Author Topic: Big shells  (Read 281 times)

Scott Springston

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Big shells
« on: May 29, 2020, 09:31:39 AM »
Hi , Iím new to this forum so bare with me. When I hunted some 30-40 years ago I mainly hunted in the Defenses of Washington and Northern Va. I mainly only hunted for shells. Buttons etc didnít interest me and still donít . I always keep my interest in big shells and never would buy a shell until recently when I decided the only way Iíd get a few of these shells I always wanted was to buy one. Anyway other than buying shells now with my age Iím relegated to hearing stories about finding shells so I ask anyone on here if they ever found a 300 pound parrot ( a life long long desire) and would you tell the story of how you found it and how you got it out of the ground etc.
 Thanks
  Scott

relicrunner

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Re: Big shells
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2020, 11:44:53 AM »
Welcome to the Forum. I'd be very interested in reading a story like that.

Scott Springston

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Re: Big shells
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2020, 01:55:22 PM »
 I know many 300 pound round balls were found in swamps but for the life of me I canít figure how you would get a ball like that out of a 5 ft deep hole filling with water and mud and then get it into a boat with out a crane. I have a hard enough time moving my 15 inch 300 pound ball over the thresh hold in my house, ha ha!
  Scott

CarlS

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Re: Big shells
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2020, 06:08:30 PM »
Scott,

Welcome.  Glad to have you here.  I can't speak to a 15-inch ball or a 300-lber Parrott but I can speak to a couple 200-lber Parrotts I helped recover.  Both were in the water plus some depth into the bottom.  It was a major exhausting effort to get them into the boat.  Without a crane it is pretty much multi-person effort.  The big secret is to have a heavy duty net that you can roll the projectile on that essentially gives it handles and something easy to tie a rope to.  You will also likely need a cinch strap to get it out of the hole since you can't likely get a net under it in the hole.  The first 200 nearly swamped the small boat we were in when we rolled it up and over the side of the boat.  That is a bunch of weight sitting on the gunwale of a small boat.  The 2nd one was recovered with a bigger boat.  We had a rope and put it in a big canvas bag under water to pull it over the stern which was much easier and safer but still an effort.  And you don't do this in a nice boat!  The two I helped with weren't out in the marsh mud.  The marsh adds a big layer of complexity to it.  They were in a sandy bottom so you had some footing.  The marsh means sinking into the bottom when you pull on something.  The 50 to 75 pounder stuff I found in the marsh made me wonder how in the world one of the big boys could be pulled out.  I know Craig Craven said that they would just hang the projectile in a bag off the back (or front) of the boat and let it hang there until they got to the boat ramp where they could handle it better.  Was a good idea in that you didn't expend a big effort to get it into the boat.
Best,
Carl

gflower

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Re: Big shells
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2020, 08:24:21 PM »
 Have a 200lb Parrott sitting by my fire place that my dad recovered in Charleston before I was born in the later 50's. I wish he was here to tell the story of how he got it for you. I can tell you that having found a fair number of 100 lb Parrots and having dug those 5 foot holes to get them out I always was thankful for a hill to roll them down to get em to the tuck! Gary

redbob

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Re: Big shells
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2020, 08:30:31 PM »
When I purchased a 15" Dahlgren Ball out of Charleston, the story that came with the ball was that it was a Fort Sumpter overshot that ended up in the swamp. After it was found, supposedly they were able to get it into an empty 55 gallon drum and were able to roll/float it to dry land. All that I know was when it got loose in the car after I picked it up, it sent me across 2 lanes of the interstate. It now sits peacefully in one corner where I plan on it staying.

emike123

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Re: Big shells
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2020, 10:10:28 PM »
Welcome Scott.  There are not very many of these shells, but I can tell you a story of the recovery of two of them.

The history of the Sullivanís island has been dominated by Fort Moultrie, which, until its closure in the late 1940s, served as the base of command for the defense of Charleston.  Many of the quarters subsequently reverted to civilian use and more were torn down and replaced with beachfront mansions.  Sullivanís Island is a very affluent suburb of Charleston.

One day a woman who lived in one of these homes was working in her yard at the end of her driveway and uncovered a shell buried in the sandy soil.  She called the authorities. 

Turns out she had discovered a 300pdr Parrott shell that had marked the driveway end and been placed there back in the military base days.  The official who showed up figured there might be another marking the other side of the driveway and sure enough there was.  He kindly obliged her and with her grateful permission hauled them away for her.  I know this person, and I believe that is how the one shown in Jack Bellís book was saved.

Scott Springston

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Re: Big shells
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2020, 08:01:17 AM »
These are great stories, thanks tons, literally, ha ha !

Scott Springston

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Re: Big shells
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2020, 05:40:54 PM »
Was that shell in the drive way the one that Ridgeway had?
  Scott

CarlS

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Re: Big shells
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2020, 03:03:31 PM »
Not sure.  Charleston is the only battle the 300's were fired at.  Some fired examples have come from the Cold Spring firing range which could explain the cracked nose on this shell.  If it was from Charleston it appears to have been sitting outside above the ground where it froze and cracked.  Charleston has very little freezing weather and not really ever the super hard freezes that it would take to crack a shell that big, it would seem to me.   The threads in it are pretty good too so if it was from Charleston it could only have threads that nice if the fuse had been removed.  I had one of the two from the Sullivan driveway and the one I had didn't have much in the way of threads left but no cracks. The iron body is nearly perfect.
Best,
Carl