The homeowner contacted the state fire chief after being handed what appeared to be a non-explosive ball fired by a family member near Monocacy Battlefield in Frederick, about 50 miles west of Baltimore. Officials confirmed the bomber was live.
Bomb experts moved the cannon ball to Beverver Creek Quarry in Hagerstown, where they performed an “emergency,” according to the Maryland State Fire Marshal.
“As confirmed today, the discovery of soldiers in the Civil War is rare in Maryland, and these machines pose the same threat as when they were originally built,” said the fire brigade’s office.
Experts have identified the practice as not known as a cannon ball round used during the Civil War and decided that its mixing method was still valid, the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) government office said in a statement Tuesday.
A Glen Hill Court resident in Jefferson contacted state burners after receiving the gun from a family member who was found during a search near Monocacy National Battlefield, Deputy Fire Chief Marshal Oliver Alkire told CNN. The cannonball stayed at the resident’s home for a few months before it was reported.
Specialists removed and transported the cannon on Monday to Beaver Creek Quarry in Hagerstown, where it was safely detonated, Alkire said.
The cannonball was strong enough to cause great damage.
“It would easily kill a person or many people if they were mistreated,” Alkire said.
Maryland was a hotbed of civil war.
Union and Confederate forces clashed in the summer of 1864 in Monocacy, according to the National Park Service (NPS). Union troops are fighting to prevent a Confederate takeover in Washington, DC.
The Confederates eventually won the war, but the Union traders were able to delay them long enough for guarantees to reach Washington and protect the capital. An estimated 2,200 men were killed, injured, abducted or listed as missing during the Monocacy War, according to the NPS.
“The discovery of a military war in the Civil War is not uncommon in Maryland, and these missions pose the same threat as when they were originally built,” OSFM said in a statement on Facebook.
Alkire urged Maryland residents who are empowered to “follow the R3 – respect this device, step back from security and report to 911.”