✅ SOLVED Civil war shell fragment?

Nathan6309

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Hey everybody! I was doing some more detecting on my property and found a thick, tube-shaped, iron object that looks a lot like a shell fragment. It could be something else, but I’m honestly at a loss for what else this could be. Anybody have any ideas? Ive found that the approximate diameter of the specimen is 3.25 inches. Thanks in advance for any assistance.
 

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Last edited:

TheCannonballGuy

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As my posting-name and my avatar pic indicate, civil war artillery shells are my specialty area of relic-study. Most of the time when somebody finds a "fragmented" section of iron cylinder, it's a piece of cast-iron pipe.

Your photos show this fragment has a characteristic which might disqualify it from being a shell fragment. Shell frags do not have a perfectly-straight edge which is perfectly flat. (By flat, I mean like you had cut off the edge with a saw... everything along the cut is a 90-degree angle.) Because I cannot be sure about your fragment's edge by looking at the photo, I need you to closely examine it and report back to us. You might have to use a hammer to bash off the rust-encrustation to be sure.

Your photos show your frag is thick-walled in comparison to its diameter. (Pipe tends to be thinner-walled.) But I need to know exactly how thick it is. It should be no thinner than 7/16th-inch thick, AFTER you've removed the rust-encrustation in that area.

The following information applies only if your fragment passes the two tests I mentioned above.

You reported that your diagram indicates this cylindrical artillery shell frag's diameter is about 3.25-inches. Although there was a 3.3"-caliber civil war shell, none of that caliber were used in your area. So, I suspect your "scribing" was a little too large, due to the rust-encrustation on the frag. It is most probably from either a 2.9" or a 3"-caliber shell. Both yanks and Rebs very commonly used those two calibers of shells.

Being dug in Virgini9a means:
If it's "thoroughly de-encrusted" diameter works out to being 2.9"-caliber, it is from either a yankee 10-Pounder Parrott shell, or a Confederate 10-Pounder Read Long-model shell.

If after de-encrusting is done, and its diameter indicates it's from a 3"-caliber shell, it could be from a summer-of-1864 through Spring-1865 yankee Parrott shell.

If it's a Confederate-made 3-incher dug in Virginia, it could be from:
a Reed Short-model shell (a.k.a. "Bourreleted Read" shell,
a Mullane/Tennessee-sabot shell,
a Broun shell.

The shell on the left in the photo below is a 2.9"/10-Pounder caliber Parrott.
 

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Last edited:
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Nathan6309

Nathan6309

Full Member
May 15, 2018
201
603
Botetourt County, Va
Detector(s) used
Garrett AT Pro, Garrett Ace 350, Macro Siplex +
Primary Interest:
All Treasure Hunting
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Based on my findings, I don't believe that this is a shell fragment. I busted off as much of the encrustation as I could and found that the flat end of the piece is indeed flat. When measuring the walls, the flat end measured approximately 3/4, but the opposite end measured approximately 5/16. It is more than likely either a pipe or a shattered wagon wheel skein. Thanks Cannonballguy for all the priceless info! It's really an amazing feeling to know that there are incredibly knowledgeable people on this site who are willing to help out with these identifications.
 
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Gare

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TheCannonballGuy I hope the people of this forum realize how lucky we are to have someone as knowledgeable as your self as a member on here. Your replys amaze me . I thank you for your input 111​

 
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