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Thread: Cannonball

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  1. #1

    Jun 2012
    3
    1 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting

    Cannonball

    This cannonball was found near Beaufort NC and was found at low tide in an oyster bed. The fuse is made of brass and was sticking out of the top of the cannonball but was not secured into the threads. Is this a revolutionary cannonball or civil war? There is also a steel spike protruding from the bottom of the cannonball and appears to be made directly into the cannonball. The cannonball weighs 16.9 pounds and is empty inside. It is roughly 6.25"-6.50" wide. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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    Gunrunner61 likes this.

  2. #2
    us
    More Gold your Majesty!

    Jun 2012
    Valhalla
    Garrett Ace 350
    58
    2 times
    Metal Detecting
    Could be wrong but it looks more like a primitive grenade to me.

    pic of 17th century grenade
    New To Metal Detecting
    Found Items:
    US Coins: 60: Face Value = $5.12
    Foreign Coins: 1
    Clad: 0 Troy ounces
    Jewelry: 2
    Relics: 0

  3. #3
    us
    Dec 2007
    Chattanooga, TN
    Tosoro Bandido
    1,349
    325 times
    Metal Detecting
    Well, I think what you may have is a CS Watercap Fuse. It is the only one in the Fuses book that looks like yours. But the one they show doesn't seem to have the markings and holes like yours. Some one with a little more knowledge will come by but it sure looks good to me.

  4. #4
    us
    Tennessee Digger

    Sep 2011
    Tesoro and Troy Shadow
    1,258
    343 times
    I'm positive that when cannonball guys sees your post, he will be able to tell you a lot about it. Tennessee digger

  5. #5
    us
    Sep 2007
    New Jersey
    Whites V3i and DFX
    3,212
    790 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Pepperlizard
    Could be wrong but it looks more like a primitive grenade to me.

    pic of 17th century grenade

    Your one bad dude if you can toss a 16lb hand grenade

  6. #6
    Educator

    Feb 2006
    Occupied CSA (Richmond VA)
    White's 6000, Nautilus DMC-1, Minelab
    3,812
    2792 times
    Relic Hunting
    It is defintely an explosive-type cannonball. I'm sure about that because its size (6.25" in diameter, plus a bit of rust-concretion) means it is a 32-pounder caliber cannonball. The fuze is a Boxer timefuze -- named for its inventor, Captain Boxer of the British Army. Because your cannonball's Boxer fuze is made of brass, it is a British-made one. (The US did manufacture some after the civil war ended (and even as late as 1897), but the US-made ones had a wooden body. No Boxer fuzes are known to have been used in the American Civil War. There is a record of a June 1864 Confederate purchase-order for some British-made ones, but none have ever been excavated at a civil war site. Logically, your Boxer-fuzed cannonball cannot be connected in any way to the Confederate June 1864 purchase-order, because Beaufort was captured by the yankees long before 1864.

    At 16.9 pounds, your cannonball has lost some of its iron molecules due to Graphitization (which is a type of corrosion -- I discussed it in my reply-post in the "Just an iron question" thread here at the What-Is-It forum). It originally weighed about 23 pounds. But the spike in it is definitely a later addition to its body, because it could not be fired properly with the spike sticking out from it.

    You might want to know, somebody else has found another Boxer-fuzed cannonball, which looks EXACTLY like your ball, so I think it must be from the same place you found yours at. That other Boxer cannonball was for sale on Ebay earlier this month.
    FCCDFEd and Bigcypresshunter like this.

  7. #7
    us
    Tennessee Digger

    Sep 2011
    Tesoro and Troy Shadow
    1,258
    343 times
    Cannonball guy...... I knew you would know something about it! Tennessee digger

  8. #8
    us
    I Often Find Myself Killing Time Looking For What Time Has Killed!

    Feb 2009
    Morehead City / Newport NC
    Minelab Explorer Se Pro
    3,561
    488 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Banner Finds (2)
    Good chance it had something to do with fort macon.Rather it was test fire or otherwise.Being Beaufort is with in distance of the fort.Being just over a mile & a half & plenty of water for skiping a shot to beaufort.I've heard of others finding a few cannon balls over there.Also have heard of people over in betty on the other side of the North river finding some that dated back to Black Beard times.Anyhow cool find.My old post below has some shot's of Fort Macon & some of the cannons used.
    Fort Macon & Beaufort Inlet!
    Take Care,
    Neighbor,
    Pete,
    Them Colonials​Can't Hide Nowhere Now!

  9. #9

    Jun 2012
    3
    1 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Thanks for the information. I found the cannonball in an area where they have dumped trash for many years. I grew tired of detecting all the trash so I moved out into the shallow water and found the cannonball there. The spike protruding out of it looks very old but also supports the cannonball upright. I'm wondering if the cannonball was a novelty item and tossed in the trash several years ago. I was the guy who placed the ad on Ebay and then took it off when I decided to keep it. My wife doesn't like it but I think it looks great on the shelf. I plan on taking the cannonball to the Ft. Macon Curator to let them look at it. Again, thanks for all the information you have given me.

  10. #10
    Educator

    Feb 2006
    Occupied CSA (Richmond VA)
    White's 6000, Nautilus DMC-1, Minelab
    3,812
    2792 times
    Relic Hunting
    Tjacobs wrote:
    > I was the guy who placed the ad on Ebay and then took it off when I decided to keep it.

    No, unless you live in Carmichael CA, you are not the seller of the one I saw for sale on Ebay back in April... because that one wasn't withdrawn by the seller. Like yours, it is a 32-pounder caliber, and has the same thin black concretion, and it has a metal Boxer fuze. As with your ball, its fuze can be unscrewed. But the fuze showed no damage on its small end, like yours has. Here are photos of its undamaged fuze, and the ball.

    Are you the Ebay seller in (or near) Carmichael California?

    You said your ball was found at Beaufort NC. Did you find it? If not, do you know the person who found it? I'm only asking for the purpose of artillery history knowledge.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  11. #11
    us
    Jul 2012
    Philadelphia
    None yet!
    1
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Awesome find!!

  12. #12

    Jun 2012
    3
    1 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Dear Cannonball Guy,
    I did not see this one on ebay. It looks identical to the one I found. I am not the guy in California. I am the one who found the ball in Beaufort with a metal detector. Sorry to get back to so late.

  13. #13
    Educator

    Feb 2006
    Occupied CSA (Richmond VA)
    White's 6000, Nautilus DMC-1, Minelab
    3,812
    2792 times
    Relic Hunting
    Thank you for that information. I'm sure you'll understand my curiosity as an Artillery Historian about two very-nearly-identical rare Boxer-fuzed cannonballs turning up at almost the same time. Logic says there's got to be a connection between them, so I had to ask about yours.

 

 

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