Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 34
COURTESY LOVETT ARTILLERY
COURTESY LOVETT ARTILLERY
Top: Leon Lovett, left, looks toward the
camera during a battle scene on the set
of the movie "Glory." Above: Ralph Lovett,
appearing as a German soldier in the movie
"War Horse," loads a German cannon.
of fun and came with some perks-
by design, he says.
"We always included different
[provisions] in our agreement with
the movie companies, like being
able to keep the boots and uniforms
we wore in the movie," Lovett says,
pointing to a large collection of
boots on an overhead shelf. "We negotiated to eat what and where the
movie's stars ate." He smiles. "Some
of the best food I ever ate in my life
was during the making of ['Basic']."
Secrets from the set
Not everything you see in Lovett
Artillery is actually what it appears to
be; sometimes you have to look very
closely to tell what is real and what
For example, there is an old
cannon barrel resting near the office
door ... Or is it?
"That's not real," Lovett says.
"It's a movie prop we made out of
And there is the time the director of "The General's Daughter"
wanted piles of cannonballs stacked
near the cannons.
"Where am I supposed to find a
bunch of cannonballs?" Lovett says.
"The set director didn't care where
they came from; he just wanted me
to make it happen."
Those cannonballs turned out
to be huge, plastic Christmas-ball
decorations painted black and glued
in a stack.
Lovett flips the pages in one
of his scrapbooks and points out
photos from different movie sets
he and Ralph worked on together
during the years. He has a story for
each one. During the making of
"War Horse," for example, he fired a
cannon in a field near Kite.
"Every time you see a cannon
fire in the movie 'War Horse,' it was
actually being fired near Kite," he
says. "The movie company was not
permitted to fire live cannons over
there [in England and Germany]."
The filming of "Glory" turned
out to be a little perilous. Lovett
played a soldier in the movie, and
the battle re-enactors were using real
fixed bayonets, charging and stabbing around everywhere.
Beyond the big screen
Lovett Artillery has staged
cannons and re-enactments for
Milledgeville artist Stan Strickland,
an award-winning chronicler of
the Old South.
"Ralph and I appear in three of
Stan's Southern Revival series paintings: 'Promenade,' 'Havis' Battery'
and 'Tea at the Mansion.' We had
ancestors that were in the actual
Havis' Battery during the Civil War,"
Some of Lovett Artillery's cannons have been leased to various
"One of our cannons is leased to
the MacArthur Memorial situated in
Norfolk, Va.," Lovett says.
More online at www.georgiamagazine.org
The MacArthur Memorial is a
museum and research center dedicated to preserving and presenting
the story of U.S. Army Gen. Douglas
MacArthur. It also pays tribute to the
millions of men and women who
served with him in World War I,
World War II and the Korean War.
To mark the centennial of U.S.
involvement in World War I, the
MacArthur Memorial opened a special exhibit titled "Over Here, Over
There" in April. The exhibit's curators
wanted a period-correct cannon to
lend authenticity to the exhibit; they
found their cannon at Lovett Artillery.
"We also lease or rent our artillery to movie-prop companies, such
as we did with the 'In the Heat of the
Night' TV series," Lovett says.
The Lovetts' love of artillery
and passion for military service are
evident throughout their collection
and their history. Leon Lovett is a
past Army Reserve officer, and Ralph
Lovett, a chief warrant officer four,
is on active duty with U.S. forces in
"We don't work on the movie
sets much anymore because of my
age and Ralph's active-duty status,"
But Leon Lovett still can be
found in his office at Lovett Artillery on a regular basis and is glad to
share stories about his and his son's
Bill Durden is the member services representative for Washington
Electric Membership Corp. in Sandersville and the editor of its monthly
newsletter for members. He is also a
freelance photographer and writer
whose work appears in local newspapers and other publications.
Plan your visit
"We love to have visitors," Leon
Lovett says. "Bring your kids and let them
see this firsthand. I do suggest that you
call ahead, and we'll plan for your visit."
Lovett Artillery is on East College
Street in Wrightsville. If you'd like to
visit, call Lovett at (478) 864-2254. To see
some of the items in the collection, visit
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Georgia Magazine - September 2017
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - Intro
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - Cover1
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - Cover2
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 3
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - Contents
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 5
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 6
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 7
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 8
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 9
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 10
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 11
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 12
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 13
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 14
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 15
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 16
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 17
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 18
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 19
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 20
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 21
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 22
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 23
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 24
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 25
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 26
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 27
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 28
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 29
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 30
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 31
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 32
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 33
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 34
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 35
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 36
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 37
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 38
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 39
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 40
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 40A
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 40B
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 40C
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 40D
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 41
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 42
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 43
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 44
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 45
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 46
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 47
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 48
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 49
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 50
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 51
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 52
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 53
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 54
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 55
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 56
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 57
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 58
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 58A
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 58B
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 58C
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - 58D
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - Cover3
Georgia Magazine - September 2017 - Cover4