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Unusual “Buck & Ball” cartridge with four buckshot, dug at Wilderness Battlefield (SOLD,BG)

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Product Description

This is a unique item being offered, it is a Civil War Buck & Ball bullet. It has a .69 caliber ball with four pieces of buckshot, most only had three buckshot. Using this cartridge would turn a smoothbore musket into a shotgun. In theory they were trying to make up for their lack of accuracy with firepower by throwing more pieces of lead at the enemy.

The effectiveness of buck and ball, however, was often marginal. To be effective soldiers had to get within 100 yards at most. At even closer ranges, such as around 50 yards, it could be devastating. This one was recovered years ago from the Wilderness, VA battlefield.

The Battle of the Wilderness fought May 5–7, 1864, was the first battle of General Ulysses S. Grant's 1864 Virginia Overland Campaign against General Robert E. Lee and the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Both armies suffered heavy casualties, which was an indication of what lied ahead. The battle was inconclusive and on May 7th, Grant disengaged and moved to the southeast, intending to leave the Wilderness to interpose his army between Lee and Richmond, leading to the bloody Battle of Spotsylvania Court House.

The example offered here is unique for two reasons, first it has four buckshot, and secondly it was recovered as one piece. With the majority of buck & balls, they are reassembled with a little glue. It comes in the glass top display case pictured.

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$4.50 (Fixed shipping cost)