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Workers discover Civil War cannonball

A construction crew discovered a Civil War cannonball buried in the Eastern Flank Battlefield Park that had been fired by the Union Army about 149 years ago.

The workers discovered the Civil War artifact April 6 as they prepared the grounds for a new road planned for a new entrance to the Franklin park. The cannonball was recovered on the east side of the creek running through the west side of the property.

An expert from Battle of Franklin Trust determined that the cannonball was not equipped to produce an explosion.

“It appears that it is a solid shot fired from a 12-pounder Napoleon [cannon],” said Eric Jacobson, chief operating officer of Battle of Franklin Trust. “It is solid iron, which was typical field ammunition during the Civil War. The federal army had an abundance of these guns at Franklin.”

Jacobson said, “Chances are the cannonball is from the Battle of Franklin on Nov. 30, 1864, and chances are it was fired from a federal gun.”

People have been finding war artifacts around Franklin ever since the battle was waged.

“We have to understand that that area is a battlefield and this is just another piece of evidence,” he said. “You never know what you will find.”

Because the artifact is not an explosive, the city will allow Jacobson to display the cannonball at Carnton Plantation.

“We were able to cordon off the area and continue the grading work,” said Milissa Reierson, communications manager for the city of Franklin.

 “Don’t be surprised if this isn’t the only thing that’s found this week,” said Jacobson.

Posted on: 4/8/2013


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