Marlin Firearms Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,341 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
IMG_20140713_131507990.jpg
Not long ago I had the opportunity to dig right through the middle of a old civil war foundry. The building long since gone but we knew where it was thereabouts. The yanks cast Minnie's and canon balls at the site. For your enjoyment here are a few Minnie's that haven't seen the light of day for over a 150 years. The ones on the left measure .680" and weigh in at 700gr. Those on the right are 570" and weigh 470gr.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,031 Posts
Those bullets are pieces of history. Nice find Sparky.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sparky civil

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,764 Posts
Man, seeing those things and knowing when they were made gave me the chills. We know what regular Minie balls did to the human body, those 700 grainers had to make some real damage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,291 Posts
About 50 years ago, on a gradeschool field trip to Gettysburg, I found a similar Minnie in the loose dirt around a groundhog hole. It's a relic that I still have and treasure to this day. It has an interesting white patina from oxidation, and it has become shiny white over the years from occasional handling.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,341 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
They have a pretty good layer of oxide and we think it may influence the test. There doesn't seem to be any doubt that it's pure lead or close to it. Being hollow based you can see they are easily deformed around the edges.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,429 Posts
I imagine they are as pure as they could. You will recall, MO was and is famed for its lead mines. The old time test for "pure" lead was if a fingernail would score it, rather akin to the "file and wire" testing early tool makers used to test various tools. Its a surprisingly accurate test as well if a good tool maker is performing it.

My sisters boy friend has a museum he built for Barry County Mo some years back, in Cassville. He has a nice collection of civil war stuff, with of course well documented major fighting in the Springfield area, and of course Pea Ridge in AR. But smaller skirmishes took place several places in S W MO. Cassville at one time was taken over, I dont recall which side, cause they had a large grist mill.

As well folks have found enough bullets around the area, where no battles are recorded but many show rifling marks and impacts marks. So they just didnt fall out of some one possible bag. Also the spread of calibers, every thing from 36 pistol, both round and conical, to the various rifles. Its always been my understanding the south had a greater variety of weapons, the north having more uniform weapons more often of the same caliber.

Was commenting to a buddy just today, that during the Civil War era, MO was a dangerous place to call home.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sparky civil

·
Banned
Joined
·
869 Posts
Its amazing how wars... especially civil wars... dramatically alter the course and trajectory of society. I wonder what our country would look like today had there been no civil war at all?? What is the south had won??

The civil war fascinates me...
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
8,054 Posts
hold on to your hat becuase we may have another chance if the country keeps going in the same direction.......seems the feds are ignoring states rights with these illegals and sending them to facilities in various states........hmm will history repeat itself? unfunded mandates, taxes on everything but air we breath, feds usurping states rights................
Its amazing how wars... especially civil wars... dramatically alter the course and trajectory of society. I wonder what our country would look like today had there been no civil war at all?? What is the south had won??

The civil war fascinates me...
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,038 Posts
Sparky, those should be as close to pure lead as to what was available back then. Minie's ball's were designed for pure lead from what I remember reading.

Were these dug at or near the Military Arsenal at St Louis? Just askin; I finished reading a short Bio about William S. Harney, who was commanding General of the dept. of the west. The Arsenal was part of his jurisdiction. Gen Wm S Harney was also the first POW taken by the CSA while he was travelling to D.C. He was released when he refused to join them. He was a native to Missouri but remained loyal to the north.

The .69 smoothbore's fired a duplex load of one ball with three smaller shot on top (arranged like 00 is). Though considered obsolete there was one northern unit who held on to their's because of the amount of devestation they caused. I don't remember the unit's name or designation.

Wm S Harney was quite a famous fellow, he commanded most troop's during the pre CW indian war's. He is known locally here for his part in attempting to settle a border dispute with Canada. He sent a company of infantry and a naval vessel to the San Juan Island's here in WA. His excuse for militarizing the Island was because a Hudson's Bay Co, employee had a pig get loose and ate up a portion of a resident's garden. The farmer shot the pig and instant conflict. It is known locally as "The Pig War". Though no war ever started, well, beyond militarization, he was transfered because he did thing's "his way".

Thankyou very much for showing off your ''treasure''!! I really appreciate it!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,341 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Pat/Rick, these were taken from excavations at an old civil war fort on the grounds of what is now called National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. Next to the Mississippi River in south St. Louis. A few of the old structures have been preserved and are now being used as offices etc. there's even a museum and sadly I never took the time to check it out. Some of the military or state dept folks on the site may be familiar with the facility. I have had occasion to work there a few times over the last 25 years, it's a interesting and busy place.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,603 Posts
The funny thing would Missouri have had so many battles if it were not for its lead?
Many of the biggest battles were about supplies. And we had here what they all needed to wage war.
We still have a huge production of bullets both in and around us because of it to this day.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,341 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The town I grew up in farther south was fought over many times because of the river crossing located there. Lots of old civil war graves in the area. My uncle has an old cap and ball revolver that was found there laid in the concrete between the flat rocks on his patio. The place I like to fish was known for a local battle and the farmer often found relics. Just last year a memorial plaque was placed and the area donated and fenced off. There are even records of the fallen who are buried in the mass grave there.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,603 Posts
Yeah even over here K.C. area we have plaques all over heck and back in honor of the battles.
Sad thing is now most of them are getting to be in the center or just off of a business park.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
9,038 Posts
Thanks Sparky! Just curious as I had just finished reading a bit about MO and the Arsenal. Interesting stuff! If I was born with a good memory I might be able to be more than an amateur historian LOL!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sparky civil

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,429 Posts
Well, I dont think MO had any greater number of skirmishes because of the availability of lead per se. We have to recall, the greater number of actual battles were more in the declared states of the "south", while MO was home to more skirmish type battles. Their "ammo" may not have cost so much though.:biggrin:

A lot of MO problems were because of being a border state, with the leanings in KA towards non slavery, even years before war was declared and MO being on the fence, slaves were allowed, but without the large plantations found in the south, they were far and few between, a few in the K C area, and the boot heel, but the poverty level of MO was right there between dead broke, and starving broke for the majority of the mostly farmers in the state, and those in the leadership didnt really want to have to decide either way.

And hemp was one of the major products, and with steam coming along, the need for hemp was less each year, and thus less slaves were needed each year. It was a viscous circle. Throw in the state hood issues coming along with the western states, every one had a dog in the fight across the whole country. Its easy to forget, NV got state hood, only because of our silver supply. And AZ actually had one or two civil war battles as well, though I dont know their details.

Every one in MO had to declare loyalty, then of course after the war, things really got interesting and at one time, that bunch of rebels, running around the central part of the state, the "Baldknobbers" if memory serves, had several hundred members, some farmer and preachers by day, and at night, offering hell fire and damnation.

I think its Galena MO though I think there is a Galena KA as well, that claims to be the "oldest lead mine in the S W" Lead was the industry that began Joplin I believe.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sparky civil
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top