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  • Battle of Chancellorsville

Rare Confederate Smooth Read Shell, dug Chancellorsville (SOLD,BL)

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Product Description

This is another nice piece being offered, it is a Confederate 3”, 10-pound Read-pattern projectile, often referred to as a Smooth Long Read Shell, likely fired from a Parrot rifle. The shell measures 8 1/2” in length and has a diameter of 3”. Shell sits atop a wrought iron tapered ring sabot that exhibits slight distortion at the projectile base from expansion during firing. Sabot shows the impressions of the rifling.

A smooth sided long shell was produced by both sides, this Confederate version is distinguished by a lathe dimple in the base and a “lathe dog” (casting sprue) on the nose. The fuse is missing, probably blown out when fired, but the screw-on threads are still present. This shell was recovered many years ago from the Chancellorsville, Virginia battlefield.

The Battle of Chancellorsville, fought from April 30 to May 6, 1863, is widely considered to be Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s greatest victory during the Civil War. Facing an enemy force nearly twice the size of his own, Lee daringly split his troops in two, confronting and surprising Union Gen. Joseph Hooker. Though Hooker still held numerical superiority, he did not press this advantage, instead falling back to defensive positions.

When Lee once again split his forces and attacked, Hooker was forced to retreat across the Rappahannock River. Lee’s victory came at a high cost, however. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, one of his most trusted generals, was mortally wounded by friendly fire during the battle.

This is a rare Confederate shell and a real beauty; it would almost be impossible to upgrade this one. It is very smooth and no rust or chipping. I discuss these shells and Chancellorsville in my book “Civil War Artillery – A Pictorial Introduction”.

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