Hurricane Matthew came with a surprise for Folly Beach residents after the storm’s trek through South Carolina dragged up a number of Civil War cannonballs.
The war remains were discovered by one of the city’s former mayors, as he was making his way down the Lowcountry coast on Sunday, as he set out to photograph and document Matthew’s passing and impact on the area.
Richard Beck, who was two times mayor of Folly Beach in the 1980’s, discovered the war vestiges as he was walking down the East Ashley Avenue beach portion and immediately recognized them although the 15 cannonballs were damaged and rusted and mostly welded together by the aforementioned decay.
The same Beck, who although not an expert on the subject, declared the objects to have been easily identifiable thanks to the very distinct hole that could be recognized on their surface, and which went further down into them. The hole was used by Civil War fighters in order to detonate the cannonballs whenever they wanted by inserting a fuse.
After alerting the local police to his discovery, the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office and the Folly Beach Public Safety department were quick to respond and intervene. As one the members was a Civil War enthusiast, the objects were quickly classified and their discoverer was told to leave the area for safety reasons.
The man declared the discovery to have been more on the interesting side, and less on the dangerous one as this was neither his first or as he believes last time to find cannonballs. Beck then recalled the fact that the tip of the island, as everybody knows, was a very active spot during the Civil War as there were a number of fortifications located there.
He then proceeded to declare his delight as to the discovery and remember the time when, as contractors were excavating a house basement, they found a cannonball that was later disposed of by the bomb disposal squad. The house’s owner was just as tranquil as Beck on the matter of the cannonball findings.
The Matthew discovered cannonballs were disposed of as soon as the bomb team was able to reach team, the tide coming in as a delay to their mission. The detonation took place Sunday night at the hands of the US Air Force Explosive Team who also called in so as to face the matter, with a small number of cannonballs being left undetonated but which are to be transported to the Naval Base.
The Folly Beach residents received a phone alert, and as authorities present have declared, the Civil War cannonballs problem has been dealt with and it has neither or will it pose any future threat.
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