Man killed by Civil War cannonball

5:28 AM, May 3, 2008   |    comments
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CHESTER, Va. (AP) — The community of Chester, Virginia, is remembering Sam White.

He's the latest victim of the Civil War, killed in his driveway three months ago by what experts think was a naval artillery round.

The cannonball was one of 18 Civil War relics he had lined up outside his house to restore.

The explosion happened more than 140 years after Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant but the shell was still powerful enough to hurl a chunk of shrapnel through a house a-quarter mile away.

The 53-year-old retired UPS driver became a Civil War buff as a youngster, digging up rusting bullets and mililtary buttons in his hometown outside Richmond as a hobby.

White's death has shaken the close-knit fraternity of relic collectors and raises fresh concerns about the dangers of other Civil War munitions buried in old battlefields throughout the South. Union and Confederate troops lobbed an estimated one and a-half million artillery shells and cannonballs at each other from 1861 to 1865.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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