Unexploded cannon shell found in neighborhood|[4/21/05]

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 21, 2005

Workers digging a trench for a new sewer line got a surprise Wednesday when they unearthed an unexploded Civil War-era cannon shell.

Found in the front yard of the home at 331 Claremont Circle in the Wildwood neighborhood around 2 p.m., the alert brought out police, emergency officials, television crews and a few curious neighbors before it was removed four hours later by an ordnance disposal team from Camp Shelby near Hattiesburg.

L.W. “Bump” Callaway, director of Warren County Emergency Management, said finding leftover explosives from the 1863 siege of Vicksburg isn’t uncommon, but he urged caution around the unstable cannon round.

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“These are potentially dangerous, extremely dangerous,” Callaway said. “We find them pretty often, but it’s a little more antsy when we find them in a residential neighborhood.”

Wildwood, north of the vacant ParkView Regional Medical center, borders the Vicksburg National Military Park and is just east of the park’s entrance. Some homes in the neighborhood developed in the 1950s are separated from the main battle lines by only a few yards of woods.

Callaway said that it was possible that the round had overshot its target and could have been left in the ground there.