✅ SOLVED Found at farm adjoining Chickamauga Battlefield. Cannonball fragment?

traveller777

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I am getting some iron relics ready to clean and hot wax treat. Thought I would ask about this item before cleaning.
I was just using the grape shot to hold up the other two items. I think the small piece is part of an artillery shell, maybe parrot, but not worried about it. I would like to know if the large fragment is from a cannonball. The shape seems right but it seems too thin to me, but I am no expert. My calipers, as you can see, were set on inches and the spot I measured it was .240 inch thick. But some spots were less and some more, depending on corrosion or rust. Any thoughts on identification are helpful.
 

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gunsil

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It looks more like part of a hand water pump housing to me. The shape is not round so not a case shot and is shaped like some water pumps. Maybe not this one exactly but they made hundreds of variations.


Antique water pump Stock Photo by ©lucato 19593401
 
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traveller777

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It looks more like part of a hand water pump housing to me. The shape is not round so not a case shot and is shaped like some water pumps.
You may be right. I will wait on a few more replies. Thanks for looking and comments. I thought too thin for cannonball. Figured not so round due to explosion but you are likely right.
 
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TheCannonballGuy

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Your guess is correct... it is too thin to be a fragment of an exploded cannonball. (Thank you very much for providing very-precise (caliper) measurement of its thickness.)

You also wrote:
> Figured not so round due to explosion but you are likely right.

ALL cannonballs are made of cast-iron.
Explanation:
Cast-iron is not capable of "bending" due to explosion, nor due to hard impact. Unless it has been heated red-hot, cast-iron will fracture under stress. Fragmentation is what you want an explosive artillery projectile to do. Your find is out-of-round because it was manufactured in that shape. In comparison, wrought-iron will bend or flex under stress -- which is why sword blades (and various forms of springs) are made of wrought-iron.
 
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gunsil

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Springs and sword blades are made from steel, not wrought iron. Wrought iron will not "spring", it will bend and stay bent. They may have made some wrought iron swords and weapons very early on, but the invention of steel rendered all those obsolete a thousand years ago.
 
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TheCannonballGuy

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Gunsil wrote:
> Springs and sword blades are made from steel, not wrought iron.

Gunsil is correct. I should have made clear that I was talking about very-antique bladed weapons and wagon springs. For example, the blades of civil war era socket-bayonets are wrought-iron. But even long ago, certain high-quality swords were made of "wrought steel"... such as the famous "Samurai" swords and Damascus steel swords.
 
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gunsil

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CBG, you da man for projectiles but you are mistaken about steel and iron and blades. American civil war bayonets are made of steel, not wrought iron. British bayonets of the revolutionary war were steel not wrought iron. Wrought iron is used in ornamental iron work but is not suited for blades as it is soft and will easily bend and will not hold an edge. Nor can wrought iron be used for springs, they are made from steel, even hundreds of years ago. The damascus steel and samurai swords are made of many layers of steel but all swords for over a thousand years are made of plain steel. The Vikings used wrought iron weapons and they were amazed when they met the English and discovered the English swords did not bend and could actually cut into their wrought iron swords because the English had found how to make steel from iron. Steel is much harder than wrought iron. Early American axes were made of wrought iron folded over a steel piece which would provide an axe head with a malleable wrought iron eye but with a steel cutting edge which held a much better edge than wrought iron. Wrought iron and steel are not interchangeable terms.
 
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traveller777

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Your guess is correct... it is too thin to be a fragment of an exploded cannonball. (Thank you very much for providing very-precise (caliper) measurement of its thickness.)

You also wrote:
> Figured not so round due to explosion but you are likely right.

ALL cannonballs are made of cast-iron.
Explanation:
Cast-iron is not capable of "bending" due to explosion, nor due to hard impact. Unless it has been heated red-hot, cast-iron will fracture under stress. Fragmentation is what you want an explosive artillery projectile to do. Your find is out-of-round because it was manufactured in that shape. In comparison, wrought-iron will bend or flex under stress -- which is why sword blades (and various forms of springs) are made of wrought-iron.
SUPER ANSWER cannon! Thanks a ton. Wonder what it is?
 
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traveller777

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Springs and sword blades are made from steel, not wrought iron. Wrought iron will not "spring", it will bend and stay bent. They may have made some wrought iron swords and weapons very early on, but the invention of steel rendered all those obsolete a thousand years ago.
I think you nailed it my friend. Thanks a ton. I hate an unsolved mystery! Good job.
 
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