cannon ball in knapsack

neiceyu

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Aug 26, 2019
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So while visiting the beach I did what I normally do.....walk. standing in the surf saw something shiny so had my son pick it up. VERY heavy and had two brass pieces exposed. After some searching found out it is a leather civil war knapsack! Pretty cool so I bring it home and soak it in water. Sediment that is encrusting is starting to break away and more leather straps are showing as well as two other brass pieces. Yesterday while cleaning up some of the other "lumps" we found I found 5 large cannon ball fragments.....cool again. So I decided once I was done with those to pull out the knapsack and hose it off. For giggles I scrapped it to see if any more of the gunk would come off and a large section cracked and fell off. THERE'S A CANNON BALL IN IT!!!! Now my question is how does one go bout getting the cannon ball out of the sack without destroying the sack or possibly getting blown up (not sure if its a live cannon ball)..........Any thoughts are appreciated
 

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randazzo1

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Ok thatโ€™s insanely cool
 

parsonwalker

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Leave it just like it is!! Who else has a cannonball in a knapsack?? If you want to try (Might destroy the knapsack) you could break away the rust encrusting the ball. If there is no fuse, it's solid. Even if it's live, you only blow yourself up if you drill into it, or put it in an oven. Of course you decide the risk. But I've only heard of people getting killed by a civil war ordinance round in three ways: (1) Trying to disarm it (2) Putting it in or near a wood stove (Yep - it happened in the 1950s) and (3) One fell out of a tree on a plantation in the 1960s (Had been hidden, wedged in a live oak since the civil war and a strong wind dislodged it when a guy was walking under it!!). It hit him in the head and killed him. #truth

PS - show us close-up pictures of any hardware on the knapsack. (Rivets, buckles) It would date the pack. Maybe a beachcomber found it 30 years ago, put it in a knapsack and laid it down and forgot where it was. Maybe the knapsack is modern. Can't imagine why a CW soldier would have it in his sack. They were as common as dirt for those guys. And welcome to T-Net!
 

Digger RJ

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Awesome !!! Congrats!!!
 

Tommybuckets

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Definitely way cooler in the bag. i have a lump of approx 30 coins lying in rows with nails from the ship and fish weights (someone almost reeled it in at one point) mixed in holding it together. Its from a wreck off MD beaches and I spotted it in the surf during Sandy and carried it the rest of the day while detecting even though it was a big pain. i brought it to the guy at the treasure museum and he thought it could be worth $800-1000 at auction "as is". I asked him how much it would be worth if we freed the silver coins and sold them individually. "Not much" was his answer. Thirty corroded silver coins vs a verifiable piece of shipwreck history... Hmm. I would think this would be a similar scenario. We could always x-ray it. I have some great x-ray images of my treasure lump showing the coins inside.
 

mirage83

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I wouldn't do anything like trying to remove the knapsack from around it. Soak it well in clean water, rinse and repeat to get rid of most of the salt impregnating it. Then oil or other preservative to hold off rust. It will be an awesome display piece in my opinion.
 

tnt-hunter

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X-raying sound like a good way to see if it has a fuse or not to determine if it is live or a solid ball. And I have to agree that preserving it as is would be the best idea. That is one wonderful find and probably one in a million. There may not be another like it on the planet.

Keep searching.
 

A2coins

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Are you sure its not a bowling ball in a bowling bag ???? Welcome to tnet also
 

ANTIQUARIAN

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I'm thinking that the 'knapsack' is unrecognizable in it's current form and consequently isn't saveable. :icon_scratch:
My suggestion would be to use electrolysis and preserve the cannonball on it's own.

Dave
 

ticndig

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Can we see some more pics ? I can't make out the sack.
 

CreakyDigger

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I wonder if the knapsack is some kind of contraption they used to move the balls up into the end of the cannon by hand, and they got dropped out the gunport?
 

Dug

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I think the first priority is to determine whether this is a solid shot or explosive loaded. You don't want live Ordnance sitting around your house.

Getting measurements/weight will be tough since the knapsack is oxidized to it.

Bear in mind that people get real hinky when the words "Cannon Ball" are spoken and most authorities are quick to confiscate it and blow it up so taking it to a facility to have it XRayed is a gamble.

If it was me, I would be looking for a fuse point. Unfortunately you will have to see all sides of the cannonball to see if it has a fuse point which means taking it out of the knapsack. If you are still unsure then measure and weigh it accurately since it is out of the knapsack and post what you have. Some resident experts like Cannonball guy can then identify what you have. If it turns out to be explosive loaded there are a few folks you can take it to, to have it unloaded.
 

Gene Mean

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Amazing find! That ranks right up there. Definitely need to see more pictures.
 

Trezurehunter

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That's just unreal. That would rank right up there with finding a "Genie in a bottle" on the Ocean front ! Great find.
 

xcopperstax

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Definitely way cooler in the bag. i have a lump of approx 30 coins lying in rows with nails from the ship and fish weights (someone almost reeled it in at one point) mixed in holding it together. Its from a wreck off MD beaches and I spotted it in the surf during Sandy and carried it the rest of the day while detecting even though it was a big pain. i brought it to the guy at the treasure museum and he thought it could be worth $800-1000 at auction "as is". I asked him how much it would be worth if we freed the silver coins and sold them individually. "Not much" was his answer. Thirty corroded silver coins vs a verifiable piece of shipwreck history... Hmm. I would think this would be a similar scenario. We could always x-ray it. I have some great x-ray images of my treasure lump showing the coins inside.

Can you post a photo of your xrayed coin lump? Also this cannon ball in the knapsack is pretty cool. I'd like to see more pictures. Thanks for the story!
 
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N

neiceyu

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Aug 26, 2019
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  • Thread Starter
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  • #17
sorry for the delay. More "chunks" have fallen off ad more of the actual ball is exposed as well as a large portion of leather on the back side of ball. There is also what looks like a small brass plate that looks to be attaching the leather to the wood......... hope these pics look ok. Need to find out if its "live" as I would LOVE to display but am leery about bringing it in house. It is still soaking in fresh water and seems like more and more gunk falls off every day. I did weigh it this morning it currently weighs 42.2 lbs (did this on a regular bathroom scale) Possibly a 32 pounder? Still amazed at this piece. My boys metal detect all the time and have very nice collections but mom's find here is AMAZING!!! :) Left it on a standard bar rag on standard bathroom scale for size comparison. There are two pics of the large chunk that fell off this morning. Should I leave it in water and just keep changing it??? The water seems to discolor overnight now where before it would take a few days................Thank you all for your feedback!!!! This is SO COOL!!!
 

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A2coins

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Mom always does it best congrats amazing find
 

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