Hurricane Matthew unearths Civil War cannonballs

A bomb squad was called to a South Carolina beach after Hurricane Matthew apparently unearthed old Civil War cannonballs from the sand, according to WXIA.

Charleston County Sheriff's spokesman Maj. Eric Watson said in a news release that the cannonballs were found on Folly Beach Sunday afternoon, but bomb squad members couldn't get to it immediately because of the rising tide. The city of Folly Beach reported 16 cannonballs found.

John and Judy Manzi, who have a home on Little Oak Island on the other side of Folly, went on to the beach Sunday and said a friend uncovered the Civil War-era shells, according to a report from WLTX.

“There was a gun emplacement there during the Civil War and this must have been a stack because they were all consolidated together,” he said.

Both exploding shells and non-exploding cannonballs were used in the Civil War.

The Air Force Explosive Team was able to safely detonate the cannonballs on site once the ocean level went down.

The first shots of the Civil War were fired at nearby Fort Sumter in 1861.

Folly Beach Island is no stranger to pirates, shipwrecks, the Civil War – or hurricanes, according to the city's website in a report from WLTX. The island was occupied by 13.000 federal troops in 1863 during the Civil War, and soldiers built roads, forts and an artillery battery, according to the city.

The island served as a strategic base for the Union battle to take Fort Wagner, which guarded Charleston harbor from the neighboring Morris Island. In 1987, construction workers found 14 bodies at the west end of the beach that were determined to be members of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, popularized in the movie Glory.

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Copyright 2016 KXTV


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