Holland Patent Historian Discovers Possible Civil War Cannonball on Memorial Day
You never know what you're going to find when metal detecting. Just ask historian Michael Parker of Holland Patent who discovered a rare cannonball that may be from the Civil War.
The cannonball was unearthed in Trenton, New York after Parker received a tip from the landowner. “I was following a clue by a local farmer of an encampment by the Colonial Army during the Revolutionary War. The farmer sent me to one of the many creeks on his land where I found the cannonball."
Parker had to leave his discovery behind and return with some help to remove it. "My brother and I were unable to make progress. It was so heavy. We finally removed it on the third visit when I brought in more friends to help."
Ironically, Parker found the cannonball on Memorial Day. “Only a week before I was telling the members of the EARTH Metal Detecting Club of Central New York how it isn’t unusual for me to find items while detecting that can be associated with an up-coming holiday. So here I am, digging up a cannonball on Memorial Day.”
To find out what kind of cannonball Parker discovered, he reached out to Peter Sorrell, who made national headlines when he found a 1652 silver Pine Tree Shilling. ”It's similar to a cannonball I was gifted," said Sorrell. "If it's the same, it's a Navy cannonball from the Civil War and weighs approximately 96 lbs.”
Sorrell reached out to friends in the south, who find many Civil War era cannonballs and have extensive knowledge, to see what they thought. “I was told it was a common shell but still valued about $250,” Sorrell said.
Parker was offered $200 for the cannonball but says he wants to do more research before considering selling it. He did offer to split money from any future sale with the landowner. However, the farmer declined Parker's offer.
The location of the cannonball discovery may be announced at a later date but Parker says it is a possible historic site and wants to keep it secret for now.