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Bomb squad detonates live Civil War cannonball found in Maryland

Photo courtesy of Bomb squad technicians safely detonated a cannonball from the Civil War in Frederick County, Md. (Photo courtesy of Maryland State Fire Marshal/ NBC)

A homeowner contacted officials after being given what seemed to be an unexploded cannonball that a family member found near the Monocacy Battlefield.

Posted: Mar 28, 2021 11:33 AM

(NBC)-- A bomb squad safely deactivated a live Civil War-era piece of ammunition after it was discovered in Maryland last week.

A homeowner contacted the state’s fire marshal after being given what seemed to be an unexploded cannonball that a family member found near the Monocacy Battlefield in Frederick, about 50 miles west of Baltimore. Officials confirmed that the explosive was live.

Bomb technicians moved the cannonball to Beaver Creek Quarry in Hagerstown, where they conducted “an emergency disposal,” according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal.

“As proven today, 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,” the fire marshal’s office said.

People are encouraged to report such discoveries to the authorities and remember that even vintage artifacts can be deadly.

In 2008, a man who collected Civil War relics died after a cannonball he was attempting to restore exploded. The next year a Pennsylvania man was charged after accidentally firing a 2-pound cannonball into his neighbor’s home. No one was injured in that incident.

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