Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Bullet Never Fired

"VMI cadet Charles H. Read, Jr., a Private of C Company class of 1867, was carrying this Austrian-made Lorenz musket you see here early on the morning of May 15, 1864, when the Confederate line crossed over the top of Shirley's Hill at the battle of New Market, before their heroic charge across the "field of lost shoes."

 Before he had a chance to fire at the Union soldiers, Cadet Read and his musket were struck by an artillery fragment. [bending the barrel of his musket back on itself in an impossible fashion] The useless musket was taken home by Cadet Read with its unused powder and bullet lodged in the barrel. The unfired .54 caliber Minie ball was forgotten for 135 years until it was discovered during a safety check and removed in 1999."

Can you even imagine the tremendous explosive force required to warp a solid steel rifle barrel away from its stock and bend it back on itself at a 90 degree angle? Even more incredibly, the kid lived!

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