USS Rattler at Rodney MS
Can someone tell me exactly what type of cannonball is imbedded in the front wall of Old Rodney MS Presbyterian Church, now the UDC State Shrine? To my untrained eye, it looks like a 24-pound solid shot.
On Sunday 13-Sep-1863 Confederates captured the majority of USS "Rattler's" crew inside the Church. The gunboat fired into the town, hitting the Church and other buildings.
On that date "Rattler" carried two 30-pdr Parrott rifles and four 24-pdr Napoleon smoothbores evenly divided fore and aft. "Rattler's" logbook (Act. Ens. William Ferguson) in ORN states the gunboat fired "9 shrapnel, 5 Parrott shells." Presumably the shrapnel came from the 24-pdrs, and all were filled with gunpowder and designed to explode. Later in the day "Rattler's" gunners fired 11 shrapnel shells with 5-second (delayed-action?) fuzes to cover a landing party.
Surely the Church deacons didn't leave an unexploded shell in the wall? If they didn't, where did the cannonball come from?
Thanks to all for any help you can offer.
Bruce D. Liddell