By Ashley Perry, VCU student intern with the Virtual Curation Laboratory.
Today’s animation is of a .58 caliber Minié ball recovered from the Bladensburg Battlefield site (18PR) in Maryland and scanned in the VCL by Digital Curation Specialist Lauren Volkers on February 6, 2014. However, this artifact is likely from a later Civil War component at this site, because the Minié ball was not invented until 1848. Its use became prevalent in the United States during the Civil War because they were a more efficient and accurate form of ammunition than the previously popular musket balls. Many firearms utilized the .58 caliber, so it is difficult to say in which firearm this bullet was likely used.