Thursday, January 20, 2022

Cannonball from the Civil War found in York County

A Civil War-era 12-pound smooth bore round found in Seaford on March 10, 2021  (WYDaily/ Courtesy of York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office)

SEAFORD — Children playing with a metal detector on Mastin Avenue in Seaford were surprised to find a large, round object buried two feet below ground.

After they brought their discovery inside a home, the parents immediately called the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office (YPSO) for assistance.

On Wednesday, March 10, sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene to assess the strange object and, after taking a good look at it, they called in the expertise of the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment at Naval Weapons Station (NWS) Yorktown.

The detachment then took possession of the object before determining what it was.

And what “it” was surprised everyone.

Buried in that quiet Seaford neighborhood was a Civil War-era, 12 pound smoothbore round that once belonged to the Union Army. The detachment from NWS Yorktown noticed significant corrosion on the nearly 160-year old ordnance, Susanne Greene, NWS Yorktown spokesperson wrote in an email on Thursday. They also stated through YPSO that the detachment suspected that the cannonball contained black powder and would dispose of it by an explosion.

YPSO took to social media to praise the residents on Mastin Avenue for calling 9-1-1 instead of trying to examine the cannonball for themselves.

Both NWS Yorktown and the sheriff’s office noted the importance of calling local law enforcement should a resident suspect that they have discovered an unexploded ordnance on their property.

Greene added that residents should not make any attempt to move the device themselves.

What the discovery did was remind Seaford residents of our storied military history and how their homes stand on what was once a battleground.

If you suspect that you may have found an unexploded ordnance on your property, please call the York County-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office at 757-890-3630.

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