By Ashley Perry, Intern with the Virtual Curation Laboratory.
Today’s animation is a Minié ball found mostly intact at the Bladensburg Battlefield site (51NE44) in Washington, D.C. and was scanned in the Virtual Curation Laboratory on January 28th, 2014 by Digital Curation Specialist Lauren Volkers. Minié balls were a type of riffle ammunition that became popular during the Civil War. The conical Minié ball had a higher muzzle velocity than the previously popular round lead balls used in muskets and was more accurate. It also had a more distinctive look, which can be seen clearly in the photograph, of three grooves at the bottom and one at the top which circumnavigate the bullet.