What is this? Cannon Ball?

Pea Shooter

Cadet
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Location
Fiddletown, CA.
Hello;
I am a newbie I received this round about 25 years ago. Some kids were stealing cannon balls from a civil war memorial at a local cemetery. The were breaking them out of a cement circle around a flag pole. It was decided to remove the rounds. I collect ordnance so I was given a round. Its diameter is 8.8 inches and weighs 70 pounds. I would like to know if it is a cannon ball or a mortar round? Also what type of fuse did it take? Thank you, Vaughn

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drezac

Sergeant
Forum Host
Joined
May 4, 2014
Location
Baltimore,Ohio
It definitely looks like a cannon ball due to the way the fuse hole is constructed. The size does not match up to any listed in the 1862 ordnance manual - it's between a 8" ( 7.88) and 10" ( 9.87) in size. The weight is also right in the middle of the 8" and 10". The 1841 ordnance manual has a table of foreign guns, and it matches up to a French 8" mortar (8.834). However, there were quite a variety of non-standard guns that are not in the ordnance manual,
 

Carronade

Captain
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Location
Pennsylvania
Mortar balls usually have lifting ears (indentations on either side of the fuse hole). You appear to have a fused ball for a 9" smoothbore gun.

Were there any 9" smoothbores other than the Dahlgren model? That was primarily a naval weapon, which might be a hint as to where the shells in the memorial came from.
 

redbob

Major
Regtl. Staff Shiloh 2020
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Location
Hoover, Alabama
The only 9" er that I am aware of is the Dahlgren and usually projectiles for monuments came from surplus stocks, as an example; at one time the Whitworth Guns that were at Gettysburg (misplaced near the Virginia Monument) had stacks of genuine Whitworth projectiles stacked up next to them and they mysteriously disappeared. At today's prices, each one of those stacks would be valued at about 25K. :cannon:
 

ucvrelics

Colonel
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Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
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Were there any 9" smoothbores other than the Dahlgren model? That was primarily a naval weapon, which might be a hint as to where the shells in the memorial came from.
The fuse photo I posted is from a 9 inch Dahlgren and is a naval fuse. I believe your round is in fact a surplus Dahlgren.
 

Pea Shooter

Cadet
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Location
Fiddletown, CA.
I live in California. Harry Ridgeway brought up that there were big guns protecting San Francisco Harbor. There were guns at Fort Point under the Golden Gate bridge, at the bays entrance and at Alcatraz island. they were big guns. The cemetery where the rounds came from was in the bay area. So the rounds probably came from stores for these guns. Vaughn
 
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