Unexploded shell found at Murrells Inlet thought from Civil War naval battle - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Unexploded shell found at Murrells Inlet thought from Civil War naval battle

(Myrtle Beach-AP) July 26, 2004 - Researchers say a rare Civil War artillery shell found at a construction site last week in Murrells Inlet could have been ammunition left from a skirmish between Confederate blockade runners and the US Navy.

Jonathan Leader, director of the state Department of Archaeology and Anthropology, says the shell appears to have been fired from a large Parrott gun, but failed to explode for more than 100 years.

Leader says the shell had an inner core of black powder was meant to be a timed explosive. The shell's origins are a mystery, but the ammunition could have caused injuries if handled in the wrong way.

The oblong piece of ammunition was found by construction workers at a new subdivision on US Highway 17 south of Murrells Inlet early last week. A worker brought it by truck Wednesday to a Georgetown County Sheriff's substation, several days after finding it.

Sheriff's spokesman Bill Nichols says the building was evacuated for several hours until a State Law Enforcement Division bomb squad arrived. He says the bomb squad took the shell back to Columbia.

SLED officials say the shell was taken to a remote area and detonated by the bomb squad.

Leader says the best thing to do if anyone finds such a shell is not pick it up. The Parrott shell is a large, long shell that was fired from a cannon with a rifled bore.

posted 9:40am by Chris Rees

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