Utility workers will soon begin searching a river in Columbia for possible Civil War-era ammunition left over from U.S. Gen. William T. Sherman's attack on the city in 1865.

The State newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/1MbzJZI) the contractors for South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. will begin digging up and removing 74 metallic objects found in the Congaree River.

Historical reports indicate that the metallic objects could be explosives left from Sherman's march through Columbia. Consultants recently found evidence that seized Confederate ammunition was dumped in the river.

Utility officials say contractors with experience handling explosives will supervise the work and will detonate any ammunition that might still pose a threat.

The work is part of the effort to remove coal tar that oozed into the river decades ago from SCE&G power plants.

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Information from: The State, http://www.thestate.com