Ammo The Raymond Minie Ball That Found It's Mark

Tom Hughes

First Sergeant
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Location
Mississippi
This is a fired .58 caliber minie ball that was found in the skeletal remains of a Confederate soldier who was killed during the Battle of Raymond, MS on May 12, 1863.
It's a little morbid, I know.
But how many minie balls have been found that you know 100% entered the body of the enemy during combat?
Back in the early 1970's during road construction of Hwy. 18, a salvage archaeology operation revealed several skeletons of Confederate soldiers. Based on the position, it is pretty certain they were members of the famed 7th Texas Infantry. This fighting unit suffered over 50% casualties during the battle:
22 killed
66 wounded
70 captured
This bullet almost certainly felled one of those 22 boys from Texas.

"It was the 7th Texas which had struck us, a regiment which had never been beaten in any fight. We soon found they didn't
scare worth a cent."
- Lt. Henry O. Dwight, 20th Ohio Infantry, USA


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Tom Hughes

First Sergeant
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May 27, 2019
Location
Mississippi
I have the documentation from the archaeologist
I know this sounds odd. But I was told that during the construction boom of the 1960s and 1970s primarily in Vicksburg campaign sites, there were many skeletal remains being discovered. Some were under home foundations, some were in makeshift grave sites on the battlefield. I wouldn't say frequently, but it wasn't unusual to find skeletal remains from combatants during the civil war.
 

alan polk

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I know this sounds odd. But I was told that during the construction boom of the 1960s and 1970s primarily in Vicksburg campaign sites, there were many skeletal remains being discovered. Some were under home foundations, some were in makeshift grave sites on the battlefield. I wouldn't say frequently, but it wasn't unusual to find skeletal remains from combatants during the civil war.
Interesting. When did you acquire it?
 

bdtex

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Back in the early 1970's during road construction of Hwy. 18, a salvage archaeology operation revealed several skeletons of Confederate soldiers. Based on the position, it is pretty certain they were members of the famed 7th Texas Infantry.
Do you know where the soldiers were reburied? Raymond Confederate Cemetery?
 

alan polk

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Do you know where the soldiers were reburied? Raymond Confederate Cemetery?
Yes, most of the Confederate dead were gathered at some point after the battle by the townspeople and buried in the cemetery. Apparently, some of the dead got overlooked, or, just as likely, some of their body parts got overlooked. Most of the fighting done by the 7th Texas at Raymond occurred in the deep tangle of woods bordering the creek or within the creek bed - an easy place for a limp body to become hidden or missed.
 

bdtex

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Yes, most of the Confederate dead were gathered at some point after the battle by the townspeople and buried in the cemetery. Apparently, some of the dead got overlooked, or, just as likely, some of their body parts got overlooked. Most of the fighting done by the 7th Texas at Raymond occurred in the deep tangle of woods bordering the creek or within the creek bed - an easy place for a limp body to become hidden or missed.
I meant the soldiers bodies that were discovered in the 70's by the road crews? The entire back 2 rows at Raymond Confederate Cemetery are 7th Texas boys.
 

Tom Hughes

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Location
Mississippi
I meant the soldiers bodies that were discovered in the 70's by the road crews? The entire back 2 rows at Raymond Confederate Cemetery are 7th Texas boys.
Because they knew that this road work was going through the core of the battlefield, metal detectors were used to look for artifacts. This salvage work resulted in the discovery of a few skeletal remains. Not sure of the exact number but it was more than one. I don't believe the road crews "discovered" anything. It was strictly a planned salvage archaeology venture coordinated with the Dept. of Transportation. The chief archaeologist was also a very skilled metal detectorist and led the search. They found a lot of stuff.
I knew of one relic hunter in the Vicksburg area that found some individual graves of Union soldiers while relic hunting. He said they were buried wrapped in ponchos.
The archaeologists tell me that during the construction of the Pemberton Mall in Vicksburg, some soldiers were found as well.
I feel sure that not all of these were unknown burials. I'm sure soldiers died and were buried in makeshift graves with a wood cross or marker. Over time, the grave was overgrown and lost.
 

bdtex

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Because they knew that this road work was going through the core of the battlefield, metal detectors were used to look for artifacts. This salvage work resulted in the discovery of a few skeletal remains. Not sure of the exact number but it was more than one. I don't believe the road crews "discovered" anything. It was strictly a planned salvage archaeology venture coordinated with the Dept. of Transportation. The chief archaeologist was also a very skilled metal detectorist and led the search. They found a lot of stuff.
I knew of one relic hunter in the Vicksburg area that found some individual graves of Union soldiers while relic hunting. He said they were buried wrapped in ponchos.
The archaeologists tell me that during the construction of the Pemberton Mall in Vicksburg, some soldiers were found as well.
I feel sure that not all of these were unknown burials. I'm sure soldiers died and were buried in makeshift graves with a wood cross or marker. Over time, the grave was overgrown and lost.
During the course of all that,were the soldiers' bodies disinterred and reburied at Vicksburg National Cemetery, Soldiers Rest Cemetery and Raymond Confederate Cemetery et.al. ?
 

James N.

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I meant the soldiers bodies that were discovered in the 70's by the road crews? The entire back 2 rows at Raymond Confederate Cemetery are 7th Texas boys.
It's more correct to say the back 2 rows commemorate 7th Texas boys - the memorial stones were only put there in the 1980's and bear no relation to what or whom may lie beneath them. Here's my photo from 2007 when they were still relatively new-looking:

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bdtex

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It's more correct to say the back 2 rows commemorate 7th Texas boys - the memorial stones were only put there in the 1980's and bear no relation to what or whom may lie beneath them. Here's my photo from 2007 when they were still relatively new-looking:

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I know James but they're buried somewhere closeby. I rather like the rustic look the gravestones have now.
 

bdtex

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Personally, I'm not sure I like things like this - they can easily create the wrong impression for someone who doesn't know the difference.
I understand James. One of these days,there might not be anyone left who knows the difference.
 

Story

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SE PA
That gives you chills. It's also a really good reminder how many men still lay in forgotten graves. I realize it's over 150 years ago but it always gets to me.

I think that's the real take-away from artifacts like this.

It was fired and then ended someone's life.

That someone died and filled an unmarked grave for over a century.

620,000 question marks.

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