Published July 19, 2013
ATLANTA – A day after workers unearthed a cannonball from a construction site in downtown Atlanta, an expert on the American Civil War said there are at least two possible scenarios for how it got there.
The cannonball was found Thursday near Centennial Olympic Park. Police, concerned about public safety, blew it up and are unsure of its history.
One theory: It was among an estimated 100,000 shells fired into Atlanta by the Union Army, as the city was under siege in 1864.
Gordon Jones, the Atlanta History Center's senior military historian and curator, said it could have been fired by federal soldiers from outside the city in an effort to strike the railroad roundhouse, a key military target.
Or, it could have been a Confederate cannonball that was simply left behind.