Civil War cannonballs found on South Carolina beach after hurricane

Fifteen Civil War cannonballs were found on a beach in South Carolina after Hurricane Matthew passed, according to authorities, who detonated most of the explosives before transporting a small number of them to the nearby Naval Base. Photo by Charleston County Sheriff's Office

FOLLY BEACH, S.C., Oct. 10 (UPI) — Cannonballs from the Civil War were found on a beach in South Carolina after Hurricane Matthew passed over the state, according to officials.

The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Air Force Explosive Team confirmed the finding of “old Civil War Ordnance” at Folly Beach in South Carolina, detonating some and taking others to the nearby Naval Base, authorities reported.

Former Folly Beach Mayor Richard Beck found the cannonballs — there were 15, welded together by rust — during a walk on the beach investigating the storm’s effects. Beck called police to investigate the cannonballs, which were identified as such by an officer who is a Civil War re-enactor.

“I knew they were cannonballs,” Beck said. “One of them had a very distinct hole in it that went directly into it. Just knowing a little bit about the Civil War, I know that they put fuses in cannonballs for them to explode when they desired them to.”

Officers started investigating the scene around 12:30 p.m. Sunday, confirming they were cannonballs. They could not detonate them until around 7 p.m. because of the tide.

Officials at Joint Base Charleston were expected to receive and destroy the remaining cannonballs on Sunday night, according to Eric Watson, a spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.


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