Saving History Saturday: Caution, There’s A Cannonball

This week in Frederick, Maryland, a Civil War cannonball made local news. Originally discovered near Monocacy Battlefield, it was passed among family members until the discovered that it was live and could possibly explode. The Maryland State Fire Marshals bomb squad took over and successfully and safely diffused the ordinance, discovering that the original fuses were still intact.

So…just a little note for saving history—if you should ever find a cannonball, contact the experts to make sure you’re not handling live ammunition!

Original news article: https://13wham.com/news/offbeat/live-civil-war-era-cannonball-found-in-frederick-county-destroyed#:~:text=(WBFF)%20%E2%80%94%20The%20Maryland%20State,family%20member%20in%20Jefferson%2C%20Maryland.

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4 Responses to Saving History Saturday: Caution, There’s A Cannonball

  1. Mark A Nusbaum says:

    It’s my understanding they didn’t diffuse it, they Blew it up. Which is what the Bomb Squad does when they get hold of something. There is no reason this shell couldn’t have been demilitarized safely.

  2. Rhea Cole says:

    Two of my family members are very familiar with UXO. One is a veteran EOD Sargent & the other is a sister in law whose family has a number of farms on the edge of the Verdun exclusion zone. Both of them have lost friends to UXO’s. As a rule, black powder is extremely stable. However, repeated wet & dry cycles that can occur in nature can make black powder dangerous to handle. There is no shortage of CW era ordinance. World wide, thousands of people are killed & maimed by UXO’s. Even if you know what you are doing, handling a CW UXO just to have a souvenir is life threatening & not wort the risk.

    • “So…just a little note for saving history—if you should ever find a cannonball, contact the experts to make sure you’re not handling live ammunition!” Saving history? That’s disposing of history. Even though (according to the news article) “finding military ordnance dating back to the Civil War is not uncommon in Maryland”- I’d bet that “team of Bomb Technicians” never even considered contacting an actual expert on 19th century ordinance.

      • Rhea Cole says:

        My nephew, during tors in Afghanistan & Iraq along with cleaning up US military ranges of everything from grenades to 16” battleship rounds has dealt with literally tons of UXO’s. I accept his judgment on the matter. No souvenir is worth getting killed over NB

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