Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile Recent Posts
Tuolumne Meadows and Lembert Dome during a summer storm, Yosemite National Park

The Moon is Waxing Gibbous (78% of Full)

JanSport Memorial Day Event is here. Up to 25% Off Best Selling Backpacks. Limited Time Only! Plus Free Shipping in All Orders - Shop Now! Offer available from May/24 to May/29.

 


Advanced

Re: Fort Smith: Visitor Brings Live Civil War Cannon Ball To Park VC

All posts are those of the individual authors and the owner of this site does not endorse them. Content should be considered opinion and not fact until verified independently.

avatar Fort Smith: Visitor Brings Live Civil War Cannon Ball To Park VC
April 22, 2009 10:50AM
Fort Smith National Historic Site (AR,OK)
Visitor Brings Live Civil War Cannon Ball To Park VC

A local homeowner brought a cannon ball that he’d dug up in his garden into the park’s visitor center on the morning of April 21st. Ranger Jeremy Lynch, the park's historic weapons specialist, recognized it as a six pound cased shot (fragmentation ball) with what appeared to be a rusted but still intact fuse. Fort Smith police were called and Lynch removed the ball from the visitor center, placed it in a red wood box, and moved it out onto park grounds away from everything. After police arrived, park staff were evacuated and a perimeter was established to keep visitors and others away. There were no visitors in the buildings or on the nearby grounds at the time. The city fire department's bomb squad arrived shortly thereafter and confirmed that the cannon ball might be live. They removed it and will arrange to have it rendered safe. The shell was found on the east side of the city on a steep bluff that is now a residential area. The site is well outside the Civil War fortifications that surrounded the town in the 1860's, but there were a number of skirmishes near this area and the bluff would have made a good target for practice. The homeowner told us that he had taken his five kids to school that morning with it rolling around in his van.
avatar Re: Fort Smith: Visitor Brings Live Civil War Cannon Ball To Park VC
April 22, 2009 01:02PM
Wow, I remember horror stories along Murphy Canyon (I-15 in San Diego) of little kids picking up live shells dating back to Korean and WWII wars and getting blown to bits. The Navy came in and swept the area as best they could. And there is still a large portion of Anza-Borrego Desert SP closed off because the park can't guarantee the safety of anyone in there. It's where Patton rehearsed his Africa campaign.

It's kinda shocking that someone wouldn't recognize a possible live shell, especially after so many episodes of Antiques Roadshow that tell you of that sort of thing.

I wonder what they mean by "rendered safe." Blow it up? Or just scrape out the fuse and explosive (if that's possible) and give back the artifact?
avatar Re: Fort Smith: Visitor Brings Live Civil War Cannon Ball To Park VC
April 22, 2009 01:17PM
Quote

It's kinda shocking that someone wouldn't recognize a possible live shell

A civil war cannon ball would not make me think of "live shell" right away. How long does the explosive they used (black powder?) last?
avatar Re: Fort Smith: Visitor Brings Live Civil War Cannon Ball To Park VC
April 22, 2009 01:34PM
A couple episodes of Antiques ago in Chattanooga, a guy brought in a Civil War shell, and he said luckily the fuse was gone. The appraiser said if the shell were still properly sealed, it could very well still be alive.

Here's the transcript, and you can watch the video, too: Antiques Roadshow Civil War "Archer Shell"
avatar Re: Fort Smith: Visitor Brings Live Civil War Cannon Ball To Park VC
April 22, 2009 01:34PM
Quote
eeek
Fort Smith National Historic Site (AR,OK)
Visitor Brings Live Civil War Cannon Ball To Park VC

with it rolling around in his van.



Vince, when was the last time that you cleaned out the Bronco?
avatar Re: Fort Smith: Visitor Brings Live Civil War Cannon Ball To Park VC
April 22, 2009 01:48PM
Quote
szalkowski
Vince, when was the last time that you cleaned out the Bronco?

Are you thinking Civil War?
avatar Re: Fort Smith: Visitor Brings Live Civil War Cannon Ball To Park VC
April 22, 2009 01:54PM
Quote
eeek

Are you thinking Civil War?


Actually, I'm more concerned about any tactical nuclear weapons left over from the Cold War.
avatar Re: Fort Smith: Visitor Brings Live Civil War Cannon Ball To Park VC
April 22, 2009 01:56PM
Quote
szalkowski
Actually, I'm more concerned about any tactical nuclear weapons left over from the Cold War.

Yes, that could be a big problem...
avatar Re: Fort Smith: Visitor Brings Live Civil War Cannon Ball To Park VC
April 22, 2009 02:02PM
I am sure there are lurking Civil War buffs to correct me, but after looking into the issue on the internet, it appears that percussion type triggers on shells were very rare during that era. It seems to me that it would have been an incendiary type fuse that would have to be lit to trigger. "rolling around in the back" of the car would not, it seems to me, be sufficient to trigger the typical fuse used and even a percussion type would probably need more kinetic energy than just rolling in the back of the car. These things would have banged around in the back of mule drawn wagons before use.

If the new gun rules are adopted, it may be legal to bring your own cannon ball to the park in the future!



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login