The bomb squad in Maryland has detonated a cannonball that was used during the Civil War period. The cannonball was still fused when it was discovered by someone who was searching for metals close to the Monocacy National Battlefield in Frederick County, 50 miles west of Baltimore, Maryland.
Senior Deputy State Fire Marshall Oliver Alkire said a resident of Glen Hill Court in Jefferson alerted the Office of the State Fire Marshall (OSFM) after his family brought home the ordnance. Officials found that the cannonball was still unexploded and then took it to the Beaver Creek Quarry in Hagerstown where it was safely detonated. It had been carelessly kept in the house of the people before it was reported to the authorities.
The National Park Service said some of the fiercest battles of the Civil War were fought in Maryland, specifically in Monocacy between Union and Confederate soldiers. About 2,200 soldiers were reportedly killed, injured, captured, or reported as missing when the Confederate army tried to overrun Washington DC and the Union army fought back. The Union army held the Confederates back until reinforcements protected Washington, but the Confederates still won the war.
Many people have found unexploded ordnance in Maryland and in areas where the battle was fought, but the authorities task people to immediately report finding any war-era ordnance since handling the artifacts can often be fatal. A man found a cannonball in 2008 and died when the bomb exploded. OSFM said a cannonball or any other war-era bomb can kill several people if mishandled without calling in the authorities, NBC News reports.
“The finding of military ordnance from the Civil War is not uncommon in Maryland, and these devices pose the same threat as the day they were initially manufactured,” OSFM stated.