Original U.S. Civil War Minié Ball Found Stuck In Wood and Recovered From The Location of The Battle of Five Forks, Virginia in 1956

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a wonderful preserved piece of wood that has a Minié Ball lodged into it. This artifact was recovered in 1956 from the location of where the Battle of the Five Forks was held during the American Civil War. The piece of wood has a heavy coat of lacquer on it with a label to preserve this item and was done long ago, more than likely by the individual who found it. It measures approximately 8 1/4 inches in length.

The Minié ball or Minie ball, is a type of hollow-based bullet designed by Claude-Étienne Minié, inventor of the French Minié rifle, for muzzle-loading rifled muskets. It was invented in 1847 and came to prominence in the Crimean War and the American Civil War, where it was found to inflict significantly more serious wounds than earlier round musket balls. Both the American Springfield Model 1861 and the British Pattern 1853 Enfield rifled muskets, the most common weapons used during the American Civil War, used the Minié ball.

This is a lovely display piece that comes more than ready for further research and display.

The Battle of Five Forks was fought on April 1, 1865, southwest of Petersburg, Virginia, around the road junction of Five Forks, Dinwiddie County, at the end of the Siege of Petersburg, near the conclusion of the American Civil War.

The Union Army commanded by Major General Philip Sheridan defeated a Confederate force from the Army of Northern Virginia commanded by Major General George Pickett. The Union force inflicted over 1,000 casualties on the Confederates and took up to 4,000 prisoners while seizing Five Forks, the key to control of the South Side Railroad, a vital supply line and evacuation route.

After the Battle of Dinwiddie Court House (March 31) at about 10:00 pm, V Corps infantry began to arrive near the battlefield to reinforce Sheridan's cavalry. Pickett's orders from his commander General Robert E. Lee were to defend Five Forks "at all hazards" because of its strategic importance.

At about 1:00 pm, Sheridan pinned down the front and right flank of the Confederate line with small arms fire, while the massed V Corps of infantry, commanded by Major General Gouverneur K. Warren, attacked the left flank soon afterwards. Owing to an acoustic shadow in the woods, Pickett and cavalry commander Major General Fitzhugh Lee did not hear the opening stage of the battle, and their subordinates could not find them. Although Union infantry could not exploit the enemy's confusion, owing to lack of reconnaissance, they were able to roll up the Confederate line by chance, helped by Sheridan's personal encouragement. After the battle, Sheridan controversially relieved Warren of command of V Corps, largely due to private enmity. Meanwhile, the Union held Five Forks and the road to the South Side Railroad, causing General Lee to abandon Petersburg and Richmond, and begin his final retreat.

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