Archaeologists find an unexploded artillery shell at the Gettysburg battlefield

Archaeologists working at the historic battlefield site of Gettysburg recently made an explosive discovery: a 160-year-old live artillery shell that was to be detonated by a specially trained US Army disposal team.

The shell was found on February 8 at Small Round Bar (opens in a new tab), a hill that provided a strategic position for Union forces during the Civil War. On July 2, 1863, the second day of the three-day Battle of Gettysburg, the North and the South struggled for 90 minutes for control of Little Round Top, leaving thousands of soldiers dead. The rocky hill, however, was not a suitable platform for artillery attacks, as suggested by Confederate General Robert E. Lee in his 1864 report (opens in a new tab) about the Gettysburg campaign. Lee reported that Confederate General Longstreet was delayed by Union forces firing from Little Round Top, but Longstreet decided to outflank them rather than attempt to take the hill.

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