Saturday, May 3, 2008
Civil War Cannonball Kills Collector
Virgina native 53-year-old Sam White, an avid Civil War relic hunter and collector, was killed when a cannonball exploded on his driveway back in February. This was not the first time a Civil War collector was either killed or injured by an exploding cannonball. In 2006 a Georgia man, Lawrence Christopher, was severely injured while trying to deactivate a shell.
According to the Chicago Tribune, White may have been trying to disarm a 9-inch 75lb naval cannonball, a type which used a more powerful explosive than those in the artillery. White may have been using a drill or grinder attached to the grill to remove grit from the ball. White's wife believes her husband had already disarmed the ball and that it was somehow defective. Whatever the reason the ensuing detonation propelled shrapnel through the front porch of a house a 1/4 mile from White's home.
White estimated he had worked on approximately 1600 Civil War shells for collectors and museums while the day he was killed there were another 18 cannonballs lined up on the driveway.
Lawrence Christopher, known as the Grandfather of Relics, was critically injured while attempting to defuse a Civil War cannonball back in July of 2006. After Christopher was injured other collectors were angered when a unit from the U.S. Department of Defense removed, then destroyed, more than 60 other Civil War shells from Christopher's home.
Image - Cannonball
Source - American Digger - Lawrence Christopher
Source - The Daily Citizen - Buffs incensed over destruction of Civil War items
Source - Chicago Tribune - Civil War Cannonball Kills Virginia Relic Collector
Death by 1000 Papercuts Front Page.