Civil War cannonball found in Frederick County

This time, saying “cannonball” had nothing to do with jumping into a pool.

A bomb squad from the Maryland State Fire Marshall’s office was dispatched to a home Monday night in Jefferson after the owner contacted authorities about a possibly live cannonball.

The homeowner had been given the cannonball by another family member who found it near the Monocacy Battlefield.

Bomb technicians determined that it was indeed live and transported it to the Beaver Creek Quarry in Hagerstown, where they conducted an emergency disposal to make it safe.

“Maryland has a long history of military testing, most notably at Aberdeen Proving Ground, on the Chesapeake Bay shores in Harford County. Unexploded military ordnance in the Bay and surrounding waters occasionally makes its way to the surface. However, the discovery of military ordnance is not limited to tidal waters,” the Fire Marshall’s Office said in a release.

“As proven today, the finding of military ordnance from the Civil War is not uncommon in Maryland, and these devices pose the same threat as the day they were originally manufactured.”

State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci said that if anyone finds something that might be military ordinance, “be safe rather than sorry. Stay away and call 911.”

Will Vitka

William Vitka is a Digital Writer/Editor for He's been in the news industry for over a decade. Before joining WTOP, he worked for CBS News, Stuff Magazine, The New York Post and wrote a variety of books—about a dozen of them, with more to come.

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