GALLIPOLIS — On Thursday evening, Gallipolis residents unearthed a Civil War-era shell — an apparent remnant of Camp Carrington, a Union Army encampment located in Gallipolis during the Civil War.
According to the Gallipolis Police Department, on the evening of April 18, officers were called to the residence of Michael Coup at 83 Mill Creek Road by Dee McCullough.
McCullough reported to the officers that, in preparation for building a porch at the residence, workers had unearthed what appeared to be a military shell.
As a result of the discovery, the 703 DOD Co., an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) team from Fort Knox, Kentucky, was contacted by officers.
After examining pictures of the military shell sent to them by the police department, the team from Fort Knox determined that the object was stable and safe to leave overnight. Members of the team arrived on Friday morning in Gallipolis to collect the item.
According to the EOD team, an ordinance, such as the one discovered, is almost always safe, but under the right conditions it is possible for for these military relics to detonate.
Since the shell had been buried and filled with moisture it was highly unlikely to be a problem, according to the officials.
The team reportedly relayed the story of a situation in Georgia whereby a cannonball had been located by someone and put on a mantel in their home. After it had dried out, the cannonball exploded.
According to the police department, it is a good idea for anyone who finds any military ordinance, regardless of its age, to contact the proper authorities for disposal.
Research conducted by the police department has found that this area was part of Camp Carrington from around 1861-1865. Camp Carrington was an encampment in Gallipolis during the Civil War which occupied 28 acres from roughly Sycamore Street to somewhere in the Cliffside Golf Course and over to the river.
The camp was used to recruit and train soldiers for the use in the Union Army. It is believed that artillery was one of the skills taught here and it is believed that this item was one of the shells used in that training.
The shell reportedly appears to be from a 10 pound Parrott Rifle, which saw use by both sides during the conflict. This rifle was similar to a cannon, but used by both sides during the conflict. This rifle was similar to a cannon, but used rifling to improve the accuracy. Somewhere around six hundred of these rifles were built. It was constructed of wrought iron and used a steel re-enforcing band near the breech to strengthen the iron. The shell itself could be hollowed out and filled with explosives, and, in some versions, lead shot to increase its lethality.