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Artillery shell fragments from Dunker Church, Antietam

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Product Description

This is a grouping of 5 artillery shell fragments. The digger recovered these fragments along with many others on private property on the Antietam Battlefield. The original tag states “Schenkle [Schenkl] projectile fragments all found on the C.S left flank off the Mondale [Mondell] Rd. behind the Dunker Church, Antietam, MD”.

No doubt that some of these exploded shells were fired from the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery. The order was given by Captain J. Albert Monroe to “drop trail and fire” on elements of General J.B. Kershaw’s South Carolina brigade of Walker’s division, who were now making their appearance on the field south of Dunker Church. In two of my books “Battle of Gettysburg – The Relics, Artifacts & Souvenirs” and “Civil War Artillery – A Pictorial Introduction”, I discuss Captain Monroe, along with some of his personal items which are in my private collection.

The South Carolinians came within 50 yards of their objective, but the massed Union forces and their artillery supports poured a series of brutally accurate volleys into the Confederate assault formations.

Captain John A. Tompkins of Battery A of the 1st Rhode Island stated in his report that “During the greater portion of the time 1 was engaged, the battery was without support, and exposed on its right flank to an enfilading fire from the rebel infantry. I report having expended 83 rounds of canister, 68 rounds of solid shot, 427 rounds shell, and 454 rounds of case shot - I,050 rounds in all.”

During the battle of Antietam the church was the focal point of a number of Union attacks against the Confederate left flank. Most after action reports by commanders of both sides, including Union General Hooker and Confederate Stonewall Jackson, make references to the church.

All of the shell fragments are in nice condition – no chipping or flaking. You will receive the exact ones pictured along with the provenance tag. These are the last of the fragments I have from this particular site. 


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