Artillery Feed

Civil War cannonballs found at the University of Alabama

Explosive Ordinance Disposal technicians were called to the University of Alabama campus Friday afternoon after workers repairing a sidewalk discovered a cache of 10 Civil War era cannonballs. (Stephen Dethrage |
Explosive ordinance disposal technicians were called to the University of Alabama campus Friday afternoon after crews repairing sidewalks discovered a cache of 10 Civil War era cannonballs buried in the ground.

Cathy Andreen, a University spokeswoman, confirmed the discovery and said the bomb squad was called to guarantee the safety of UA employees and others on the campus at the time.

"Ten Civil War era cannonballs were discovered this afternoon by crews who were repairing sidewalks on the UA campus," Andreen said. "Out of an abundance of caution, EOD technicians were called to address any safety issues." 

The ordnance was found under a sidewalk north of Gorgas Library in the center of campus. Because the cannonballs were found in the late afternoon, employees in the immediate vicinity of the dig site were allowed to leave the area and go home for the day. 

Most of the officers from the University of Alabama and Tuscaloosa Police Departments left the scene just before 5 p.m. Friday.


A fallen soldier

Tumblr_nk356pygBm1rs5g28o1_540A Fallen Soldier

"This skull belonged to a soldier of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteers, an African-American unit that took part in a July 1863 assault on Fort Wagner in Charleston Harbor. The regiment sustained 272 killed, wounded, and missing during the attack.

By examining the skull, researchers determined how this soldier died. The size of the wound and the remains of the projectile indicate that he was killed by an iron canister ball from one of the fort’s two 12-pound field howitzers. The ball entered behind his left ear and traveled upwards through the lower part of the brain.”

(Photo and Caption taken from display at the National Museum of Health and Medicine, Washington DC)