FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Human blood was found on shrapnel discovered on a Revolutionary War battlefield in New Jersey.
Members of the Battlefield Restoration and Archaeological Volunteer Organization working in Freehold Township found the canister shot used by the Continental Army against British troops during the Battle of Monmouth in 1778. They then sent the lead to Colorado for testing, and it came back positive for human blood protein, the Asbury Park Press reported.
Dan Sivilich, who is president of BRAVO, believes the find is the only piece of a Revolutionary War canister shot that's ever been positively tested for human blood. Based on where it was found, it was probably fired by Pennsylvania artillery into the British 42nd Regiment, Sivilich said.
The canister shot was probably fired by Thomas Proctor's Pennsylvania artillery, according to Sivilich. Legend has it that Molly Pitcher fired a cannon from the artillery after her husband fell ill and couldn't operate the weapon anymore.
"It could have been a round that Molly Pitcher handled," Sivilich said. "We can't say for sure, but it makes for interesting speculation"
George Washington attacked the British during the battle, which ended in a draw. The British were able to march toward New York while the Americans held the field.
Sivilich hopes the Monmouth Battlefield State Park puts the piece of ammo on display.
Information from: Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, http://www.app.com