Live Civil War Shell Found

Live Civil War Shell Found

PETERSBURG - National Park Rangers asked for assistance from local and State Police Thursday after serving a search warrant on a home in the city and finding a potentially live, Civil War-era, unexploded artillery shell.

The shell was discovered Thursday at around 1 p.m. after Park Rangers executed a search warrant on the home in the 1800 block of Oakland Street as part of a criminal investigation.

"Due to the dangers involved, when the shell was discovered we called the Petersburg police for assistance," said Petersburg National Battlefield Chief Ranger Kevin Taylor.

Black Soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts




Black Soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, Memorial in Boston, Massachusetts


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Petersburg police spokeswoman Esther Hyatt said that the local police provided assistance with traffic control by blocking off the streets, but that the State Police provided assistance with the artillery shell.

Taylor identified the shell as a Schenkl shell. The shell is a hollow piece of metal that gunpowder would have been packed into, he said. A percussion cap is placed in one end and designed to cause the shell to explode.

Taylor said it was not known whether or not the shell discovered in the home was live or not, but given the inherent dangers, investigators decided to ask for assistance from the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Richmond Field Office, Bomb Unit.


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