Cannonball could have been shot into Atlanta

Associated Press
A photo provided by the Atlanta Police Department shows an object believed to be a cannonball that was unearthed Thursday July 18, 2013, during work at Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta. Authorities are keeping the object at bomb range and it will be examined by an expert to see if it is from the Civil War. (AP Photo/Atlanta Police Department)
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ATLANTA (AP) — A day after workers unearthed a cannonball from a construction site in downtown Atlanta, an expert on the American Civil War said there are at least two possible scenarios for how it got there.

The cannonball was found Thursday near Centennial Olympic Park. Police removed it Thursday and said it would be detonated, but it was unclear late Friday if that had happened. Police were unsure of its history.

One theory: It was among an estimated 100,000 shells fired into Atlanta by the Union Army, as the city was under siege in 1864.

Gordon Jones, the Atlanta History Center's senior military historian and curator, said it could have been fired by federal soldiers from outside the city in an effort to strike the railroad roundhouse, a key military target.

Or, it could have been a Confederate cannonball that was simply left behind.

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