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Live Civil War artillery shell found in Campbell Station Park
Bomb squad detonates live round

David Sink, a visitor to Campbell Station Park, got the surprise of a lifetime when he stumbled upon a Civil War-era artillery shell in North Fork Turkey Creek, Tuesday night, Aug. 12.

At 7:08 p.m., Knox County Sheriff’s Office dispatch received a call from Sink, who had found what he believed to be a piece of mortar in the park.

Sink had retrieved the shell from the creek, carried it up the hill toward the Farragut Library, and then decided to call 9-1-1.

The bomb squad responded only to find that the mortar was in fact a live, unexploded ordnance left over from the Civil War.

“Our bomb squad was dispatched and they determined it was a Civil war-era cannon ball, and it was a live ordnance, and they had to render it safe. They did so at 8:48 p.m.,” said KCSO spokesman Ashley Carrigan.

To render it safe, KCSO’s bomb squad detonated the more than 150 year-old piece of artillery at the site.

The park and library were evacuated and Village Green subdivision was “sheltered in place,” Carrigan said.

“They stationed officers in the neighborhood and just advised people not to come out of their house. It wasn’t such a device that it posed a danger to that neighborhood really, but they just didn’t want people out in the yards and running around,” she added.

The bomb squad also performed a check of the area but did not turn up any more shells or ordnances.

However, that doesn’t mean they’re not there.

“I asked one of the bomb squad [members] if that’s actually been laying around for 150 years, and he said ‘Yeah, there’s probably others around, around East Tennessee,’” Carrigan said.

“It’s weird to think about that just sitting there,” she added.

The bomb squad, which plans to dissect and study the device, is currently holding the ordnance. Civil War experts have also contacted KCSO asking to study the device, Carrigan said.

“It’s very interesting. Luckily, nothing bad happened,” she added.


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