCMINNVILLE, Tenn. (AP) ” The renovation of an old church in this central Tennessee city has revealed damage expected more in a war zone.

The landmark steeple of First Presbyterian Church is pocked with 67 bullet holes.

“After we found the first couple, I thought it was funny, but then we saw so many I started counting,” contractor Dennis Dockum said. “We caulked up 67 holes.”

Residents speculating on where the holes came from have several scenarios.

The church was rebuilt in 1878 after the original burned during the Civil War, so the holes could have been in the wood when the steeple was constructed. Or maybe people added some while shooting at pigeons said to have infested the steeple at one time.

“Some of the holes were big enough to put your pinkie finger through,” Dockum said. “With the size of some of those bullets, I don’t think anything would be left of a pigeon except feathers.”

Or perhaps local sharpshooters in the rowdy period after the Civil War took pot shots at the steeple.

“I could tell from some of the shots that they came from a great distance away because they entered pretty much straight,” he said. “I would say those arches would have made a good target.”

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