GETTYSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Gettysburg National Military Park announced they discovered a Civil War-era unexploded artillery shell on Wednesday, Feb. 8.
According to the park, the shell was found within the Little Round Top rehabilitation project area in the southwest corner of Little Round Top.
Officials with the park say the device dates to 1863, weighed about 10 pounds, and measured about 7 inches long.
The shell was handled on Wednesday by the 55th Ordnance Disposal Company team from Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The team gently washed off the shell and removed it before it was destroyed off-site.
Because of the device’s discovery, the area and local roads were closed on Wednesday afternoon but have since reopened.
The park is nearly seven months into a nearly two year long project to restore Little Round Top. The project includes replacing an overgrown walking path and restoring an area around the Little Round Top monument.
All of Little Round Top — bordered by Wheatfield Road, Crawford Avenue, Warren Avenue, and Sykes Avenue — and the 20th Maine monument have been closed since late July for the $13 million rehabilitation project.
According to Gettysburg National Park, the Little Round Top rehabilitation project “will address overwhelmed parking areas, poor accessibility and related safety hazards, significant erosion, and degraded vegetation.”
The area known as Little Round Top was the scene of “intense fighting” between the Union and Confederacy on July 2, 1863.
The area was known for large boulders that provided shelter for soldiers and the steel incline that helped the Union claim victory at Gettysburg.
Gettysburg National Park also rehabilitated the popular Devil’s Den landmark with an increased trail surface, adding slip-resistant granite steps, and adding greenspace.
Devil’s Den was closed from March through late September 2022 as part of the rehabilitation.