12 inch? Cannon Ball


#1

I’ve been working on an original family owned Civil War era plantation repairing the log cabins for the up and coming hunting season, when I noticed what appears to be a 12 inch Cannon Ball by the front door. This plantation lies where the battle for Honey Hill SC took place, Nov 30, 1864. It was originally found over by Byods Church. The battle was fought by colored troops from Mass, NY and Ohio and was in the movie “Glory” with Morgan Freeman and Matthew Broderick?. Although the north lost the battle, two weeks later our town was burned down during Shermans March.
They told me that Marines from Paris Island made it inert, but it didn’t look like it to me. On the fuse: OHD/ 1861 Navy
Enjoy kevin


#2

Section that sucker!!!

;-) ;-)

Ray


#3

The fuze does not appear to have been messed with, so in my opinion, there is a very real danger of it being a live shell, and potentially deadly.

I donnt know much about these, but know enough to recognize certainly safe, certainly dangerous and “Not sure” rounds.

This could have been an empty round with a fuze screwed in for display purposes 125 years ago and totally safe. Or, not. Maybe it was sold off as surplus from the Navy Yard at Port Royal, or Charleston, or a decorative item from a UCV or GAR veterans post in the area. There do not appear to have been supporting naval units with 12 inch guns engaged in the expedition that resulted in the battle of Honey Hill.

I would start by trying to find the weight of a USN 12 inch shell and amount of powder used to fill it, and then weighing your round. If this is just the weight of the empty shell, you may be okay, or maybe it has rusted just enough to lose weight equal to the weight of the powder charge.

The local cops or bomb squad types will probably insist on taking it away and blowing it up. If you can find someone with expertise about CW artillery ammunition, maybe they can evaluate it for you, and possibly render it safe. DO NOT try to drill this yourself, several people have died in recent years doing this, so leave it to the professionals, and stay way far away when they are doing it!

Hope it turns out to be safe, or can be rendered safe.


#4

The closest Marine EOD Team is Beaufort, not PI. If they had inerted it for someone, they would have made sure to drill holes in it to ensure that it could be identified as such, ESPECIALLY a CW cannon ball. Two reasons. First, to ensure that all of the hazards were out and could be noticed at a glance. Second, to make sure that they wouldn’t have to work on something already taken care of. That area is so littered with the things and I remember they used to constantly get calls on them. DON"T try to unscrew the fuze since black powder might have migrated into the threads. I would take John S’s advice. There are several people on BOCN that are in that area that could possibly help you. John D. Bartleson, Jr. is one that I can name offhand. Cheers, Bruce.


#5

Just so everyone knows, my post about sectioning the cannonball was made in jest. Hence the winking smiley faces.

Wolfgang ( not his real name) is one of the premier sectionalists, known by most of us here on the Forum. There’s no doubt in my mind that he is fully aware of the potential dangers associated with that CW relic.

Just so everyone knows.

Ray


#6

I agree with John about the possibility of it being live…
Also, I must say… It is one heck of a find! Very nice!


#7

Kevin,
Are you sure that it is “OHD” and not “ORD”?


#8

It does look like ORD to me also.


#9

Now I’m way out of my depth here but would that not be a mortar shell rather than a cannon ball? Very nice though thanks for showing it.

I would endorse the other comments about leaving it alone, BP is pretty much safe if you leave it where it is. When was the last time you heard of a BP cartridge going up? never.

I would say 99-1 that fuse has never been out or that you could get it out without visibly damaging the lugs. Unless you want to make the Darwin awards don’t try


#10

Went and told the Plantation Care Taker that we think its still live, whether they do anything about it is another. I will keep up on it so no one can get hurt. Very small town here and everyone and their uncle has something major in there collection. If the Cops take it way it will end up in one of their own personal collections! Got a friend that found 3 cannon balls and just got them back from someone near Columbia SC who does demilling professionally. Thanks for all the response and concerns.
When ever some retired General passes on around here, it seems as if his widow is stuck with some kind of hand grenade or something. Beaufort Marine Base is always called to take it away. Not Paris Island, that is where the story was falling apart.
SKSVLAD is correct, its ORD Navy 1861
I knew that RAY was kidding, thanks for the compliment. (you better get your printer ready!)
No clue to whether if its cannon ball or mortar.
kevin


#11

civilwarantiqueshop.com/r35.htm
large mortar shells I have seen usually have these “notches” in them to load the heavy shell into the tube with tongs that facilitate handling. I would suspect that this is a cannon projectile.


#12

Ray, Knew you were kidding, but your comment makes me envision a sandbagged bunker, a chop saw, gravity feed for water cooling and 300yds/meters of 12ga extension cord…;-)

Vince, you’d be surprised at the number of “inert” cannon balls that have inducted people in to the Southern Chapter of the Darwin Awards, otherwise known as, “Hey, Y’all, watch this”.

Cheers, Bruce.


#13

[quote=“bacarnal”]Ray, Knew you were kidding, but your comment makes me envision a sandbagged bunker, a chop saw, gravity feed for water cooling and 300yds/meters of 12ga extension cord…;-)

Vince, you’d be surprised at the number of “inert” cannon balls that have inducted people in to the Southern Chapter of the Darwin Awards, otherwise known as, “Hey, Y’all, watch this”.

Cheers, Bruce.[/quote]

You should see the way French Farmers on the WW1 battlefields throw live shells that they have ploughed up onto heaps in the corner of each field. Darwin eat your heart out.