Artillery / Shells

Rarest & Finest, 7" Diameter James Navel Shell

One of Only a HANDFUL to Exist, Excavated from Secessionville, South Carolina

Coming DIRECTLY from the RENOWNED Author & Projectile/Artillery Collector Mr. Lawrence Pawl

Complete with Intact Brass Anvil-Nose Percussion Fuze, GREAT exposed "Birdcage" bottom

Professionally Cleaned, Coated, and Preserved for Generations to come

No...I would NOT want one of THESE SCREAMING AT ME!!!  I'd probably soil myself if one landed near me!  Can you imagine this MONSTROUS 7" (technically 6.9" diameter), 12.5" high and 60-pound shell coming "with YOUR name on it"!?!?!  Of course, today we can enjoy it for it's sheer BEAUTY and SIZE!  EXTREMELY RARE 7" James Shell was excavated decades ago in Secessionville, South Carolina.  Given it's rarity, it went into the truly world-renown collection, and author, Mr. Lawrence Pawl.  His immense love, passion, co-authored book of artillery projectiles with Mr. Jack Melton, and his mind-blowing collection of the greatest, rarest, and BEST Civil War artillery shot and shell has made him a true "godfather" and "guru"...which is PRECISELY where this shell came from!  Professionally cleaned and coated to preserve it for the ages, it has the most scrumptious eye-appeal!  The brass anvil-nose percussion fuze is SOLIDLY intact and present.  The slick finish, coupled with the awesome SIZE of this "Birdcage" design shell shows the base "ribbing" or "cage" that everyone wants to see!

Size...Rarity...Provenance...and coming from one of the undisputed "kings" of artillery projectiles...and I USED to own it myself, buying it from Jack Melton....but now the current owner is selling it on here's YOUR CHANCE!


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SCARCE Intact 6-Pounder Canister/"Grape" Shot Round

Rarity 8, Un-Fired, Still Packed w/Original Sawdust!

Only Missing the Wooden Sabot (can get a repro CHEAP)

Literally a "KILLER" Display Piece, Once Shown How This Round was used to Make a Cannon into a Massive SHOTGUN, Ripping Men to BITS & Pulps of Bloody Flesh

Another Fresh From Georgia Find from the Dalton Show!

For most relic hunters digging on battlefields, many just shake their head at digging SO MANY iron canister/"grape" shot rounds.  But those of us who KNOW just HOW DEADLY the canister artillery rounds were to ATTACKING MEN and how the cannons would literally become ENORMOUS SHOTGUNS by firing these rounds...we have a great RESPECT and a CHILLING  AWARENESS that these iron canister rounds (called "grape shot" since they were the general size of grapes, the fruit) PROBABLY  RIPPED  SOME  SOLDIER(S)  TO  PIECES.  Within 100 yards, field artillery would open-up with canister rounds, and even closer, would load DOUBLE  CANISTER  ROUNDS to really BLOW HOLES into the attacking ranks.  Literally dozens of men would be almost obliterated into unrecognizable lumps of bloody pulps, as many men would relay in their letters, diaries, and post-war accounts.  THIS is why when a unit captured an artillery battery--especially for Confederates--they were bestowed GREAT  HONOR, to which the Confederate unit's flag could bear the "crossed-cannon" symbol signifying they endured the HAILSTORM of CANISTER and SHELL to most bloodily capture the enemy battery.  As seen below from two medical museums, the skulls bearing witness to the immediate death and destruction by such canister rounds.  One is from Charleston, a Federal, hit with ONE LARGE "Naval Grape" round to the right of the skull.  Another is a skull with multiple "hits" and even the back right of the skull blow-away from a blast of a field canister round, exactly like this being offered to you.  Famed and historically-accurate modern artists even "kindly" (without all the "gory details") show the historically accurate firing of canister rounds into the faces of their attacking enemy, just BLOWING THEM AWAY.  And one who has watched the Ted Turner Movies "Gettysburg" and "Gods and Generals," they also do correctly show the horrific deadly effect of charging men smashed with a shot of canister rounds.

Offered here is a classic 3.67" diameter, INTACT, COMPLETE even with the original sawdust they were packed with from the arsenal, 6-pounder smoothbore canister round.  It is merely missing the wooden sabot (the side where you see the iron-wiring for us to carry gently) and one can purchase a correct lathed wooden sabot for around $50 to make it display PERFECTLY (if you want, I can get you in-touch with the man who makes them).  Some people have taken modern repro sabot's and "fake them" as I leave it up to the future owner if he wants to get a reproduction sabot.   The outer tin holding the round together has all of the soldering 100% INTACT, and you can see the thicker iron bottom-plate, and thin upper-plate on top.  Inside are 27 or 28 iron round cast "canister" or "grape" shot rounds, about 7/8th's an inch in diameter.  There are 4 rows of six of these iron balls on top of each other, with one in the middle (sometimes, they didn't pack the last middle round--othertimes, they did, thus sometimes 27, and sometimes 28 rounds in the canister round.)  And as shown when turned upside-down, that original sawdust it (by standard regulation on both sides would pack them with) is IN THERE!  I just take the sawdust and put back on top and shake them back inside!  Fresh and RARE to find, these carrying a "Rarity 8 out of 10" per the one and only "Field Artillery Projectiles of the American Civil War" by Dickey and George, this could be a CS or US canister round.  Sometimes one will know by the crudeness of the casting of the iron balls inside (which we can't see without opening it!) or the crudeness of the wooden sabot (which is long gone).  But I got it at the Dalton Show, and I've dug my share of CS canister rounds from the famous Snyder's Bluff, Mississippi Confederate ammo dump!

Here's a truly KILLER piece that can most GRAPHICALLY  DISPLAY how WICKED and DEADLY it was upon the battlefields our Forefather's endured...

I'll even throw-in the CS Canister Round I dug at Champion Hill (pictured below)!

$798  Sale Pending


Below, Modern Print of Pickett's Charge, and being "kind" in Showing How a Canister Round fired Up-Close just BLOWS BODIES to BITS


Below--Two Different Medical Museum Skulls showing Canister/Grape Shot Skulls (right from Charleston, left from Cold Harbor)


Below: left, the US Model 1841 Standard 6-pounder Cannon, middle is OPENED canister round, Right is one intact showing wooden Sabot well

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My Excellent CS-Used Small Riverboat Deck Cannon!!!

Used by Small River-Steamer on the Tennessee River

IDENTICAL in EVERY WAY to one Recovered from the CS small Riverboat Steamer "Dot" at Big Black River, MS

Almost Certainly made by A. B. Reading Foundry of Vicksburg, Mississippi, THE only near Cannon-Maker Before/During the war Making Non-US Model Cannon

HERE SHE IS!!  In ALL her glory!  I've just been handed pre-pay tuition bills, another medical procedure coming-up for me....AND POSSIBLY MOVING out to Champion Hill....I'm READY to see WHO IS SERIOUS about OWNING a CS Deck Cannon!!!  As explained with the "teaser" a couple weeks ago, she was used on a small CS river-steamer up and down the Tennessee River, until the Federals "came to stay" in northern Alabama--excepting when Forrest and Hood (in his disastrous late-1864 Tennessee Campaign) came through to use the fords THIS CANNON and her crew guarded.  It is IDENTICAL in EVERY WAY to the one pulled-off the CS river-steamer "DOT" that was used by the Confederates at the Big Black River crossing (by the Southern Railroad LONG trestle), and was burned in the Confederates hasty retreat being whipped at the Battle of Big Black River.  Now, this is NOT in ANY WAY some kind of "US MODEL" cannon.  Never was, and too small.  It is based upon the designs/models of larger 6-pounders (like the US Model 1834 six-pounder gun) but this was a PRIVATELY-MADE and sold cannon.  Given it (and two others with it originally) are IDENTICAL in EVERY FACET/MEASUREMENT/EVERYTHING, we do a little "detective work" and "process of elimination" to answer "who made this cannon!?!?"  If THREE of these were on small steamers used byt he Confederates up and down the Tennessee River during the war, and ANOTHER on ANOTHER CS small river-steamer in Big Black River (only 9 miles form Vicksburg), WHO were making cannon prior-to, or during the war, that would be making NON US-REGULATION/NON-US Model cannon for small riverboat steamers? cannon-makers in St. Louis before the war, or making for the SOUTH during the war....none in Memphis...none in Natchez....the only two KNOWN cannon-makers anywhere NEAR to have been sold to arm these small river-steamers (NOT the Mississippi River-sized riverboats able to "comfortably" traverse the Mighty Mississippi!) were the US Arsenal in Mount Vernon, Alabama, and the A. B. Reading Foundry in Vicksburg.  We KNOW by records that Mt. Vernon did NOT make anything but US Model that pretty much makes it clear the ONLY POSSIBLE/LOGICAL maker of this gun was the A. B. Reading Foundry, who privately was already making 6-pounder cannon BEFORE the war started, and did so in earnest once the war came.  The foundry made so many things to "feed" the most vital and lucrative river-trade, and with most steamers made for "transport" and not as "gunboats," such smaller deck guns were enough to fend-off local partisans, river-"pirates" trying to steal cargo, a nice "shotgun" with cannister to scatter any Yanks along the shore, etc.  NO MARKINGS whatsoever....too bad....but as logically and FACTUALLY just explained, I have NO DOUBT it's from the A. B. Reading Foundry of Vicksburg.

The bore diameter is 2.25", the tube length itself is 33" long, TOTAL length on the carriage is 49" long, and 26" wide.  Tube weighs (guessing--had Brian Akins and another dealer lift it, and I gingerly tried a slight lift, and Brian lifts weight like me, and he said it feels like it's just over 100-pounds.put in with the lead-filling--this was done by the family in order to make sure no one would try to shoot it, get hurt, and then come after them---so I can't blame them!  One can EASILY have the lead removed (it's melting temperature is WAY lower than the cast-iron), and someone like the Paulson Brothers could do it, SLEEVE the bore, and SAFELY fire BLANK charges---I'd NEVER recommend ANYONE to "live-fire" any Civil War weapon, not just for safety, but it ruins the value!   The tube was half-way filled with lead, and you see the modern hex-bolt was also The reproduction carriage is SOLID and EXCELLENTLY made.  Thanks to the PERFECT-made carriage, the weight-balance is such that with the 4 wheels, even I with a hernia can move it with EASE.  There is a wooden "V" block (you'll see in pics) that you can put under the breech to elevate the barrel DOWN, and can stick it under the front, to keep it from moving in-transit.   One could easily buy a turning-screw like the REAL deck guns to lift breech up, or let down.  The reproduction carriage alone is SO GOOD, THAT was a "steal" of a deal, and would COST YOU $2,000+ just to have one made!!!  THIS ONE HAS IT FOR YOU, already!!!  It has the proper "recoil" rope-holes and rearward pulling rope-holes.  GREAT detail with the decoratively beveled edges...JUST PERFECT!

With the Tube being somewhere in the 100-pound weight range, and carriage far less, both could be shipped separately, and the cost via UPS would be around $500-$600 total, as I guesstimated it. OR, you can come-by and pick it up, OR I can deliver at a show!

I'm NOT "giving it away"....I love it WAY too much--as does my children (even my wife!)

Here's a NO BS, CS-used, almost CERTAINLY A. B. Reading of Vicksburg-made small riverboat deck gun that you can afford to own!  And WHAT a KILLER "CENTERPIECE" this WILL BE in ANYONE'S COLLECTION and DISPLAY!!!

$7,000  Sale Pending/Layaway - Congrats to New Owner!

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SLICK & RARE CS 10-Inch Mortar Shell, Dug by ME !!!

Rarity 8 out of 10 (see George & Dickey Excerpts), Having the Tong/Lifting "Ears," Classic CS Wood-Plug Fuzed

Fired from the ONLY CS Mortar in Vicksburg, Within the Southern-Most Fort along River/CS Lines, "South Fort"

Has MOST Unique, Crude Casting Flaws, Believed to be Made by the Vicksburg A. B. Reading Foundry

Everyone and anyone who "knows me," KNOWS that when it comes to relic hunting....I'd rather dig a shell/cannonball ANYTIME over some US plates!  I'm truly in to "heavy metal"!  I've dug the RAREST CS ordnance ever known, to the most common 6# solid shot and 10#/3" Parrotts-Reads.  I LOVE THEM ALL!!!  My last "good find" after our son was diagnosed with cancer was THIS RARE BEAUTY!  Going from relic-hunting on average 3 days a week, 52-weeks a year....then our son's really brought my relic-hunting days to what is now virtually "closed".  But this was one I recovered in early 2007, with my old-faithful digging buddy, Lonnie Bell.  Thanks to a great "hint" about where to go to dig Yankee siege/camp stuff, as well as CS IMPACT-AREAS for CS-fired artillery rounds, we went to this special "area" which I will ONLY REVEAL TO THE FUTURE OWNER!  After's still a GOOD SPOT!  Our first trip, we fumbled around the ravines and hill-tops, through brush, thickets, and dense trees...but sure enough, Ol' Lonnie pops-out a US boxplate--as pretty as the ones they have been digging since the 1950's!  Since the soil all over Vicksburg is Loess soil, it's SO KIND to relics in the ground--virtually NO mineralization, and with great, porous sand for ground, it lets the water quickly and easily seep down hundreds of feet to the water-table, thus allowing relics (especially IRON) to have very little ground-action (unless dug in the "bottoms" or creeks).  The SECOND TIME we went out, we found the usual dropped Yankee Minnie's (being behind their siege lines of Vicksburg, on the southern-most end), some grape and canister, as well as shell frags...and then that verrrry faint....deeeeep, "womp...womp...".  With my machine, I know it's something DEEP.  And sure enough, just over 3 feet deep, on the top of a thin ridgeline, HERE SHE WAS!  As you can see by the Ed Bears' Vicksburg  NPS siege map provided below, I KNEW what I had!  It was fired from the Confederate's southern-most fortification of the siege line, and anchored against the bluff over the Mississippi River--the "South Fort".  Many of you who have come to Vicksburg always go here, for it's literally RIGHT OFF the 1st exit into Vicksburg (driving EAST into V'burg on I-20) or LAST exit heading west on I-20.  This is where the ONLY CS MORTAR in Vicksburg was...and it was a 10" mortar!  You can see on the map below.  Again, I'll ONLY SHOW THE EXACT SPOT WHERE FOUND to the future owner.  There's MORE in THERE!

As the seminal Artillery reference Book "Field Artillery Projectiles of the American Civil War" co-authored by Thomas Dickey and Peter George, the 1993 edition shows these rare beauties--and MINE IS AS SLICK as a BABY'S BUTT!  The one pictured in the book is UGLY with pitting!  [See excerpt below!]  These are a rarity 8 out of 10, and as it describes, measures around 9.75" in diameter.  Mine is a classic CS wood-plug fuzed shell, and has the most UNUSUAL, CRUDE casting "flaws" or "anomalies" I've ever seen.  When it comes to artillery ammunition for CS General Pemberton's Army of Vicksburg, it's either from the Selma Arsenal, some from the Jackson Arsenal (before it BLEW-UP, killing dozens in October of 1862), or Vicksburg's own A. B. Reading cannon and casting Foundry.  Since this is NOT the quality of Selma Arsenal AT ALL, and the Jackson Armory only made 6-pounders and small arms ammo, that leaves only the hard-pressed, besieged A. B. Reading foundry as the obvious, no-brainer conclusion as to "who" made this rare CS 10" mortar shell.  Despite virtually NO PITTING/GROUND-ACTION, you clearly see where there are two "roll-marks" going across the shell, on either side of the fuze-hole and tong/grip "ears" are.  IF they were going into the fuze-hole, one would logically conclude it was made for acting like a "flame-groove," as some rare large naval projectiles did.  But this clearly shows how CRUDE it was casted, and only could have been done while it was in the die-cast, OR JUST AFTER being casted, still HOT enough to allow the iron to be "malleable" such that it looks like once they casted it, they rolled it out of the die, down two rails on either side.  Having WORKED in a steel mill, I've SEEN THIS...and that's what I firmly believe was happening in such hurried desperation within the besieged A. B. Reading Foundry of Vicksburg.  It wasn't from "banding" to any sabot--they would criss-cross.  It was something to do either in the mold-die to release it from the mold, or allow it to roll out of the mold.

I'm down to my LAST artillery projectiles, and my LAST plates I've's another one for the taking!  AND THE SHIPPING EXPENSE will be calculated with the future owner--unless we meet at an upcoming show, or you come by to pick it up---I sure ain't gonna get any more HERNIAS lifting this heavy thing (over 90 pounds--cleaned inside cavity, NO powder inside).

$350  Sale Pending



Below Shows the Lone CS 10" Mortar of the "South Fort"


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Scarce CS Non-Dug 3" Hand Grenade Made Exclusively by the Famed Vicksburg Foundry A. B. Reading

Made & Used During the Vicksburg Siege


I Personally Dug One back in 2006 (Pictured Below)

This was Salvaged from an Antebellum Plantation Attic Being Torn-Down in Vicksburg, & I've Kept it Since

I have been SO BLESSED within my years of both relic hunting and collecting, to have been afforded the opportunities to dig and/or collect some of the RAREST, most UNIQUE and HISTORIC pieces of our history from the War Between the States.  I was so blessed that my fellow digger and friend was a native of Vicksburg, and already had YEARS of experience hunting and finding ALL the RIGHT PLACES to relic hunt, as the years of waning amounts of relics were ever-so continuing to make finding anything "good" a rarity.  But he had shown me TWO of WHAT YOU SEE HERE, that HE HAD DUG...and I KNEW RIGHT AWAY that they were not "small cannonballs" as he figured, but were indeed CS-made HAND GRENADES!  He took my to the two ravines that the Federal Division under General Herron--his Division ONLY assigned DIRECTLY to General Grant as "his special forces division" for special operations--had been building "sapper trenches" approaching CS Brig. Gen. Seth Barton's Georgia siege lines on the southern end of the CS Vicksburg Siege Fortifications. During late June, as the siege and several HORRIBLY, BLOODY failed direct assaults by General Grant proved the siege may indeed "go on forever," Grant had his personal "special division" under General Herron to stealthily attempt to make their way close to the CS lines where they deemed the terrain most favorable and strategic for penetrating the CS siege lines.  Over several days, Herron's "approach" up to the CS lines held By Barton's Georgians continued day, and especially at night.  The "sapper" or "zig-zag" trenches offered great protection for the Federals.  Frustrated and wanting to really "give it" to the Yankees, the Georgian's resorted into night-time "raids" into the Federal sapper-trenches, and used 6-pound and 12-pound cannonballs as "grenades"--something WELL documented and depicted in many wartime sketches of Vicksburg.  However, as the hot summer, and low food supply (eating horse, mule, and rat meat...literally)  the Confederates were getting weaker and weaker--making it harder to carry bags of heavy cannonballs.  So, too, was the supply of cannonballs becoming more scarce, as they were totally cut-off!  The renowned Vicksburg ironworks & foundry, the A. B. Reading Foundry, was a great resource to the city and it's railroad and steamboat shipping operations before the war, and produced 6-pounder cannons for the state and new Confederacy.  One of the few surviving A. B. Reading Foundry-made 6-pounder cannon is on display at the Vicksburg Convention Center today.  As the siege continued, the A. B. Reading Foundry continued to make cannonballs and munitions for the besieged Confederate defenders.  HOWEVER...much like the Selma Arsenal small (always around 3" in diameter) round hand grenades, and like the same used by MANY countries in MANY wars for over a couple hundred years, the A. B. Reading Foundry clearly made these, as the need and desperation made these hand grenades an effective "deterrent" against pesky Yankees, trying to "slither" their way up to, and break-through the CS lines.  That is why 5 have been dug precisely where Herron's Federal "sapper" trenches/approaches were.  And when an antebellum home in Vicksburg was being torn-down, I got the "heads-up" to go and rummage and salvage what I could with my digging buddy.  And it was a COMPLETE SURPRISE--jaws agape, eyes WIDE!!--when we found this UN-FIRED, NON-DUG specimen in a trunk in the attic (along with other cool stuff!)

It is like ALL the 5 excavated specimens EXACTLY---all 3" in diameter, ALL with the crude mold-seam, and SAME diameter "fuze" adaptor hole.  And still has the wood-plug fuze AND hemp-rope FUZE!!!  HOW COOL IS THAT!  I've been holding on to this beauty for so long...but now it's time for it to find a new home where it will be loved and appreciated.

This is one heck of a piece of Confederate and VICKSBURG history...the ONE AND ONLY NON-DUG, INTACT, COMPLETE specimen!!!

$898  Sale Pending

BELOW is The Grenade I Dug in 2006 (Cleaned w/Grit Blaster)

Below Are the Siege Maps, Showing Barton's Georgia Entrenchments, Herron's US Division "Approach" to try and Infiltrate and Break-Through Barton's & CS Siege Lines, and WHERE Each Dug Grenade Has Been Recovered

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More Shells DUG BY ME, from the Historic, Bloody Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs/Bayou, Mississippi

RARER 3" No-Flame-Grooved Hotchkiss Shell

AND One 3" Hotchkiss Shell Cut-In-Half-- complete with  Sabot, Case-Shot, Fuze, ALL Illustrating the Design & Function of Hotchkiss Shells

Precise Location Where I Dug to be Revealed to Future Owner (all private property) on Battle Map!

I only have a meager few pieces of treasure artillery that I personally dug, left from my once vaunted collection.  ANYONE who KNOWS ME as a relic hunter, KNOWS that I desired nothing MORE than to DIG ARTILLERY--excepting ANY CS plate, of course--and being around the Vicksburg Sieges and Campaign...there's ALWAYS IRON to BE DUG!  Offered here is a rare, unique, historic, and most education "combo"!  I dug this and more at a very special "honey hole" spot that had been HARD to dig...but with permission and better detectors....I CLEANED-UP what everyone considered as "hunted-out"! 

The battle is known by two names (as usual) : The Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs (as the Confederates would call it, as they were WELL-ENTRENCHED on/around the steep bluffs) or the Battle of Chickasaw Bayou (as the Federals called it, since they had to navigate the Yazoo River around Christmas of 1862, lending in the SWAMPY, MUDDY, and easily FLOODING Bayou!)  As annually enjoyed, remembered, and portrayed every year in December at the  annual "Christmas Ball" in Vicksburg, on Christmas Night during a Grand Ball with all the high-ranking CS officers and high-society citizens of Vicksburg were busy waltzing and reeling, a rider burst into the ballroom, announcing that their pickets had spotted a LARGE FEDERAL LANDING FORCE with gunboats, attempting to find landing along the Chickasaw Bayou on the Yazoo River---the river just NORTH of Vicksburg.  The ball was OVER for the CS officer's, who went back to their commands...but Pemberton was already WELL PREPARED for a northward attack to nab Vicksburg from the Yazoo River, and was HEAVILY fortified along many stretches with heavy cannon, and arrayed brigades of infantry.  It was William Tecumseh Sherman, himself, under Grant's authority and "blessings," that deemed this DOOMED attack and bloody defeat.  The poor Federals endured cold rain and sleet, maneuvering for several days--being shot-at, harassed, and skirmished by the Confederate pickets, just enticing the poor Federals into the "jaws of death" awaiting them at the bluffs--until finally on December 29th, 1862, Sherman order and launched the all-out attack.  For hours, the battle rages like a blue sea of Federal soldiers, crashing into the impenetrable entrenched line of out-numbered and out-gunned Confederates...but they had terrain, tenacity, and mother nature on their side.  The Federals POUNDED the out-gunned Confederates with ACCURATE rifles cannon fire, as exhibited from these Hotchkiss 3" shells---but the result was only muddy, bloody thousands of Federals and casualties, to the mere hundreds lost by the Confederates.  Sherman noted the "high-water marks" on the surrounding trees....some 15' to 20' above ground level, knowing the winters in Mississippi were PRONE to FLOODING in our wet wintry season.  After the days of futility and casualties of several thousands without making a dent into the Confederate northern defenses above Vicksburg along the Chickasaw Bluffs, he withdrew his cold and weary troops back into their transports, and back to Federal supply depots and encampments above Vicksburg/Yazoo.

What is left TODAY---after over 50 YEARS of relic hunting--only the "hardcore" relic hunter, with the BEST, NEWEST technological metal detectors can find!  And I was privy to being allowed access to a sweet "honey-hole" that had long been considered "too hard" and "hunted-out"...but oh....I FOUND MUCH!  Several of us found MANY of  these 3" Hotchkiss shells--some, like MINE being offered, were the RARER NON-FLAME-GROOVED shells (designed for a percussion-fuze, though the ones we found were all paper-timed fuzed adapted shells)--were found in a shell "impact area" just in-front and behind the CS entrenched lines.  The future owner will receive a battle-map and aerial map showing PRECISELY where FOUND!  The COMPLETE shell is the head of a rare NON-FLAME-GROOVED Hotchkiss shell, but found WITH the base having "flame-grooves" WONDER IT DIDN'T EXPLODE!  Reminds me of the Hotchkiss Shells found at Kennesaw Mountain (in Charlie Harris' "Relic of the Western Campaigns" book) where the Arsenals filled the shells with SAWDUST instead of POWDER!  This wasn't THAT BAD...but obviously mating a non-flame-grooved warhead with a flame-grooved base, AND the fuze hole CLEARLY for a paper-timed fuze...NO WONDER they fired almost a DOZEN we recovered that NEVER EXPLODED!  Entirely cleaned-out and inert, this is a beautiful shell, with the sabot (as usual) spun-off in flight.  The HALF-CUT Hotchkiss shell was a BETTER specimen, having the lead SABOT INTACT, but more pitted iron, so that one got cut in-half as the BEST DISPLAYING and EDUCATIONAL example of the very specialized Hotchkiss Shell design---from the lead sabot, the two parts of the actual "warhead" and the "base" that would "mash" upon firing, thus the soft lead sabot digging into the rifling of the 3" rifled cannon bore, and the lead case-shot inside as well as the paper-timed fuze adaptor.

Here's some of the LAST of my PERSONALLY DUG "IRON" for YOU to now OWN and ENJOY!

Both Sale Pending!!!

Both Shell and Half-Cut Pictured Above Together

The Whole Shell I Dug (above)

Both Sides of the Cut-In-Half Shell (above)


Battle Map & Aerial Shot of the Chickasaw Bluffs/Bayou Battlefield

I'll Show YOU PRECISELY Where Dug....a Secret Little "Honey Hole"!

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Classic, GREAT Big-Ol' Artillery Grease Bucket

100% Complete, INTACT, As Good as it was Made!

Another Nice Background Display Piece from my Collection

These BIG ol' artillery grease buckets ALWAYS make for GREAT display pieces, as EVERYONE thinks it was the actual WATER BUCKET for the Artillery Sponge, used during firing.  Now, you CAN NOT SAY that ALL "Grease Buckets" were used ONLY for GREASE....I can BET YOU that the desperate Johnnies used WHATEVER THEY HAD.  But yes, these are the textbook-designed Grease Buckets, no less important, as all the metal and pieces of an entire battery needed-- cannon tube bore, wheels, limbers, trusses, anything that could RUST or GRIND that NEEDED GREASE!  The original chain, with main "O" center ring, the hinged, bulbous top that still swivels PERFECTLY, and "locks" with the pin.  It's ALL THERE, and INTACT---READY FOR ACTION!  And for the price, it'll way WAY more mileage in your display to impress than it's price!  Try me, and you'll see!  I've had it for over 10 years, and to THIS VERY DAY TODAY, I had someone comment on it!

$298  Sold!


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20-Pound Parrott "Bottle-Nose" Fired Bolt dug by ME!

Fired by the 1st Wisconsin Battery (two 20-Pound Parrotts)

Over-Shot the famous "Texas Lunette" held by Waul's Famous Texas Legion, against fearfull odds and IRON!

Well...I'm getting down to the LAST "Iron Maidens" that I personally dug, and had hoped to keep.  For some reason, I can't pay bills with them ?!?!?  I'd much rather they find a GOOD HOME where their history and meaning will be revered and appreciated as much as I did, having the honor to uncover and preserve them for history.  Dug IN THE HEAT, while my parents were visiting from Florida, July 5th, 2005, there was new construction and clearing of the woods along the road leading across the RR tracks (same RR bed as from the war) on the southside, BEHIND the Waul's famous "Texas Lunette" that they withstood many attempts to be stormed, and a seemingly endless HAIL-STORM of iron and lead.  The famous Railroad CS rifled 18-pounder position within sight, my diggin' buddy and I got the "sit-rep" of the new construction clearing, and we got their as FAST as we heard the news!  Upon arriving, we saw we weren't' the "first" to get in their with a detector, but they actually missed a LOT of fired bullets and shell fragments DEEP.  And they were busy clearing NEW ground, and in the full-sun of a upper-90's degree humid Mississippi day, I got a very faint, but WIDE signal---and I began to have HOPE!  I knew it was something rather BIG and DEEP.  After sweating so much I made my hole start to look like a pool, I got down 2-feet deep, and 3-feet in diameter, and STILL had not hit whatever it was!  The signal was "WOMP-WOMP" in my earphones from the metal detector.  I took-out my "Rambo" knife, and stuck it as deep as the blade could go....and I felt the "tink" against something.   So I finished about another 9-inches down and 2-feet wide, and I GOT IT!  There she lay, pointing directly toward the CS lines it over-shot, and back towards where it was fired, and had burrowed itself into the side of this hill!  Looking at the battlemap and unit locations, it was one section of the 1st Wisconsin Battery that had two 20-pound Parrott Rifles that were directly across from the Texas/Railroad Lunette on the southside of the railroad, and so I KNEW WHO fired it!  Being a "Bottlenose" Parrott bolt (solid-shot) these are indeed "rare" and even surviving 140+ years in the ground so well as it did.  The bottle-nose design was truly REVOLUTIONARY in artillery projectile technology--basically the concept of the "shaped-charge"/shaped-warhead we know today.  It focused as MUCH of the ENERGY of the impact of the shell into that "bottle-top" to exert MAXIMUM DAMAGE against fortifications and against other enemy artillery.  Either when it fired, or as it impacted into the ground, part of the scalloped base chipped-off--MAYBE it actually NICKED the CS Fortifications or Artillery Gun, and chipped it off.  Who knows!

I just know how ECSTATIC I was to recover my ONLY "Bottlenose" Parrott Shell!  Another piece of Vicksburg history....saved...and can be yours.  I'll provide a FULL USGS topo map WITH over-laying siege-line battle-map to the future owner.

I cleaned her GOOD, too!  Still rather slick, and nice wax coating to protect and beautify!

$250  SOLD


CS 12-Pound Wood-Plug Fuzed Shell Dug by ME!

Another Piece of CS/Vicksburg HEAVY METAL!

Fired by the Famed Botetourt Virginia Artillery

Well, THIS ONE was not as hard, hot, and HEAVY to dig-out as the 20-pound solid BOLT listed above!!  LOL!  A classic Selma Arsenal-made 12-pound CS shell, with the simple wood-plug adaptor and paper-fuzed shell that obviously was a "dud" or snuffed-out in it's impact into the assaulting Yankee's of US General Herron and his entire Division--which was NOT assigned to any corps, but only took DIRECT ORDERS from General U. S. Grant, himself!  Herron's boys tried for 3 days to "sap" or mine, or STORM the CS line held by CS Brig. General Barton's Georgia stalwart Brigade.  The Virginia Botetourt battery--having so BRAVELY fought at the critical battles of Port Gibson (May 1st, 1863) and the do-or-die Battle of Champion Hill--was the ONLY Eastern Theater military unit within CS General Pemberton's Army of Vicksburg.  These noble and indeed HEROIC Virginian's started the Vicksburg Campaign with 6-cannon, which they were outnumbered 6-to-1 at NIGHT and ALL DAY Battle of Port Gibson, Mississippi.  They held-off the Federal assaults and MASS BARRAGE of that rifled, superior, overwhelming US batteries, but manned them so bravely, that officers and men on BOTH SIDES spoke and noted of their courage--and their CASUALTIES.  The cannon, limbers, and horses were so SHOT-UP, that once they were given the order to retreat, they had to abandon 4 of their 6 guns.  It would be only a couple weeks later, on May 16th, that they would have their two cannon ordered to the VERY TOP of Champion Hill.  With hand-to-hand combat recorded in great, bloody detail by both sides, they fought around the cannon, but were overwhelmed.  These two guns would change hands 3 TIMES, before finally--after being re-taken by the Confederates--CS General Pemberton gave the retreat order, and they were left behind, since all the horses were shot-dead.  The survivors of the battery would take-up 12-poound and 6-pound cannon already within the prepared siege lines at Vicksburg, along the southernmost part of the line.  They helped greatly in repelling Herron's attempt to break the line.  A statue in the their great honor stands today along old Highway 80--which USED to be NPS park property, but the NPS sold-off that part of the battlefield to allow Interstate 20 to come-through, and to MAKE some EXTRA CASH during the economic troubles during the 1970's.

As shown, the fuze-hole, as well as a drill-hole in the bottom, that the shell has NO POWDER and is completely disarmed and just a piece of history of Vicksburg's gallant fight to the very last.  Full USGS topo map and over-laying siege/battle map, showing precisely where found, and the historical context!

$200  SOLD


Dug by ME on 2/17/2005 at Champion Hill Battlefield

Fired by the Pointe Coupee Louisiana Artillery

Selma-Arsenal CS 6-Pound Solid Shot, Fired Into the Assaulting Yankee's at the Upper Jackson Road

Full USGS Color Topo Map with precise location FOUND and the Battle History Behind this Fired Solid Shot

If you ask my long-time old friends, personal family, or old relic-hunting buddies--there was a time I would NEVER even sell a "hog-chewed BULLET" that I personally dug.  Relic Hunting became everything in my world--an ADDICTION.  being a historian, collector, reenactor for over 32 years, once I began to do battlefield archeology with metal detectors, and uncovering important pieces of battles and camps, and the stories and history they could tell....I was hooked.  To unearth a piece of that revered past--the most CENTRAL theme in my life, outside of my Faith--to be the FIRST PERSON to touch it in over 140 years...and the LAST PERSON to TOUCH IT, was using it for DEATH against HIS ENEMY.  That thrill of connecting the history, thanks to ME saving a piece of that past that would otherwise just sit and rot in the ground, without it's story being TOLD to the WORLD, just made me want to salvage more.

But when your 2-year old son is diagnosed with cancer--the world as you know it is obliterated.  Everything in your life from that moment will forever be demarcated by the day you hear those words out of the doctor's mouth, "Your son has cancer...".  Everything becomes relative to "BC" ("Before Cancer") and "AC" ("After Cancer").  There was no more time to be expended on anything that wasn't for the sake of your family and it's survival.  Where I used to relic hunt, on average, 3 days a week, 52 weeks a year, I haven't relic-hunted 15 times since that fateful sad day in August of 2006.

And now--facing the ever-present COSTS that are never-ending...I can't pay medical bills with "relics".  Not even the most treasured pieces that were so historic and personally integral in my once former "life" in "BC"....not even from the sacred hallowed soil of Champion Hill. 

And so I offer to you, one of my personal favorites (which is why it's one of the LAST I was holding on to) pieces I dug from the battlefield.  It was dug on a cloudy, cool Mississippi winter's day--February 17th of 2005 to be exact--with full permission with the owner living there on his acreage.  Though this spot had been supposedly "hammered" and "hunted-out", I and my best relic-hunting buddy had found gobs of dropped and fired bullets, an entire CS officer's coat of C. Rouyer of New Orleans-made Droop-Wing Eagle CS Officer buttons (9 in total), and then THIS!  Slick as a BABY'S BUTT, literally was you see is hardly any oxidation or pitting--no, no, no!  It's the classic, crudely sand-casted from the Selma Arsenal, 6-pound solid-shot, that was fired in the afternoon of the battle, into the heretofore victorious Yankee's as they tried to continue their assaults.  All the shells/cannonballs I recovered from Champion Hill came out in GREAT condition.  Almost PERFECT IRON--only needed a Dremmel Tool to brush-off surface oxidation.  What is left is the crudely-cast ordnance, with gas bubbles, mold-sprue teats, crude casting seams, etc.

Sections Batteries A & C of the famed Pointe Coupee Louisiana Artillery--armed with 6# and 12# smoothbore cannon--came-up with CS General Loring's fresh division to put a halt to the further Union advances, and allow for the Confederate retreat.  The next owner will receive MY LETTER, with this listing, with a full color USGS topo map showing PRECISELY where it was recovered, and the battlemaps/historical context in which this Southern solid shot was significant to the battle's outcome...for had the Federal NOT been held at bay, it would have resulted in at least one of CS divisions being CUT-OFF and CAPTURED--it was THAT SERIOUS and CLOSE.  And these brave and noble cajuns with their iron will and iron shot and cannon SAVED the CS army of Vicksburg that afternoon.

And THIS is a piece of the critical history, that I was blessed to unearth, and now offer it and it's history for future generations to come.  I took the days of professionally cleaning and then coating it with Extend Rust Neutralizer and Inhibitor to preserve this historic beauty!

$200  SOLD

Dug by ME on 7/11/2004 from the Hills of Vicksburg

CS 12-Pound Bormann-Fuzed Shell

Fired by the Remnants of the Famed Virginia Botetourt Artillery Battery into the Union Assault

A Full Color USGS Topo Map will be provided to the future owner, as well as battle maps & history behind this shell

I've never had a more faithful and true relic-hunting "comrade" than Lonnie Bell.  I had only allowed a couple of others that I would entrust my life and the places we'd go digging with--but Lonnie and I really are like "brothers".  He's a US Ranger, Viet Nam vet (got "in-country" in January of you KNOW what HE faced for his tour...and LIVED), full-blood Choctaw Indian, and he and I "have each other's back."  We both would take a bullet for the other--we faced several moments of crisis and danger together--and we helped each other to make it through, or things could have been very bad.

Well, Lonnie got tired of me "always finding the good sh*t, while I'm over here digging nails and old shotgun shells!  I'm just gonna follow you EVERYWHERE YOU GO!"  It wasn't 10 minutes after he said this that he was literally 6-feet away (we had two different detectors running at two different frequencies--otherwise, we could NEVER be that close without the detector waves screeching in your ears!), and not 2" under the top-soil, I popped this CS Bormann-fuzed shell out!  He cussed him like a old cur dog!  BUT...his new "strategy" would actually "payoff" in MANY following hunts--MANY MORE TIMES in the future hunts.  Though most "diggers" would get mad having someone "shadow" them, I was truly happy for my friend.

Anyway, it's another classic Selma Arsenal CS 12-pound crude-as-ever shell, with the poor quality southern zinc Bormann-fuze, which appears had to be hammered into the threading of the shell!  NO JOKE!  You can see inside that there is NO smaller Bormann fuze adaptor, and the face was purposely flattened.  At any rate, you can see the classic crude mold seam, and the private property we found it on was where a major Union assault was launched in one of the several FUTILE and BLOODY attacks against the Vicksburg fortifications.  What's SUPER COOL is that it was fired exclusively by the remnants of the ONLY "Eastern Theater" military unit in the Army of Mississippi/Vicksburg--the renowned Virginia Botetourt Artillery Battery!  A full-color USGS Topo map, showing it's precise location where dug, AND battlemap with the historical context and significance behind this shell will be given to the future owner.

$250  SOLD

Rarest & Finest, 7" Diameter James Navel Shell

One of Only a HANDFUL to Exist, Excavated from Secessionville, South Carolina

Coming DIRECTLY from the RENOWNED Author & Projectile/Artillery Collector Mr. Lawrence Pawl

I had STOWED this away for myself, purchased over 2 years ago...but alas...I must let it go

Complete with Intact Brass Anvil-Nose Percussion Fuze, GREAT exposed "Birdcage" bottom

Professionally Cleaned, Coated, and Preserved for Generations to come

No...I would NOT want one of THESE SCREAMING AT ME!!!  I'd probably soil myself if one landed near me!  Can you imagine this MONSTROUS 7" (technically 6.9" diameter), 12.5" high and 60-pound shell coming "with YOUR name on it"!?!?!  Of course, today we can enjoy it for it's sheer BEAUTY and SIZE!  EXTREMELY RARE 7" James Shell was excavated decades ago in Secessionville, South Carolina.  Given it's rarity, it went into the truly world-renown collection, and author, Mr. Lawrence Pawl.  His immense love, passion, co-authored book of artillery projectiles with Mr. Jack Melton, and his mind-blowing collection of the greatest, rarest, and BEST Civil War artillery shot and shell has made him a true "godfather" and "guru"...which is PRECISELY where this shell came from!  SUCH PHENOMENAL CONDITION, that did NOT NEED any professionally cleaning to preserve it for the ages, it thus has the most scrumptious eye-appeal!  The brass anvil-nose percussion fuze is SOLIDLY intact and present.  The slick finish, coupled with the awesome SIZE of this "Birdcage" design shell shows the base "ribbing" or "cage" that everyone wants to see!

Size...Rarity...Provenance...and coming from one of the undisputed "kings" of artillery projectiles...and the LAST ONE I'VE GOT!


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A Real Monster of "Heavy Metal"!

One BIG, BLACK, SLICK "Iron Death" Shell

THE 200# Parrott Shell

100% Complete, Gorgeous Full Brass Sabot & Pewter Screw-In Fuze Adaptor


Ohhhh....I would NEVER want to be on the "receiving end" of this 200# Parrott Shell, fired from a rifled 8" gun!  I'm no coward...but if you fired enough of these "Iron Maidens" of DEATH with deadly accuracy at me....I don't think I could stand the concussion, let alone TERROR of the explosions from these gargantuan iron scythes!  Measuring-in at just under 8" in diameter (fired, again, for an 8" Rifled cannon), and 16.5" long (not counting the fuze) this SLICK, BLACK BEAUTY is truly awe-inspiring.  It's massivity alone would draw everyone's attention in your "war room"!  And when I say "slick"'s as slick as a baby's bottom!  The 100% GORGEOUSLY INTACT brass sabot is completely intact, and there is NO PITTING upon the iron surface.  It was drilled-through and deactivated through the base/bottom of the shell , and then filled-in with JB Weld.  Though we do NOT know where this specimen was recovered, it was an EARLY-DUG specimen from the early 1960's, and bears an old collector's or museum demarcation of an encircled #118.  Now, this BEAST is fired...and it did HIT SOMETHING--we know this because whatever it hit, it put a small dent into the small edge of the big pewter fuze adaptor, AND put a dent in the solid-cast nose of the projectile.  Obviously, it hit something made or IRON, and WOOD fortifications would NOT have the "Newtons of force" able to DENT solid cast-iron.  My Physics/Engineering degree and work experience confirm this with ease.  It hit some ARMORED ironclad or armored fortification (some CS fortifications and iron-clads used railroad ties for their "armored" protection).  Regardless, this in one MEAN-MOTHER, MONSTROUS piece of rare artillery that would make an equally ENORMOUS appeal and addition to your collection!




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Rarest of ALL, 7" James "Birdcage" Navel BOLT

One of Only a MERE HANDFUL to Exist

Coming DIRECTLY from the RENOWNED Author & Projectile/Artillery Collector Mr. Lawrence Pawl

This is the last of my "Iron Maidens" to part with, sadly....but I saved the RAREST for LAST!  Scarce enough are the shells...rarer still are the BOLTS!  This solid-shot, "armor-piercing" projectile could cause accurate and devastating destruction against fortified positions, or any vessel it would hit!  She's an early find, as can be seen by the quality of the iron, which is SOLID as the Bolt itself is!  In fact, no electrolysis or even "buffing" or other kind of exterior cleaning has been performed...just an old light coat of varnish covering the BEAUTIFUL detail of the entire piece.  I good "bath", or Dremmel tool buff-job, and it would be as SLICK as a baby's bottom!  Coming from the "guru" of artillery--author and renowned collector, Mr. Lawrence Paul--this is it!  I haven't any other James' (not even the field projectiles!), and I didn't see ANY James 7" at the Mansfield Show, nor have I found one for sale anywhere else!

This, too, shall make a CENTERPIECE display projectile for you "metal-heads" out there!  Don't blink or hesitate...or it'll get sold FAST!

$2500  SOLD

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Original 3" US Ordnance Rifle on Repro Carriage

EARLY Produced ("JAN 16, 1863") Phoenix Iron Company of Phoenixville, PA

US 3" Ordnance Rifles were Only Patented in Dec. 1862!

Crisply Marked, Including the Inspector Initials "TTSL" (which stands for "Theodore Thadeaus Sobibski Laidley")

Authentic Reproduction Wooden Carriage w/Authentic Reproduction Accouterments/Gear as Shown

Wanna REALLY "make an impression" with YOUR COLLECTION!?!?  Then do so--not with a "bang"--but a "BOOM" that will shatter the glass of every windows in your house and your neighbors!  This "war-changing" Federal wartime designed and produced en-masse 3" RIFLED "Ordnance" cannon was produced and issued into the field in ALL THEATERS as FAST as they could forge, finish, and equip the awaiting Federal batteries--giving them the ability to "reach out and KILL SOMEONE" at miles, with ACCURACY.  It was simpler in design and production than the renown "Parrott" rifled cannon, and just as deadly.  Southern field batteries had to depend primarily upon smoothbores (range up to a mile), with the rare luxury of their own produced, or captured, or scant imported RIFLED cannon to respond to the later campaigns/"juggernaughts" of the Federal armies in Georgia and Virginia by 1864.  The accuracy of these Federal rifled cannon in FORCE and NUMBERS can be attested to by CS General Polk himself--who was killed upon Pine Mountain, GA during the Atlanta Campaign when Federal gunner's by General Sherman with 3" rifled cannon spotted in the far distance, a group of CS officers...and Sherman DIRECTED THEM to FIRE upon the band of Confederate officer's so far away atop the small mountain.  CS General Polk--if he could speak--would CONFIRM the DEADLY ACCURACY of these cannon!

This specimen is a VERY EARLY PRODUCTION specimen, bearing the production date of January 16th, 1863, produced by the Phoenix Iron Company of Phoenixville, PA.  The 3" US Ordnance Rifle had ONLY been patented in December of 1862!  This specific specimen offered for sale here was purchased from the Griswold, Iowa Legion Post YEARS ago--and coming from SO FAR out in the "Western Theater", one can EASILY "bet the ranch" that this was indeed a WESTERN THEATER-used cannon.  I just can't see a small, simply Legion Post in the middle of Griswold, Iowa purchasing and having hauled this tube from WAY out east..."just don't make sense"...since SO MANY Western Theater batteries (including Iowa batteries" were ARMED with these 3" Ordnance Rifles.

It rests upon a BEAUTIFUL, authentic, "to-scale" reproduction wooden carriage with the authentic reproduction cannon accouterments/implements as shown.  The muzzle bears the CRISP MARKINGS of  "T.T.S.L." (the inspector markings of Theodore Thadeaus Sobibski Laidley), the "816 lbs" tube weight, "No. 562", and Phoenix Iron Company maker-mark of "P.I.Co".  The sides bear the December patent date, as well as the "PHOENIX/IRON CO" markings.  And as always...the beautifully clear/visible "US" upon the top of the tube!

THIS INCREDIBLE "PIECE" of HISTORY can BE DELIVERED on the way to the Dalton Show--in a MERE 8 DAYS--if you live along his (the owner/consignor) route of travelling.

$42,000  SOLD!!!!


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Original CS 12# Iron Field Howitzer

Produced by Tredegar Foundry/J. R. Anderson & Company

Tube #1602, 1862 Production, Delivered August 22, 1862

Have Copy of Original J. R. Anderson Receipt (see below)

Can Narrow down to TWO Batteries--& Confident we know THE BATTERY Issued To

It is my great honor and pleasure to present to you (under consignment) this truly phenomenal piece of history.  This is indeed "end-of-the-road" fine...rare...and so historically significant.  This 1862 produced (and marked so on the tube--see pic below) is numbered #1602, and according to the original surviving J. R. Anderson & Company/Tredegar Foundry receipt, it (along with other cannon and implements--see the receipt below) was delivered on August 22, 1862, at the cost of $165 CS dollars.  The iron tube is of the improved re-design by Anderson/Tredegar, where previous 1861/early 1862 specimens experienced HIGH RATES of catastrophic breech failures in firing in battle conditions of continued stress in the thinner, weaker iron breeches.  This new improvement is a thicker, reinforced breech, and proved successful enough that it became the basis for all following iron tubes produced by Anderson/Tredegar--both smoothbores and rifled tubes.  The carriage is NOT original, but a Paulson Brother's-made aluminum reproduction (Paulson Brothers used exclusively by the NPS and many reenacting batteries for their quality, detail to authenticity, and durability.)  The carriage is COMPLETE with all reproduction accouterments and equipment, and to have one purchased today costs a minimum of $12,000 alone.  The current owner had a special cast plaque placed upon the carriage, describing the history and details of this phenomenal piece.  According to his excellent research, we know that only four (4) field batteries were in Richmond around August 22nd through the beginning of September (as Lee's freshly victorious Army of Northern Virginia at 2nd Manassas was launching his Maryland Campaign), and can safely narrow down to TWO batteries which we know were equipped with 12# field howitzers--Sturdivant's (Albemarle) Virginia battery, having had four (4) bronze 12# field howitzers, with two being lost earlier in the year, and then Taylor's Virginia Battery being JUST FORMED in August of 1862 within Richmond.  Given the existing evidence, and logical deduction, we are quite confident that this iron tube #1602 went to Taylor's brand new raw-recruit Battery--being comprised with many North Carolinians--and given that Sturdivant's Virginia Battery already had bronze tubes and were a field combat experienced battery, coupled that the classic "we take care of our own" Virginia mentality, it is only logical to deduce that Sturdivant got matching bronze 12# field howitzers to replace the two they lost, and the iron (weaker) tubes went to the raw-recruit Battery of Taylor's.  But this is not "firm" knowledge, but someone certainly could do the research to possibly 100% conclude which battery received this iron tube #1602.

As you can see in the pictures below, the muzzle bears the #1602, and the "1862" and "JRA & Co" for J. R. Anderson's mark, and the "TF" for Tredegar Foundry are CLEARLY visible, and the tube is in outstanding condition, given it's battlefield usage.  Thanks to Wayne Stark's database, we know that THIS TUBE #1602 is the LAST KNOWN SURVIVING iron field howitzer tube, and the 3rd-to-last one produced.  Tubes #1562 and 1595 also do survive.

Before 2008, other Tredegar's sold for MUCH MORE.  The ONLY OTHER TREDEGAR FOR SALE on the market is $200,000 right now.  This is someone's EXCELLENT opportunity to take advantage of "the times" for a phenomenal, irreplaceable piece of history--and investment.

PLEASE feel free to contact me for more information, and the owner does have reams of the aforementioned documentation research information.


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BEAUTIFUL & RARE!!!  3" Schenkl Shell w/INTACT Zinc Schenkl Combination Percussion & Time Fuze!

You can STILL READ ALL of the Seconds, the "10 SEC" and even the PATENT MARKINGS!

THE FINEST INTACT Combination Fuze I've Seen

From the Battle of Atlanta, July 22, 1864

I have ALWAYS loved Schenkl's.....their design--the elongated tail with so many variations, paper-mache used for their sabots, all the different kinds and sizes...they just look so unique compared to the "oh-hum" simple Parrott/Read form!  And THIS BABY here....well...not only is it a FINE piece of the Battle of Atlanta, found decades ago before it was all "covered-over".  The Yankee's had set the timed-fuze at 10-seconds--obviously just as a "back-up" in case it didn't explode on impact....but it obviously struck into SOFT earth, for it NEVER DAMAGED the beautiful zinc combination fuze!  And the soil was soft/wet enough not only to NOT allow it to impact the percussion explosion, but also to "snuff-out" the timed fuze...or the fuze was just a darn DUD to begin with!  Regardless, THIS is the FINEST battlefield-recovered/dug  example of this RARE Zinc Schenkl combination fuze I have PERSONALLY EVER SEEN.  I've seen some non-dug specimens, and "Bannerman" stuff...but this is EQUAL in quality to even those!  You can WITH EASE read EVERY SECOND and time-notching, read the "10 SEC" on the very top, AND EVEN the Patent Date!!!!  This beauty has been professionally disarmed in two locations AND professionally cleaned, with only the most MINOR ground action to be found on the slick, dark metal.

Rarity, BEAUTY, AND Battle of Atlanta HISTORY...ALL in ONE PIECE!!!

$498  SOLD

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MUSEUM-QUALITY 3" Non-Dug Hotchkiss US Shell

Complete w/Unfired Sabot Intact, Internal Percussion Fuzing Able to Un-Screw WITH EASE !!!

Even has Original Arsenal Red Paint in Places!


How many chances will you EVER GET to have a US 3" Hotchkiss PERCUSSION-FUZED shell--having the internal fuzing able to completely un-screw with EASE--being NON-DUG, having the ORIGINAL ARSENAL RED PAINT in traces upon the SLICK as "Foundry New" condition?!?!?  Whether a Bannerman specimen, or battlefield pick-up, or whatever the case, this baby NEVER saw the inside of the earth, THAT is FOR SURE!  This is a SPECTACULAR, and truly "MUSEUM-QUALITY" example, which one can with PRIDE show how the design of the shell, the sabot, the internal fuzing, etc, all worked.  The internal powder cavity EMPTY--not one GRAIN of powder, and just like it came out of the foundry!  It's equal to the BEST examples I've seen--and MOST of those are ONLY IN MUSEUMS.  Phenomenal educational piece, and "end-of-the-road-fine" specimen.  It's EXACTLY as it left the foundry--some gas bubbles on the bottom, and even a few de-burring spots when the workers in the finishing process made sure it was a TOP-QUALITY shell intended to rain HOT IRON SHARDS down upon their Rebel foe.

It's so awesome to have pieces like this: not only do I get to play with them...but they do ALL the selling for me!  Just look at the many pics, and you'll come to the same conclusion as me!  THIS IS AWESOME!!!  I know my old "metal-heads" out there who love "heavy metal" will LOVE this beauty!!!  And just think....a couple of years ago, you would have had to pay $1000 to get a shell LIKE THIS!  I KNOW THIS for a fact, for the last one I saw equal to this sold for $1000!!!

$698  SOLD

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FLAWLESS 3.8" Unfired US James Bolt, Intact fuse, Tin-Cover for Lead Sabot & Mesh Imprint Upon the Tin Cover, Exclusively from the 7th Ohio Battery in Vicksburg and Given to Pvt. Dion C. P. Cunningham of the Virginia Botetourt Battery (which faced the 7th OH all siege long!)

THE "War Souvenir" Given by the Vicksburg Farmer from the Battery Position in the late 1800's to Pvt. Cunningham as a "Souvenir" from the Battery which BEDEVILED his Battery for the 48 day Siege--the FAMOUS Virginia Botetourt Battery (the ONLY Virginia Unit to Fight in the Deep South, MOST HEROICALLY Throughout the Vicksburg Campaign!!!)

Also Included is Pvt. Cunningham's Original CS Wartime Disability Discharge

Coming from the Cunningham Estate Auction 15 Years Ago

Consignor Shall Provide Notarized Letter regarding the Provenance

Let's face UNFIRED, GOERGOUS "Birdcage" James Shell--intact, with original tin-banding around the lead sabot,  with the original MESH remnants/imprints, SMOKIN' CONDITION anvile-nose brass fuze--being found in the late 1800's is absolutely AWESOME!  But this one comes with a phenomenal, toughing tale of history behind this one!!!  Purchased 15 years ago by the consignor of this grouping in a Richmond/Petersburg estate sale of the Cunningham family--having this shell and CSA wartime disability discharge to Private Dion C. P. Cunningham of the renown and famous Virginia Botetourt Battery, this grouping of the PHENOMENAL SHELL with Pvt. Cunningham's "souvenir" James Shell puts this one "over the top"!!!  As described in the auction (see Mr. Conklin's--the consignor who purchased it at the estate sale-- explanation below which will come with a NOTARIZED LETTER regarding this incredible history!), Pvt. Cunningham fought with his beloved and historically renown, brave, and always "in the thick of it" at every MAJOR engagement in the Vicksburg Campaign.  He eventually (as his military record shows below) was hospitalized, and then given THIS DISABILITY DISCHARGE!  These lone Virginians--the ONLY Virginian's to fight in the Vicksburg Campaign, let alone Deep South armies--fought at the May 1st, 1863 critical Battle of Port Gibson, fighting 6-to-1 odds with their 7-gun battery, holding-off Grant's entire army 24 hours.  The battery would loose so many men, horses, and damaged guns/limbers/carriages--but NEVER abandoning their position despite the odds and damage--that only two of their original 7 guns could be pulled away from the battle's end. arguably one of THE most strategic battles of the War, the 2 guns of the Virginia Botetourt Battery were stationed during the early morning hours on May 16, 1863, atop the soon-to-be "Hill of Death"....Champion's Hill..  Though protected by the fresh/"green" Brigade of Georgian's of Brig. Gen'l Cumming's Brigade, and augmented with two 12-pounders from Waddell's Alabama Battery, the initial charge by the Federals upon the top of Champion Hill lead literally to hand-to-hand combat of the Botetourt gunners--but all for naught, as the Georgian's broke and ran the artillerists alone.  The guns would later be re-taken by Bowen's famous Confederate counter-attack with his Confederate Arkansas and Missouri Brigades---but with the Yankee's having shot and bayoneted the battery horses---when Pemberton's retreat order came, the guns were once again left to the Federals.  The Virginian's would man guns the very next day at the prepared fortifications guarding the Big Black River Bridge, but the East Tennessee CS Brigade under Brig. Gen'l Vaughn's (all conscripts) broke and ran in what premier historian Ed Bearss noted as the "fastest charge...and break-through" in the history of all battles.  The Virginian's--despite their bravery manning their post--had to abandoned their new guns.  Retreating into the Vicksburg siege lines at the southside of the fortifications, the Virginian's were assigned two guns (kind and caliber unknown--but we know they were either 6 or 12-pounder smoothbores).  See map below to see their location (today, you can see their battery emplacement and large monument--located by the Vicksburg Playhouse along Old Highway 80).  Throughout the 48-day siege, Pvt. Cunningham and all his Southern compatriots faced assaults, starvation, heat, and continual OVERWHELMING and ACCURATE fire from their foe.  One of their opposing batteries (amongst so MANY) was the 7th Ohio Batter with four 14# James Rifles and two 12#er Napoleons.  They were the ONLY battery in that sector with the accurate, heavy-caliber rifled 3.8" James guns....and they were POUNDED with accurate and night...until Vicksburg's capitulation on July 4th, 1863.  Pvt. Cunningham would be exchanged, and follow his unit back to his native state to fight, where he would be hospitalized in 1864 (see his record below), and then "no further records"...and that's because HE GOT HIS OFFICIAL DISABILITY FURLOUGH for being wounded!  Though it never states WHERE he was hospitalized, given  the close-quarter's combat during the Battle of Port Gibson, Champion Hill, Big Black River, THEN the constant pounding at Vicksburg, you can BET THE RANCH (being one of the few survivors coming out of the Vicksburg trenches after the surrender) that he was wounded--and probably several times.

The shell---well, WHAT DO YOU EXPECT from an UNFIRED JAMES Type I "Birdcage" shell found by a farmer's plow in the latter 1800's?!?!  AS GOOD AS IT GETS for a shell in the ground for only 20-30 years.  As the oral family history sold/explained at the auction with these two pieces from Pvt. Cunningham, he (like the TENS of THOUSANDS of old vets) went back to Vicksburg--which isn't exactly CLOSE to his home in Virginia!--to see, remember, and go over those days that Oliver Windell Holmes wrote, "We felt...we still feel--the exhilaration of life at it's top.  In our youth's, our hearts were touched with fire...".  He went back to those old battlegrounds where they faced his foe--outnumbered, out-gunned,, out-supplied--but NEVER giving an inch until all was vain hope.  They had proven their "metal" on those fields--paid in sweat, tears, fear, valor, anger, honor, and blood.  And when he went to Vicksburg, he wanted to go and see where the battery (7th Ohio) was that continually poured deadly, accurate 3.8" rounds into their position.  The position was atop a large ridge, and in front of a massive cotton gin (see battle map below showing their opposing positions).  Of course, the farmer see's Cunningham--I'm sure no surprise to the farmer, again, as so many vets did the same trips--and with Cunningham explaining his experience and why he was on the farmer's property, the farmed gave him this shell that his plow kicked-up as a souvenir to take home.  A piece of Cinningham's past to bring back, along with the memories that would never leave him all the days of his life.

The consignor, Mr. Bob Conklin on North Carolina, shall be happy to provide a notarized letter (like his e-mails to me show below) to the future owner regarding all this wonderful historic provenance.

Priced for what the shell and Pvt. Cunningham's CS Disability Discharge are worth alone, all the fantastic history is the ICING on the CAKE!

$1498 SOLD


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Beautiful & Slick 3.67" COMPLETE Hotchkiss Shell

Dug by ME, PERSONALLY, at Vicksburg

Fired By the 15th Ohio Battery (20# Parrotts)

Complete, Beautiful Lead Sabot, Brass Paper-Time Fuze

Exact Location Found (Private Property) with Battle Map to be given to future owner

Before our son's cancer, I would go relic hunting 2...3....sometimes even 4 days EVERY WEEK.  I loved it.  I love the outdoors to begin with, but to combine with my life-long, overwhelming passion regarding "the War" (as Southerner's simply call it!), it was PURE BLISS.  My old digging friends can attest to this!  I was in pure "heaven" to be outside relic hunting, unearthing any and all pieces from that horrible conflict.  And as far as my favorite artifacts to find....was BIG IRON!!  No, not horseshoes and such....but ARTILLERY PROJECTILES!   Give me a shell or solid shot any day over some breastplate or US boxplate ANY DAY of the WEEK!  Offered here is a GORGEOUS and COMPLETE 3.67" Hotchkiss shell that I dug in Vicksburg in a construction area, that was an overshot into town, and could ONLY have been fired by the 15th Ohio Battery, which had two 20# Parrott Rifles (3.67" diameter).  It's easy to know it was from them because it's the ONLY battery in the line-of-sight ANYWHERE near where this came from (and many were dug from this shell impact area over the decades), as the battle map will show to the future owner.  The iron is SLICK and STABLE--as essentially ALL Vicksburg-found iron is, thanks to our peculiar geology (our soil being "loess" sandy soil from ancient sand-storms 50,000 to 70,000 years ago).  The lead sabot is 100% INTACT and GORGEOUS!  The brass paper time fuze is also present, and it's clear, so all powder is cleaned out.  Cleaned and coated by me personally for its preservation and beautification, here's a chance to own a KILLER piece of Vicksburg History...ID'ed to the 15th Ohio Battery...and dug by your's truly back in July of 2004!!!

$398  SOLD

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NICE and ID'ed 3.8" Hotchkiss Bolt, Dug by ME!

Found December 2005 on Private Property in Vicksburg...and my "happy face" picture of me finding this very bolt shown below, and on my Home Page!

Fired Exclusively by Battery F, 2nd Missouri Light Artillery

Who had Four 3.8" James Rifles Aimed RIGHT to where this Bolt was found (see Battle Map provided)

Nice Visible Hotchkiss Patent Base Markings!

Everyone who knows me KNOWS I love "iron"...projectiles of any sort.  And when I was a relic hunter (before Davis' cancer diagnosis 4.5 years ago), not only did I love "relic hunting," but I'd rather dig a big old shell or cannonball--any kind of projectile--more than just about anything else.  Well...outside of CS plates or CS buttons or dug weapons!  This one was actually an "easy find"--as my friend who was with me can attest to.  We had permission to park and hunt this nice old lady's house and property, which her husband was an old digger.  Her husband found HUNDREDS of projectiles in their neighborhood, and DOZENS on their property alone. We parked, talked with her a little, and went in her back yard to the ridge top to a steep ravine, and started down the steep side that faced due-north...the direction of the incoming Yankee bombardments.  This property is behind the National Park, and directly behind the Confederate northernmost "stronghold" they called "Fort Hill".  So, thousands of Federal rounds overshot the Confederate stronghold, and landed all throughout this area (private property!!!  Houses on the tops, and ravines one both sides...projectiles still being dug in FLOWER BEDS to this very day!)  We weren't there with detectors on for 20 minutes at most--digging deep fired Yankee 3-ringer over-shots, and then, "WOMP-WOMP!" through the headphones on my Fisher 1266 detector!  Just over a foot deep in the side of the steep hill...well...just look at the picture my friend took and see the genuine happy smile of a "major digger" digging what he loves best!  And it cleaned-up very well.  You can visibly read most of the Hotchkiss Patent info molded into the base.  (I used a dental pick to clean-out the markings so they stand-out, while I cleaned and coated the rest of the bolt).  Yeah, the lead sabot was slung-off in flight, where it overshot it's target--the CS "Fort Hill" bastion--and one small thin piece of the base-cup wall (about an inch wide) is missing, but as you can see in the pics, it displays PERFECTLY.

Only ONE Federal battery of 3.8" James Rifles was pointed DIRECTLY and shot almost continuously at "Fort Hill", which was Battery F, 2nd Missouri Light Artillery.  Another battery of James Rifles was farther north and pointed and besieged a totally different part of the CS lines, so there's no question this was exclusively fired by the 2nd Missourian "redlegs"!  See battlemap below.  I'll mark precisely where I found it.

For a pretty rare 3.8" bolt, with visibile Patent base, dug and PHOTOGRAPHED with me just digging it, and ID'ed with the battlemap to show can be yours!

$298  SOLD

That's me in December of 2005...finding this very 3.8" Hotchkiss Bolt over a foot in the mud on the side of a steep Vicksburg ravine!

Click On Thumbnails Below For More Pictures



US/CS Excavated 12-Pound Bormann Shell

Dug By Mr. Don Lackey Decades Ago--the LONG-TIME Digger & Local "Expert" on the Battle of Port Gibson

USGS Topo Map & Battle History Will Accompany The Shell As To the Impact General Area Where Found and Battle History

Yet another piece of excellent Port Gibson history and education rolled into one simple and humble artifact.  Between my buddy in Alabama and I (who bought all that was left of Mr. Don Lackey's collection he was selling in 2006/7), it's nice to have some "IRON" from such a critically strategic--yet so overlooked battle such as Port Gibson.  This fired US or CS 12-pound Bormann shell comes from my friend in NO, it's NOT from my personal collection!  Not sure if it is CS or US, since the shell impact area where found had BOTH US and CS shells, as the Brig. Gen'l Green's Arkansas boys had to abandon their first line of defense for one to the rear.  And since both the Bormann fuze and underplug are BOTH MISSING, that seals the fact we can't determine which side fired it.  Regardless, it was found in the hard-fought and BLOOD-SOAKED battleground that Brig. General Green's Arkansas Brigade and 4 cannon protecting the Lower Port Gibson Road, lined-up along the ridge where the Magnolia Church stood.  That single brigade and 4 CS cannon BRAVELY withstood the ONSLAUGHT of several of Grant's DIVISIONS, until finally the Arkansans and cannoneers being almost surrounded--with many men (and 2 disabled cannon) captured--were forced to fall-back to form another line of defense. On that momentous day, May 1st, 1863, the true inland thrust of Grant's last surge for his eventual goal of Vicksburg was opened with this bloody, savage, yet lop-sided battle in the thickets and ravines just outside the beautiful, peaceful town of Port Gibson, Mississippi.  Grant had just completed the largest amphibious landing of any US Army (until D-Day in WWII) the previous day, by coming down and across the Mississippi River, and landing into what was firmly "Confederate States" territory in Mississippi.  As Grant's army moved from the landing area inward, they knew someone would be waiting for them.  Several Confederate Brigades (around 6000 men) were being drawn-up hastily to meet Grant's army of 36,000.  They would literally collide in the dark around Midnight of the beginning of May 1st at the Schaffer House, about 2 miles southwest of Port Gibson.  The following day ensued with bitter fighting as the hopelessly outnumbered Confederates ferociously held-off and counter-attacked the Yankee army, until finally having to retire around 5 pm as Grant's army just ground the outnumbered Confederate defenders to pieces.  Grant had around 36,000 men...the Confederates around 6,000.  Yet, the arduous and tenacious Southerners fought THE ENTIRE DAY on May 1st, from midnight until after 5pm, before finally retreating by order (and COMMON SENSE, given they were facing Grant's entire ARMY!)

This shell was dug by long-time relic hunter and good friend of mine, Mr. Don Lackey, and sold through eBay with most of his dug collection several years ago--then being bought by my good friend (and the consignor) Mr. Randy Nelson.  Mr. Don Lackey dug this (and SO many other killer and historic pieces of Port Gibson) decades ago on private property with full permission.  For Don, the Battle of Port Gibson is like what the Battle of Champion Hill is to me--they are so personally SACRED and SPIRITUALLY-BOUND to us and our hearts.  This was dug within the Union lines, within the known CS artillery impact areas, on the south-side of the battlefield (Green's Brigade of Arkansans held the Magnolia Church line along the southern road to Port Gibson, while Brig. Gen'l Tracey's Alabama Brigade held the northern road leading into Port Gibson). 

This 12-pound Bormann shell is just a NICE, with NO MASSIVE PITS or CHIPS MISSING example--ONLY the expected minimal ground action on the iron--and I cleaned it GOOD and put a NICE wax coating for beautification and protection.   It's a GREAT, real piece of such a historic and so undeservedly overlooked CRITICAL and STRATEGIC battle.'s cheaper than a breastplate, and this is a legit piece of such a historic and crucial battle for not just Port Gibson...but Vicksburg...the CONTROL OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER... fired in "ANGER" that has ALL THE HISTORY!

$198  SOLD



Confederate Excavated 6-Pound Solid Shot

Dug By Mr. Don Lackey Decades Ago--the LONG-TIME Digger & Local "Expert" on the Battle of Port Gibson

USGS Topo Map & Battle History Will Accompany The Shell As To the Impact General Area Where Found and Battle History

From My OWN Personal Collection I Purchased From Don back in 2006

Yet another piece of excellent history and education rolled into one simple and humble artifact: this fired CS 6-pound solid shot, fired against and into the Federal attacking infantry, that were assaulting Brig. General Green's Arkansas Brigade and 4 cannon protecting the Lower Port Gibson Road, lined-up along the ridge where the Magnolia Church stood.  That single brigade and 4 CS cannon BRAVELY withstood the ONSLAUGHT of several of Grant's DIVISIONS, until finally the Arkansans and cannoneers being almost surrounded--with many men (and 2 disabled cannon) captured--were forced to fall-back to form another line of defense. On that momentous day, May 1st, 1863, the true inland thrust of Grant's last surge for his eventual goal of Vicksburg was opened with this bloody, savage, yet lop-sided battle in the thickets and ravines just outside the beautiful, peaceful town of Port Gibson, Mississippi.  Grant had just completed the largest amphibious landing of any US Army (until D-Day in WWII) the previous day, by coming down and across the Mississippi River, and landing into what was firmly "Confederate States" territory in Mississippi.  As Grant's army moved from the landing area inward, they knew someone would be waiting for them.  Several Confederate Brigades (around 6000 men) were being drawn-up hastily to meet Grant's army of 36,000.  They would literally collide in the dark around Midnight of the beginning of May 1st at the Schaffer House, about 2 miles southwest of Port Gibson.  The following day ensued with bitter fighting as the hopelessly outnumbered Confederates ferociously held-off and counter-attacked the Yankee army, until finally having to retire around 5 pm as Grant's army just ground the outnumbered Confederate defenders to pieces.  Grant had around 36,000 men...the Confederates around 6,000.  Yet, the arduous and tenacious Southerners fought THE ENTIRE DAY on May 1st, from midnight until after 5pm, before finally retreating by order (and COMMON SENSE, given they were facing Grant's entire ARMY!)

This shell was dug by long-time relic hunter and good friend of mine, Mr. Don Lackey, and sold through eBay with most of his dug collection several years ago--then being bought by my good friend (and the consignor) Mr. Randy Nelson.  Mr. Don Lackey dug this (and SO many other killer and historic pieces of Port Gibson) decades ago on private property with full permission.  For Don, the Battle of Port Gibson is like what the Battle of Champion Hill is to me--they are so personally SACRED and SPIRITUALLY-BOUND to us and our hearts.  This was dug within the Union lines, within the known CS artillery impact areas, on the south-side of the battlefield (Green's Brigade of Arkansans held the Magnolia Church line along the southern road to Port Gibson, while Brig. Gen'l Tracey's Alabama Brigade held the northern road leading into Port Gibson). 

This example Confederate 6-pounder is VERY NICE, with NO BIG PITS or CHIPS MISSING WHATSOEVER--ONLY minimal ground action on the ironl--and I cleaned it GOOD and put a NICE wax coating for beautification and protection.  You can still see the distinct CS crude MOLD SEAM around mist of the projectile!  It's a GREAT, real Confederate piece of such a historic and so undeservedly overlooked CRITICAL and STRATEGIC battle.'s cheaper than a breastplate, and this is a legit piece of CONFEDERATE IRON fired in "ANGER" that has ALL THE HISTORY!

$195  SOLD


SLICK & SWEET US 32-Pound Solid Shot Cannonball

Fired EXCLUSIVELY by Battery A, 1st Missouri Artillery

From the Siege of Vicksburg -- dug PERSONALLY by ME

USGS Topo Map and Battle Map Showing the 1st MO Battery Position and Where Found (on Private Property with Permission) to Accompany this Piece

It's a 32-pound, SLICK AS MY DAUGHTER'S BUTT solid shot, fired ONLY from one of the two 32-pounder guns of the 1st Missouri Battery A Detachment on the southside of the battlefield.  They LITERALLY hauled two 32-pounders off of a gunboat into the highest hill nearby, then set the guns up to fire into Barton's Georgia Brigade line, and at the Virginia Botetourt battery (the only Virginia unit to serve here in the West in the entire Vicksburg Campaign).  I dug this BEAUTIFUL MONSTER on July 3rd, 2006, while my mom and dad were in-town visiting.  It was the last artillery projectile I've dug....because just one month later, Davis would be diagnosed with cancer, and my digging days have been over since then.  It was 97 degrees that day, with a heat-index warning of 110-115.  Private property, of course.  A modern house sits in front of where the VA battery redoubt is, and I dug it in their backyard of the modern house at the top of a ravine.   

The ball is BEAUTIFUL...and was my last I have dug.  Shown below is a Vicksburg NPS battle map, PLUS a close-up where battery A 1st MO detachment and the "two 32-pounder smoothbores were located.  If you ever come here, I'll literally TAKE YOU to where the two guns were--they are on a hill behind a Wal-Mart and next to Interstate 20, on property that used to belong to the NPS, until I-20 was constructed in the 1970's, and the park sold all the land off.  The old NPS battle markers are overgrown in the woods there, telling of the position of these two 32-pounders and which gunboat they hauled them off of.  I can also EASILY take you to where I dug the ball.  I'll even send the buyer a modern Google Earth and USGS topo overlays to show you!!!!

$335 SOLD



Spectacular Complete US 24# Bormann Ground-Burst

Dug by ME Personally (Labor Day, 2001)

Fired Exclusively by the US "Tinclad" the USS Romeo

During the February 3rd, 1864 Battle of Sitartia (Also known as Liverpool Heights), the Great CS Victory by General "Sull" Ross' Texas Cavalry Brigade over the Invading Yankee's coming up the Yazoo River (near Yazoo City, MS)

Complete Shell, Encrusted w/Case Shot, Bormann Fuze and Brass Bormann Fuze Underplug

Map/Precise Location where Dug, and Battle History to Accompany this Piece

It's one thing to just buy a relic--one without any provenance as to who fired it, where it came from, the battle and details--but this was a PRIZED PIECE of my collection that I dug with my good friend the very first trip we took to the battlefield in the Mississippi Delta....the Battle of Sitartia/Liverpool Heights.  It was a "small" battle, yes--involving 3 of Brig. Gen'l "Sull" Ross' most famous Texas Brigade, defending the Yazoo River approach to the Confederate Naval Yard at Yazoo City and all the wherehouses of cotton and food within the city.  The Yankee's, based out of Vicksburg to the south, sent their armada of lightly-armored "tinclads" ( as they called them--there were 5 of them to guard the troop and supply transplorts--shown below is the "tinclad" USS MARMORA, sister-ship identical to the USS ROMEO) with supporting infantry to make the invasion into the Delta and try to capture Yazoo City, destroy the CS Naval Yard there (which had previously built the CS Ironclad that once defended Vicksburg the year before), and capture as much cotton the Yankee's could steal and bring back to Vicksburg for the Federal government, and burn the city.  On February 3rd, 1863, the slowly northward advance of the Yankee's upriver (being contested by Ross' single Texas Brigade of cavalrymen and two 3" rifled field artillery pieces) finally had to come to a "head" as the Union flotilla reached a sharp, critical bend in the Yazoo River (where they Confederates had sunk a steamboat, the "Ivy" to help block the bend) that the merely two Confederate light--but accurate rifled field pieces defended.  As the Yankee's tried to steam into the bend, the well-directed fire of the two lone Confederate 3" rifled cannon forced all the US "tinclads" to tuck-tail and turn around--except for the USS ROMEO, which sat alone in the bend of the river.  She was armed with eight 24-pound smoothbore cannon, and the shelling between the two sides commenced, and Ross' men and sharpshooters lined the banks to snipe anything in blue they could hit.  Knowing they had to finally meet and force Ross from his lofty position atop Liverpool Heights guarding the strategic bend, 3 US regiments were disembarked to confront Ross' understrength Texans.  Within the Union forces was actually a US Colored Regiment, the 8th Louisiana of Colored Descent.  Ross' Texans had proven themselves time and time again (and would continue to do so later in the same year during the Atlanta Campaign) as fierce fighters--many of whom were ex-militia/military men who fought the Comanche's in west Texas.  Fighting the Comanche's taught them a thing or two about fighting....and they even employed a fantastistically hilarious trick on the Colored troops, in which some of the Texans had themselves just lightly buried with dirt and leaves--waiting for the on-coming black soldiers--and once within pistol-shot range, the Texans would RISE-UP OUT OF THE GROUND--almost "ghost-like"--and SPOOK the DAYLIGHTS out of the black soldiers, shooting them in the back with their pistols (straight out of one of their diaries!)  Despite the overwhelming numbers of men and artillery the Yankee's had at their command, they could not dislodge Ross' stalwart men from the heights, and the Yankee's were given the order to re-embark.  Ross then withdrew his small force to their cantonement miles north up the Benton Road, to enjoy the laurels of their victory.  The Yankee's left all their dead and wounded on the field, and Ross' boys did the clean-up of weapon, ammunition, and accouterments.  In fact, as what was later discovered by our local relic hunters were the piles of US cartridge box plates and breastplates--literally dozens upon dozens--where Ross' men stripped them off the captured accouterments.

I personally dug this complete groundburst that was fired exclusively by the tinclad USS ROMEO, into the STEEP bluff of Liverpool Heights.  It was near the top of the heights, just above the roadbed ascending the heights...and was 3.5 feet deep!  My Fisher 1266X gave me a large but soft, deep tone, and I set-up digging in the 90+ heat (and SWARMING mosquitoes!) until I dug the groundburst out.  Over 150 loose case-shot in the dirt, and the 4 main sidewalls of the shell, with the top fuze section being in 3 pieces, and having the Bormann fuze intact and "frozen" to one of the top fragments, and the brass Bormann fuze underplug underneath.  The 4 sidewalls as ENCRUSTED with case-shot, as you can clearly see!  It REALLY displays beautifully--those of you who have been to my house have seen it, and the other 2 complete ground-bursts I have dug from the same site.

Such a COOL piece of history-filled "ground-burst" that not only has such a cool history, but is an excellent display piece, as it shows and exposes how the Bormann Shell fuzing system worked, and the case-shot inside.  A full USGS Topo map with all the cool battle-history to accompany this piece, dug by yours truly on the Labor Day weekend of 2001!

$298  SOLD


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Excavated Confederate 12# Original Canister Round

From the Famous CS Ammo Dump at Snyder's Bluff, MS

Where The Retreating Confederates Pulled-Back into the Vicksburg Defenses on May 18th, 1863, Spiking the Heavy Guns Protecting the Yazoo River Approach to Vicksburg, & Blowing the MASSIVE Ammunition Dump In Their Leaving

So rare to find ANYWHERE else...except for us lucky enough to live near Vicksburg!!!  So many HUNDREDS of canister rounds--let alone small arms ammunition, percussion caps, rifled and smoothbore projectiles, artillery implements, etc--were stored within the main massive ammunition dump upon Snyder's Bluff, the strategic bluff ringed with heavy guns to protect the Yazoo River approach into Vicksburg/Mississippi River.  When CS commanding General John Pemberton's chief engineer went to oversee the salvage of what could be taken, and destruction of what could not, he prepared the dump's charge and powder trail.  Then he lit the powder trail and RAN LIKE HECK!  In his own diary, he explained that the explosion was SO MASSIVE, that it blew him feet-high in the air, and many feet back through the air from the shock-wave of the blast!  For decades (before the paper company and deer hunting club put the NIX on relic hunting there), local diggers would gleefully never get off their KNEES in digging the minnie' balls, percussion caps, shell fragments, artillery tools and implements, case and canister shot, base and top plates, as well as the prized rare 3" Read Selma Arsenal variant rifled projectiles, as well as smoothbore projectiles.  Of course, these canister rounds are reconstructed PAINSTAKINGLY to their original configuration.  They were originally loaded within (literally) a tin can with wooden sabot base at the bottom, to which inside they'd place the bottom iron base-plate, then all the 1" (+/-) diameter crudely-cast iron canister balls (you can see the classically CS crude casting "teats" all over), pack with sawdust, and then cover the top again with tin.  With the 27 iron 1" balls inside, the artillerymen would utilize these rounds to basically turn their cannon into GIANT SHOTGUNS!!!  Literally, they would usually load DOUBLE ROUNDS, and once an attacking enemy came within 75 yards, they would completely obliterate all bone and flesh of any man caught in that ENORMOUS SHOTGUN BLAST from the muzzle of the gun.  Men would describe how entire companies (20-30 men) would simply be blown into chunks of flesh and bloody spray, and enormous gaps ripped-open through their lines attacking into the mouths of such iron horror.

NO REAL CIVIL WAR COLLECTION can EVER be TRULY COMPLETE without one of these.  Why?  Not only because they are so immediately eye-catching (every kid or even wife will stop to look at the unique matrix of balls), but once you educationally enlighten them as to what it is, how it was used, and the graphic effect it inflicted upon thousands of men on many is a MUST-HAVE.

So much history & educational value...ID'ed specifically to the Confederate ammunition dump and it's Vicksburg history...and won't cost you mortgage payment to own!

$550  SOLD

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Gettysburg US 3" Schenkl Shell

Battlefield Pick-Up by the Virginia Monument

(Formation for Pickett's Charge)

From the World-Famous/Renown Geiselman Collection

Well, this one didn't "make the cut" into O'Donnell's "Relics of Gettysburg" book....BECAUSE YOU CAN'T LITERALLY PICTURE EVERYTHING!!!!  But this baby is yet another Geiselman, world-renown, pioneer Gettysburg battlefield pick-up collector.  This 3" BEAUTY was found almost next to where the famous Virginia Monument is located today.  Although no-one can ever say for sure, it was ALMOST CERTAINLY fired during the famous cannonade on July 3, 1863 proceeding Pickett's Charge / Longstreet's Assault.  It is the wider version Schenkl-nose, that allowed a maximum load of case shot--which would AGAIN further the CASE that this was during the infamous cannonade before Pickett's Charge.  Never cleaned or coated in any way.  Only remnants of the fuse remain and the inner cavity is fully visible.

And this one is even a little cheaper!  NOTARIZED Letter of Sale/Authenticity from the current collector/owner for the future owner.






Flawless Dug CS 6-Pounder on Intact Sabot & Straps!

From the Famous Milledgeville, Georgia Arsenal Site

CLEAR CS Mold Seam, INTACT Original Tin Straps (still LOOKING LIKE TIN, and NOT Crusty Rust!)


If you know me, I love my "heavy metal" to be FLAWLESS, RARE, and CONFEDERATE!  And here's an END-OF-THE-ROAD STUNNING EXAMPLE!!!  From the famous cache recovered from the Milledgeville, Georgia , where the Milledgeville Confederate Arsenal dumped the munitions and weapons they couldn't take with them.  This specimen is the FINEST example I have personally had, let alone SEEN recovered from the site!  NO PITTING....INTACT TIN STRAPS that aren't crusty remnants, but actually STILL LOOK LIKE some SHINY TIN!  Wooden sabot intact, of course, with the usual slight shrinkage from being in the water--but it was the water/mud that preserved this and other specimens from the site so well!  CLEAR CS crude mold's ALL SO GOOD!

If you've got "Georgia on your mind"--or want the FINEST CS 6-pounder on intact sabot and straps....look no further.  No need to upgrade with this one.  "End-of-the-road fine" as Larry Hicklen would say!

$699  SOLD

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Superb Non-Dug 3-Pound US Ketchum Hand Grenade


With EXCELLENT, AUTHENTICALLY REPRODUCED Tail Section with Fins, Patent Mark, and Plunger

Used almost exclusively at the sieges of Port Hudson, Louisiana and Vicksburg, Mississippi, the US Ketchum hand grenade was a revolutionary step in development and advancement of the hand-held grenade that soldiers could you--because it was truly one that would/could only explode precisely on contact.  "Grenadiers" had been formations of soldiers used around the world for well over 100 years before the Civil War--soldiers who were equipped with small, essentially cannonballs that had to be fuse-lit and the enemy time to pick it up and throw it back, or the fuse to burn-out, or get snuffed-out if it hit into the ground just right.  The design Ketchum came up with was incredibly unique and advanced, having an aerodynamic form, with stabilizing tail with heavy-paper fins, and a large plunger that once thrown and the grenade landed on the plunger, the plunger would be pushed-in upon impact, striking a simple percussion musket cap, and immediately ignite the grenade.  If you'll notice, NERF makes a throwing toy EXACTLY copied from the Ketchum hand grenade design!!!  Thus proving the design was revolutionary and advanced for it's age in the 1860's, with forethought into aerodynamics.  However, in actual combat siege conditions, the Ketchum hand grenade proved to be far less effective than as designed.  This was mainly due to the fact that the US soldiers throwing them had to throw UP and HIGH to reach into the CS well-fortified entrenchments.  Many simple never made it into the trenches, and landed on their sides in the dirt.  Others would arc over the entrenchments, but again land not on the plunger directly.  It was well noted by US soldiers at Vicksburg and Port Hudson that the Ketchum hand grenade was less than effective, and even quoted in one report that, "they were more deadly against our own troops, as the rebels would take the many that did not detonate, and thrown them directly down upon us with great effect...".

The original 3# hand grenade is in the most perfect iron, non-dug condition, still retaining the original lead plunger adaptor at the nose.  A truly professional and MUSEUM-QUALITY job of making the reproduction plunger, wooden tail, heavy paper tail fins, and the correct Patent marking that each grenade was stamped with, makes this a most outstanding display piece, and impossible to upgrade from....unless, of course, you can find one with the original tail, fins, and plunger!   But you find any for sale anytime soon, and if you did, it would cost you THOUSANDS.

Here you get all the beauty, display and eye-appeal, all wrapped into this outstanding technological and educational piece of the Civil War's history....



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Phenomenal Unfired CS 24# Bormann Shell Intact On Wooden Sabot!

Found Decades Ago From Vicksburg

Clear High-Lip CS Bormann-Fuze, Clear Strap Remnants, Great Remaining Sabot

I like my "heavy metal" to be big, beautiful, rare, Confederate, and from Vicksburg!  AND THIS IS IT!  This beauty was excavated decades ago (probably from a creek where the water protected the wooden sabot to survive intact as it has).  It is a clear 24-Pounder, Confederate "high-lip" flat/straight-channel Bormann-fuzed shell.  Obviously unfired--tin strap remnants seen CLEARLY on all sides, with ball firmly stcuk to it's wooden sabot, and Bormann fuze unpunched.  Gorgeous white CS soft-metal/pewter patina to the fuze, though given the poorer quality of CS metal, the numbers are totally illegible (their metal was poorer quality, and thus "softer" metal, and the ground/water action just caused the facial impartations of the seconds and hash-marks to fade with time).  It has been professionally cleaned and coated with wax to preserve this remarkable, rare beauty for generations to come.  The Confederates emplyed a LOT of 24-pounders in their siege works, and this must have been dumped in a creek to keep from the Yankees after surrendering, or who knows.  All I know is--HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET A SHOT AT BUYING A CS 24-POUNDER BORMANN-FUZED INTACT SHELL ON WOODEN SABOT!?!?

$598 SOLD

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Stunning, One-Of-A-Kind, Museum Quality & Rarity ID'ed Grouping

Original English Whitworth Ammo Crate

Recovered by Divers Decades Ago from the Famous Blockade Runner "Modern Greece"

Still Retaining TWO British 2.75" Whitworth Bolts Inside


Offered here is indeed a true "Holy Grail" of not only CS history, but history of the War for all sides involved--literally from all sides and facets.  Not only does it pertain to having a physically-recovered and preserved original British-imported, blockade-ran ammunition box, but two of its original contents inside, being 2.75" British Whitworth projectile bolts that were so desperately needed by the South, and so craftily ran through the "Anaconda" noose of the Federal navy to strangle all importation into the poor South.  Every facet of this stunning, truly museum quality AND museum rarity grouping covers the entire spectrum of the War....water-dived recovered and preserved ammo box....rare British Whitworth Bolts...incredible history of the Blockade system and the South's attempt to bring them's a history lesson of immense proportion, as well as an immediate centerpiece in ANY collection.  This box and two bolts were bound for Fort Fisher and the Flying Battery aboard the Blockade Runner "Modern Greece" near the end of the War. The box was holding ten bolts at the time in transport--5 on top of 5. There is a lot of rust concretion on the bottom inside of the box--so that is where two of the original bolts within the box are. The three others are for affect only. She was spotted by the Federals and attacked. The captain decided to run her aground under the protection of the mighty guns of Fort Fisher. The Confederates were able to salvage part of her cargo, fortunately. The "Modern Greece" had become a rather famous CS Runner, making many trips back and forth across the mighty Atlanta, bringing the desperately-needed material of war to the South.  Many a British Enfield, Whitworth rifled guns AND ammo (obviously), pistols, accouterments, and about every kind of war material had been her cargo at one time or another.  It was a sad day for her and her crew the day the "Modern Greece" had to end her voyage and career against her long-hated foe.  This box was found in the 1960's by salvage divers. The box is very fragile so is going to require EXTRA CARE in delivery (best to be pick-up at a show or with the consignor).  ONLY THE TWO water-pitted Whitworth Bolts (that were within the box when recovered) come with the ammo crate--the others were other bolts that came out and underwent professional electrolysis and preservation. 

Go and find anything as rare, historic, and indeed truly "museum-quality" in both their rarity and historic value.  Yeah--YOU'D HAVE TO ROB A MUSEUM!!!

But here at Champion Hill Relics, you can procure museum-quality, irreplaceable pieces of our history....only the best...

$2999  Sold


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Outstanding Non-Dug British 2.75" Whitworth Bolt

You have grown to expect no less than the very best from Champion Hill Relics...and this rare Confederate-imported, British made Whitworth breechloading rifled cannon 2.75" bolt is ALL THAT!  Clearly an unfired and non-dug specimen, it is in EXCEPTIONAL condition, with the lathe-finishing marks seen vividly in between the grooving, and the lathe dimple in the nose clearly present.  These were the finest, most technologically-advanced, longest-ranged field cannon in the world during the 1860's, and the South prized the few they could run through the blockade and equip her desperate batteries with.  The 12-pounder 2.75" Caliber British Whitworth Rifle and her ammunition holds a certain "mystique" and "awe" over any collector.  No serious Confederate collection will EVER be complete without one--and this is the finest non-dug specimen you could ever hope for.  Not a nick or scratch anywhere.  Sheer British and Confederate PERFECTION!


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Beautiful 3" CS "Snyder's Bluff" Read Bolt

Found From The Famous CS Snyder's Bluff Blown Ammo Dump

(Retreating Confederates Into the Vicksburg Defenses Blown the Dump)


I know just about every digger in this area--and seen just about every specimen--that was found from the blown Confederate magazine along the Snyder's Bluff Confederate fortifications and defenses above the NE corridor of the Yazoo River (the Yazoo flows south into the Mississippi River at Vicksburg, and thus was heavily defended by the Confederates against an approach from the North by the Yankees).  After the disastrous defeats for the South at Champion Hill (May 16th,) and the following day at the Big Black River, Pemberton had to order his entire spread-out forces to sadly pull within the inner defenses of Vicksburg for the inevitable siege.  With such short notice, the Confederates tried to pull away as much munitions and cannon as they could (as time and resources for moving allowed), and the rest had to be abandoned.  They spiked the heavy guns, and blew the munitions they couldn't bring with them.  The Confederate Engineer in charge of the demolition wrote that when the dump blew, it "threw me several feet into the air--I being the closest and last person from the magazine after lighting the fuse...."   In the early days of relic hunting, local pioneer relic hunters found the blown crater easily--and to their delight (amongst many other relics) were these extremely scarce 3" CS Read Bolts.  They are now simply referred to as "Snyder's Bluff" Reads by many in the community, since it is essentially the only place where they are found.  Given our soil content, the iron is usually very good on our projectiles and iron relics around here--and this is yet another classic specimen in the typical condition that you find them in.  Solid and stable, with that most beautiful intact, unfired brass sabot.  Has the classic off-center bourelets, long and thick brass sabot (not high copper content on these babies--better quality from early production runs from the Selma Arsenal), and lathe dimple on the bottom.  You can see even the mold anomalies in the brass sabot (gas bubbles or sand inclusions, probably).  Being a very rare Selma Arsenal product, this is just another fine rare Confederate piece of iron to add to your collection and display.

To the future owner, I will provide a USGS TOPO MAP with precise location of the magazine where this was found, AND original wartime map showing the corresponding location, as well. 

$798  SOLD

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Unworldly Rare UNFIRED CS 3.3" Imitation James Bolt

RARITY 10 !!!  A true "HOLY GRAIL" of Projectiles!

Unfired, Intact Full Lead SABOT!!!!

Recovered from the Small Port Hudson Cache

Was Ammunition for the lone 3.5" CS-Made Blakely Rifle, Made by the Leeds Foundry in Downtown New Orleans!

That Lone Blakely Rifle Made by Leeds Foundry is on Display at the West Point Museum today as a "War Trophy"!!!!

Indeed, amongst the "Holiest of Holies", the 3.3" CS-made "imitation" James Bolt is (as the top projectile collectors will tell you) among the "Top 5" list of "most wanted" projectiles!!!!  Given that less than a dozen are known to exist (2 fired specimens from Shiloh, both without ANY lead sabot remaining, and the others being unfired specimens from Port Hudson), these beauties are a sight to behold.  I have NEVER personally seen one with my own two eyes until this one, if that means or says ANYTHING to you!  This one is unfired, with the full lead sabot intact.  Absolutely perfectly slick iron, except a couple typical "Port Hudson" tiny chips off the side of the nose and around the base, but as you see in the photo's, they are indeed MINOR.  A soldier/artillerist carved into on side of the lead sabot (perhaps purposely done to expand the lead outward--remember, this is a 3.3" bolt that was going to be fired out of a 3.5" diameter bore, so I think this was indeed the case!)  You can look up inside the base and see the beautiful "birdcage" iron ribbing, imitating the US Type I James "Birdcage" projectile.

The last one of these sold at Julia's Auction for $4000, and then sold to a collector for $5000!

You can save thousands with this one!!!

$2999  SOLD

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CS 3.67" Selma Arsenal "G" Stamped Brooke Shell


Rarity 9+ (Less than 20 known to exist ANYWHERE!)

Recovered from Battle of Nickajack Creek, Gerogia -- Originally from Jack Melton, Projectile "GURU"

Let the parade of RARE and CONFEDERATE artifacts BEGIN!  And this is just the start, my friends.  Offered here is a beautiful and ultra-rare (less than 20 known to exist) Selma Arsenal-made WITH the SELMA ARSENAL "G" PRODUCTION STAMPING vividly clear stamped into the copper, full, and intact sabot.  These have been found only at the Battle of Nickajack Creek, just outside of Atlanta, during the Atlanta Campaign.  Originally coming from the "GURU" of all things iron, Mr. Jack Melton himself (native and still living not far from Nickajack Creek!), this beauty can now be YOURS.  The specially-made "Brooke" fuze time adaptor is wonderfully intact.  The GORGEOUSLY ORIGINAL & INTACT (beware of specimens that have sabot's "attached" and "married" to these rare babies!) copper sabot disk with iron nut and bolt attaching it to the shell base it just PERFECT!  Iron shows only the most minimal and expected ground action--no big chunks, pits, or iron loss AT ALL.  Can still see lathe finishing marks and the demarcation from the nose area of casting to the finished/lathed side.

Not much more to say on this one.  Full provenance as to where it was dug (bet if you look, you'll find only ONE CS BATTERY of 20-pounder Parrott's that could have fired these, so probably ID'ed to the CS battery!), coming straight from projectile "guru" Jack Melton himself, and so beautifully rare with great eye appeal, and that stunning Selma Arsenal "G" stamping.  I'm in love!!!!!

$1999  SOLD

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Gorgeously Slick CS 3" Archer Bolt Projectile

One of my few "claims to fame" in relic hunting is that I have actually dug an exact condition and kind of exclusively Confederate designed and made Archer projectile!  For any relic hunter, finding one of these is a "Holy Grail" moment!  This one is an EXTREMELY early-dug specimen....and boy, does it show!  Virtually free from ANY real surface/ground action, it only shows the true quality of iron artifacts/projectiles that came out of the ground, requiring NO CLEANING or COATING for preservation!  Obviously fired, since it is missing the sabot, it is about as fine of this type of CS Archer as you will have a chance to own anytime soon!  You can see the "dimples" that were casted into the concentric and decreasing-sized tail "rings"--which were designed to help the lead sabot stay attached/grip to the projectile upon firing. 

Oh so nice....


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Stunning 3" British Armstrong CS-Imported Artillery Shell

Truly MINTY, Museum-Quality, Ultra-Rare Specimen

Unfired Specimen, Previously Owned by Artillery "Guru" Mr. Jack Melton

Fuze/Plug Screws In-and-Out, Disassembles, & Overall Condition As If Made Yesterday

Finest of the fine...rarest of the rare.  This 3" Armstrong shell is proof positive of British war profiteering and as with the Whitworth and Britten shells, trade with the beleaguered South.  This is a pristine non dug example, previously owned by Jack Melton.  Another non dug one just like it resides in the West Point Museum after having been captured in Richmond by General Abbot after the city's fall.  It is very possible that this one was in the same batch.  The interlocking "EOC" stamp cast in the shell's nose marks it as a product of the Elswick Ordnance Company and clearly dates this piece to the American Civil War years.  The Elswick Ordnance Company was the Armstrong Whitworth armaments branch. It was originally created in 1859 to separate William Armstrong's armaments business from his other business interests, to avoid a conflict of interest as Armstrong was then Engineer of Rifled Ordnance for the War Office. Armstrong held no financial interest in the company until 1864 when he left Government service, and Elswick Ordnance was re-united with the main Armstrong businesses to form Sir W.G. Armstrong & Company. 

For more on this fascinating man, this projectile, and its proven CS use, go to: 

The shipping plug in this has two hole allowing it to serve as a fuse as well.  Flame passing through the holes would ignite the underlying time fuse.  The shipping plug/fuse unscrews (British left hand threads of course) to reveal the powder chamber canister which slides out neatly and disassembles like it was made yesterday.

NONE FINER ANYWHERE.  Only for the "serious" collector.  Only the best from Champion Hill Relics to you...


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Ultra-Rare 3.5" CS 1861 Britten Segmented Shell

From The Personal Collection of Thomas Dickey

Considered the FINEST CONDITION Fired Dug Specimen

Rarity 9+ (Less than 24 known to exist), coming from the personal collection of Dickey, author & artillery "guru"

Has FULLY REMOVABLE Brass Britten Percussion Fuze


As you, my faithful followers, friends, and clients all know too well, I strive to acquire and offer you only the finest of the of the best.  Offered for sale here is what is considered the finest excavated fired Britten Shell known in the collecting community.  And what else would you expect coming from the personal collection of Thomas Dickey himself--author of the paramount artillery field projectile reference book we all have.  This 1861 Confederate-imported and used British rifled projectile (patent #585) had a unique segmented interior and equally unique Britten patented brass percussion fuze cap and system, which have been given the rarity value by George and Dickey of 9+, meaning less than 24 known to exist to this day.  And this IS the finest of the fine!  Full lead cup sabot, showing beautiful and clear 7 rifling grooves from the 3.5" Blakely rifle which fired it.  So few of these Blakely Rifles and their corresponding 3.5" Britten Shells were able to be imported to the South, but they were prized weapons in the hands of their gunners--and feared greatly by their foe.  The brass percussion cap screws on and off with perfect ease, exposing the percussion system's interior.  Virtually flawless in metal condition, it displays as perfect as you could ever hope for.

It is, after all, recognized as the finest specimen known to exist!  Find the rarest CS button or belt buckle specimen of any kind, and you'd pay so many thousands to possess it.  One day soon, CS artillery will be just as outrageously priced.  Better get the best CHEAP while you can!

$1595  SOLD

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Stunning Original 3" Ordnance Rifle "Quaker" Gun

From the GAR Hall Post #4 in Hagerstown, Maryland -- Otis Reilly Specimen

Measures Over 4' Long, Complete with Trunions, Fully Bored, Original Green Field Paint & GAR Gold Remnants

If you don't believe this piece is that stunning, I'll merely relay the truth to you to exemplify this:  my wife LOVES this piece, and did NOT want me to sell it.  I happily had it on display in my "war room" new display, and really do not want to sell it.  But "economic realities" are just that.  Can't pay for doctor bills with sunshine or relics.  So it shall go.  Some astute and most fortunate collector shall receive this one-of-a-kind piece and treasure it as much as we have.  It is obviously an almost full-scale (over 4' long) wooden-milled ("Quaker") copy of the classic 3" Ordnance Rifle.  It is milled from one piece of wood, and even bored-out.  It is speculated by many to be a wartime training piece, possibly a true "Quaker" gun to fool the enemy, possibly a casting model used for making statues around the turn of the century--but at the very least, we are certain of it's 100% GAR Hall status.  Coming from the famous Otis Reilly collection of items placed on display at GAR Post #4 at Hagerstown, Maryland, the remnants (albeit feint) of the GAR hall gold paint can be seen along the dark field green original ordnance coating.

I don't need to say a whole lot more.  I will miss it.  I'll let you enjoy the pictures of it, and let someone else take charge and care for her.  It is literally an immediate centerpiece to any collection, especially a projectile theme.  It comes with my display stand I made (and I put a pic of a 3" Parrott Shell as reference.)


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Phenomenally Rare (Only Handful - Rarity 10) 3.4" CS Burton/Dyer Shell

Seeing as there are only 5 or 6 of these--at most--known to exist, it is my pleasure to yet again offer a phenomenally rare Confederate projectile for your collection!  And in terms of iron condition and quality, you won't see one better!  It is essentially free of any ground action whatsoever.  Just gorgeous, slick iron.  With only a quick, light coating of wax for protection against dust, it is a dark beauty!  These come from early-war 1861 northern Virginia sites.  They were made in Virginia (believed at Tredegar) for exclusive use in antiquated 4-pounder guns that the State of Virginia--in her desperate need in 1861 for weaponry--had rifled at Tredegar for the State of Virginia and issued to Virginia batteries.  As you will quickly notice, it has the classic form of a Dyer shell, but as Dickey & George explain in great detail within their watershed book "Field Artillery Projectiles of the American Civil War (1993)",  they go into the "Dyer and Burton Controversy" that the inner artillery collecting community get into regarding whether they feel it should be called a "Dyer" or a "Burton" shell.  Frankly, I just call it RARE AS CAN BE!  So whether you want to call it a "Burton" or a "Dyer" shell is meaningless, in the long run.   Alexander B. Dyer and James H. Burton both traveled to England TOGETHER in the late 1850's to study British rifled artillery projectiles, and both incorporated such similar newer (and British-based) design concepts to work.  What we DO KNOW is that James Burton WORKED FOR THE STATE OF VIRGINIA in 1861 under contract, designing their ammunition.  Thus, I personally like to call  it a "Burton" shell, as it is clearly a Burton-designed, Virginia-made and used rifled projectile.  It was a simple design, with the more British concept of using a lead band around the base as the sabot, having the 5 notched grooves in the base of the projectile (as seen wonderfully on this specimen here), and in traditional Confederate form, utilizing a simple wood-plug adaptor fuse.

All that truly matters with this projectile offered for your collection is that it is absolutely gorgeous, absolutely rare, and absolutely Confederate!  Good luck finding any for sale again....ever. 


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Outstanding Blown Confederate 6-Pounder Cannon Tube Large Piece

From the Historic Battle of Saltville, Virginia October 1st-3rd, 1864

How many chances do you get to own a piece of a Confederate cannon?  Well, don't ever say I didn't give you the chance!  In fact, this will have been your FOURTH chance to have dug pieces of a Confederate cannon tube offered by me in the last 2 years!  I had a grouping of 7 pieces of this same exploded 6-pounder cannon tube manned by stalwart Tennessee artillerymen equipped with old 6 and 12-pounder guns guarding the strategic saltworks at Saltville, Virginia is late 1864.  This poor old and antiquated 6-pounder blew during the battle, with these large shards of the blown tube being found decades ago by a local relic hunter. The cannon tube piece measures over 13" long and 8" wide, and you can clearly see this piece displays where the thicker, reinforced breech portion begins.  The 1st Battle of Saltville was the Federal attempt to deny the Confederates from their largest saltworks in the Confederacy--and salt was all-important for preserving food, salt-peter, and a myriad of other common uses.  Amongst the Yankee attackers was a USCT mounted regiment, which did fight hard against the Confederate fortifications.  The Confederate defenders held-off their attackers, and would be later accused of war-crimes perpetrated against wounded and captured black Federal forces.  After the war, a war-crimes trial would be held, and one Confederate officer hanged for the alleged atrocities.  I placed a 6-pounder solid shot next to it for scale reference (NOT for sale with the piece!)

Killer piece of history!  Now seriously...where else can you find ID'ed CS 6-pounder Cannon tube pieces???



Stunning Museum-Quality Non-Dug 3" Schenkl Shell w/Removable 1861-Patent Schenkl Fuse

Absolutely "Factory-New" Condition Unfired & Non-Dug Specimen -- Exactly the condition as it came from the Foundry

The sale fell-through from earlier this week, so THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE!  This is a show-stopper and jaw-dropper, my friends: remarkable original non-dug and unfired 3" Schenkl shell with fully removable 1861-patent dated Schenkl percussion fuse.  It is certainly "stunning" in every sense of the word, being in the exact condition as the day it came out of the foundry and sent to the arsenal.  It is a remarkable piece in phenomenal condition.  It doesn't have the paper-mache sabot, but I only know of a couple of examples that exist which do.  The J. P. Schenkl-marked percussion fuse is perfectly clear and legible, as is the 1861 patent date on the fuse as well.  You can un-screw the fuse out of the shell with ease, and is a perfect fit with the pristine threading.  Yes, you can fully disassemble the fuse, taking the inner plunger-disc out by unscrewing, and you can even take the small side-screw out to remove the inner percussion nipple insert (but be warned: if you take the inner percussion nipple insert out, you have to put it back in so that the screw holes align to put the screw back!  Might take you a few tries to do so!)  It is so cool to see how the very uniquely shaped and designed Schenkl shell and percussion fuse system worked, and especially on one that is clearly in "foundry-new" condition.  When's the last time you ever saw a non-dug Schenkl shell for sale? 


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