You never what you will find while digging through old boxes and cases in antique stores. My wife and I stopped at a local antique store to pass some time, low and behold I found this Union 6 lb cannon ball mixed in with a bunch of junk in a display case. Very nice shape, and still has the plug in the fuse hole. Treasures pop up when you least expect it.by Mark P with
This 2 1/4 inch canister shot, and fuse holder
insert were dug close to the Battle of Richmond KY., on private land. The insert would have screwed into a cannon ball, and then a timed paper fuse would have been inserted into it, and plugged before being loaded into a cannon. Most of the time these were blown to pieces, and finding pieces like this one intact is getting very hard to find.
A good friend of mine found this 2 inch canister shot in a big tree branch while cutting down a tree for firewood. This was in the Harrodsburg Ky. area. It has been beautifully preserved in the wood for all of these years.by Mark P with
I picked up the fuse pouch from a friend of mine who had it in his collection for over 50 years. It is dated 1863 and has Naval Yard, Philadelphia embossed in the leather. The cannoneer who was in charge of picking and priming the artillery piece would wear this on his belt with the friction fuses in it. I have a friction fuse picture posted. These are really getting hard to find. So glad he let me get it.by Mark P with
Shells like this one very rarely come out of collections. Especially a dug shell. It is in immaculate shape, complete with lead sabot and the brass fuse adaptor for a wood drive fuse. This is another piece that came out of the New York artillery collection. The Hotchkiss Shell was patented on Oct. 9, 1855. Some of them will have the Patent Date embossed on the bottom of the shell. This one does not. I do have a picture posted of an exploded Hotchkiss Shell fragment showing the patent date. The best part is, it was dug in Gettysburg!!
This is one of the longest vent picks used during the war. It is 21 inches long, and would have been used on Seacoast Artillery. Seacoast Artillery was some of the biggest cannons used during the war. They were used to guard waterways and forts from enemy ships. Some of this artillery could fire a several hundred pound projectile up to 5 miles out to sea. This vent pick is pretty rare because it is Watervliet Arsenal stamped, with the inspector’s initials.
After several years of trying to get this short sword off of a friend of mine, he finally let me have it. He found it back in the 60’s at an antique store in WV. Upon closer examination, you can see that this sword had been dug up from somewhere. But he couldn’t remember where the owner of the store said it came from. This is a French import. Like a lot of other sword makers during the war, so many were imported. The Ames Company started making them in the United States, and they were called the Model 1832, which copied this French pattern. These were carried by the artillery foot soldier. Used mostly for clearing brush and such. The French designed these after the early Roman foot soldiers.by Mark P with
These two cannon fuses were given to me as a gift. Original ones like this are so hard to find. Some times you get lucky and find what is left of one when out metal detecting. First the cannon had to be loaded with gun powder and a projectile, and a hole punched into the powder bag, through the vent hole, to expose the powder. Next the fuse would have been placed in the vent hole on top of the powder, and a lanyard string attached through the loop made in the fuse. When given the order, the lanyard string would be pulled and the fuse would ignite the powder underneath it. Game on!! Ha ha.by Mark P with
This really nice field cannon gimlet was given to me as a gift from a good friend of mine that I go metal detecting with. He picked this one up at a CW show in Mississippi. Unlike the Naval gimlet I have posted, this one is a lot shorter, and would have been used on field cannons, such as the 6, 12, or 18 lb smooth bores, and the 10 and 20 lb Parrots. After the powder bag and projectile were loaded into the cannon, the gimlet was used to punch a hole in the powder bag through the fuse hole. Then the fuse was inserted into the fuse hole with a lanyard string attached to it. When the order was given, the lanyard was pulled, the the fuse would ignite the powder.by Mark P with
What a piece of Confederate history. This cannon ball was dug in Petersburg VA, over 50 years ago. It used a wood drive plug, with a timed paper fuse. There were several different timed paper fuses that could have been used. The fuse would have been lit, when the cannon was fired. If it was a 5 sec fuse, the ball would have exploded 5 sec after being fired. This ball did not explode for some reason. Which happened a lot. What a great find.by Mark P with