What is the difference?Civil War Shells
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  1. #1
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    What is the difference?Civil War Shells

    What is the difference between Civil War Shell Fragments and pieces of iron that may have come from a stove? Below are 3 fragments I found at a CW Battlefield. Is there anyway to positively id these as shells fragments? Thanks, Breezie
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    Every time I watch Gone With The Wind, I think we're gonna win this time!

  2. #2
    us
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    Re: What is the difference?Civil War Shells

    These don't look like shell fragments.

    Most fragments will tend to have a rounded outer side like it came from a sphere-shaped object (ball like)/ or curved like it came from a long cylinder shaped object.

    FYI-

    Shells had powder inside that would explode and cause the fragments. Some also had case shot along with the powder. This would give it a shotgun effect. Shells were great anti personnel items because the parts were more likely to damage more people.

    They ignited in several ways via the type of fuse they had. Some had a small hole punched in a zinc time fuse that would explode after a determined time after leaving the cannon. The fire from the cannon would burn a small line of powder inside the fuse before hitting the main chamber.

    Another method of ignition was from a percussion fuse that would explode when it hit something with enough force to cause the detonator to go off.

    Bolts were solid shot and were typically used to knock holes in buildings and walls and would pretty much remain intact after landing

    Yours look to be flat on both sides.

    Wildrider
    "Those who love me will keep my word, and my father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." (John 14:23 NRSV)

  3. #3
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    Re: What is the difference?Civil War Shells

    WildRider, thank you for your comprehensive post. The photo above is somewhat of an optical illusion in that 2 of them are rounded, and 1 is basically flat with a rounded edge on one side. I'm assuming the 2 rounded ones are CW fragments since they were dug on a battlefield. A back view of the flat 3rd one is below; it has a small ridge on 3 sides, and 1 curved edge. Any ideas on this one? Thanks again, Breezie
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  4. #4
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    Re: What is the difference?Civil War Shells

    Here is another pic of the smallest fragment showing the edge. It's rounded, but is it rounded enough or is there really any way to tell? Breezie
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  5. #5
    us
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    Re: What is the difference?Civil War Shells

    The walls on a shell are thicker than that. I've found a good bit of iron like that on campsites, that presumably came from an old pan or pot. Its a good chance that those are cooking utensil fragments, rather than shrapnel.
    Relic hunting consists of a series of misadventures interspersed by occasional moments of glory.

  6. #6
    us
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    Re: What is the difference?Civil War Shells

    Quote Originally Posted by BamaBill
    The walls on a shell are thicker than that. I've found a good bit of iron like that on campsites, that presumably came from an old pan or pot. Its a good chance that those are cooking utensil fragments, rather than shrapnel.
    Right! Breezie...you need to be thinking about 1/2 inch thick and greater. I dug some up in Va along the James river that were about 2 inches thick. They were from big naval guns.
    "Those who love me will keep my word, and my father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them." (John 14:23 NRSV)

  7. #7
    us
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    Re: What is the difference?Civil War Shells

    Otay, I've got it now. I did find some iron that was 1/2 " thick, but they were small pieces. I haven't cleaned them yet. Obviously I cleaned the wrong iron, but not really because this is one of the battlefields/forts my ggrandfather helped to build/defend in 1861. He was in the NC 7th Infantry, and it was an honor to walk the same grounds, and even better to bring home a little something from the field. I dug an Eagle button, other buttons, some 3 ring minis, a trace and other goodies. I'll mark these3 pieces as cookwear or the likes. Thanks for everyone's help. Breezie
    Every time I watch Gone With The Wind, I think we're gonna win this time!

  8. #8

    Re: What is the difference?Civil War Shells

    Quote Originally Posted by BamaBill
    The walls on a shell are thicker than that. I've found a good bit of iron like that on campsites, that presumably came from an old pan or pot. Its a good chance that those are cooking utensil fragments, rather than shrapnel.
    I agree. I find a bunch of that iron on some CW camp sites I hunt. No battles fought at the sites, so no cannon ball frags, just some good down home cokking. I've dug four or five pieces of cast iron pot legs too along with them.
    Good luck on your site Breezie.
    -MM-
    *Oldest coin-1775 Spanish 1 real *Oldest U.S. silver-1833 Capped Bust Half Dime *Best coin - 1945 GOLD 2 1/2 peso *Best Civil War finds:*NC officers belt buckle *CSN Confederate Navy Officer button

  9. #9
    us
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    Re: What is the difference?Civil War Shells

    [quote=ModernMiner
    I agree. I find a bunch of that iron on some CW camp sites I hunt. No battles fought at the sites, so no cannon ball frags, just some good down home cooking. I've dug four or five pieces of cast iron pot legs too along with them.
    Good luck on your site Breezie.
    -MM-
    [/quote]

    MM, I'm sure some of our boys in gray would have loved to have some "home cooking" in those iron pots instead of hard tack and gov'mt rations. Thanks for the support. Breezie
    Every time I watch Gone With The Wind, I think we're gonna win this time!

 

 

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