Thursday, August 20, 2015

SCARCE CIVIL WAR BULLETS/MINIE BALLS

One of the most common finds during the hunting of a Civil War battle site or camp is the lead bullet. Lead oxidizes after years underground, thus accounting for the beautiful white lead oxide patina found on most bullets. Bullets found in creeks or especially wet areas sometimes avoid this effect. Photos below illustrate some of the scarcer types of bullets and Minie (named for the Frenchman who invented the projectile) balls I've dug over the years. Except for the single cartridge-type bullet shown, most of these bullets were forced into the rifle or musket barrel by a rammer after a charge of black powder has been inserted. Many bullets were merely dropped, accounting for their near pristine condition, while others are recovered after being fired. Bullet collecting is so popular among Civil War relic collectors that there have been several books published that describe and picture the various types - and there are thousands.















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