Cannon shell from the Battle of Plattsburgh (WNY)

An interesting relic, but possibly not what it is purported to be.

The Corvette (ship type, not a plastic (and fire prone) sports car…) Saratoga was armed with long 24 pounder guns and 32 and 42 pounder Carronades. All of these would have used round shot, or if shell, types with the fuze flush with the surface.

This projectile has a raised fuze location with remnants of lifting handles. This is more likely a mortar shell. Probably found in the in the Plattsburgh area and donated to the college with the mistaken attribution. Someone gave it to WNY and they got the story with it.

Moral of the story- don’t believe everything you see in a Museum, or on the internet.

One identical to this was found in the Hudson River Near Ft. Edward, NY last year during dredging operations to clean up supposed PCB contamination by GE. It had 2 intact cast rings where this has only the broken bases of the lifting rings. It showed up at the Albany Gunshow last January. One of the dredge barge workers found it when the barge was being off loaded. He sold it to a dealer for $150 because he didn’t want to have to carry it back home.

During the 2nd War For Independance there were mortars mounted on several “ships”, usually schooners and coastal guard boats. So, a Navy mortar shell is always a possibility, although I tend to agree with John S.


[quote=“JohnS”]An interesting relic, but possibly not what it is purported to be.

The Corvette… a plastic (and fire prone) sports car…

Moral of the story- don’t believe everything you see… on the internet.[/quote]


I am duly impressed with your knowledge of Corvettes–SHIP TYPE, and thanks for the “cannon ball” input.

However, that apparent knowledge of Corvettes is somewhat diluted by your referring to America’s premier sports car as “plastic” and “fire prone.” As an owner of GM’s “plastic fantastic” I want to point out that the fiberglass in the Corvette is not “just” plastic, and current models, such as mine, have a significant amount of carbon fiber. Further, I’m not sure what early models were “fire prone”–certainly not with the same reputation of Pintos, Vegas, Porsche 914s, etc.–but current models at least back to 1984 do not have any sort of fire association or reputation.

2015 Base Convertible
2013 Grand Sport Coupe (sold)

Taber- Pepper will be glad to disagree with you about “fire prone.” Long story, let him tell it…while weeping, again.
(But, it was not the car’s fault.)

For many years I had a 72 Vette, 454 LS 5 fully optioned. The only problem was in summer it needed the AC on most of the time. As for fire prone, I’d be very surprised if it was the car at fault.
A great piece of American engineering in it’s day.

Was this a solid shot, or a type that could still have been filled with black powder?

It was a shell. The fuse hole was between the pick up rings. A set of tongs were used to lower the shell into the mortar tube.

Sorry if I phrased the question badly. What I meant to say is was it still filled when on display at the gun show? Obviously that would not be a good situation.

What ever was in it for a fuse or plug was long gone. There was some smelly river sediment in it.