By Ashley Perry, Intern with the Virtual Curation Laboratory
Today’s animation was scanned in the lab on February 2, 2014 by Digital Curation Specialist Lauren Volkers and is of a .58 caliber Minié ball loaned to the Virtual Curation Laboratory as part of a collection of artifacts found at the Bladensburg Battlefield site in Maryland (18PR). This particular artifact is one of a handful of items recovered that likely belongs to the later Civil War component (Fort Lincoln runs along Bladensburg Road and is right next to Prince George’s County, where the town of Bladensburg is located). .58 caliber Minié balls were the required ammunition of the Springfield Model 1861, a rifled musket in widespread use during the latter parts of the Civil War. The Springfield boasted increased accuracy and range over previous models and is widely considered to be one of the most effective firearms of of its type. Over 1,000,000 of these rifles were manufactured during the war, over a fifth of those being produced by the Springfield Armory in Massachusetts. An animation of an archaeologically recovered Springfield rifle lock plate from George Washington’s Ferry Farm can be found here.