Matthew Washes Up Civil War Ordnance

A USAF explosive ordnance disposal team helped get rid of Civil War-era cannon balls that were found on Folly Beach, S.C., Oct. 9 after Hurricane Matthew passed through. Three EOD technicians from JB Charleston, S.C., assisted the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad with the disposal, USAF MSgt. Joseph Leslie, noncommissioned officer in charge of EOD Resources, 628th Civil Engineer Squadron, said in an email. The city of Folly Beach reported on its Facebook page that 16 cannon balls were unearthed during the storm. Leslie said finding such ordnance is fairly common after major storms near cities that played a role in the war. “In this case, Folly Beach was the site of an artillery battery and supply depot during the Civil War, so it isn’t surprising that some of the ordnance survived,” Leslie said in the email. He said that stepping on the ordnance would not have caused them to detonate because they were designed for safe storage and not to function until fired, but “as with any ordnance, they should be left where they’re found until someone trained to handle ordnance can assess them fully.”