J.D. Taylor Jr. was planting trees at his Sharpsburg home when he came upon a startling sight: a live Civil War-era shell.
Taylor tells the Herald Mail of Hagerstown that he immediately knew what it was because it was the second shell he had found in his yard, located about one mile from the Antietam National Battlefield. He says it weighed about eight pounds and was buried five or six inches deep.
The Maryland State Fire Marshal's office describes the shell as a three-inch Federal Navy Schenkl. The office says the device had an intact fusing mechanism and hadn't been fired.
Authorities detonated the shell at a neighboring farm. Taylor says authorities determined that the device had been used by the Union army and navy during the Civil War.