The lost French & Indian Cannon Balls



Well this story is very interesting and intriging. This site goes back to 1758-59 redoubt from Fort Pitt, and as we all know General Bouquet and his men built the Breastworks (known as main Bouquet Breastworks and Guard Post Breastworks). These sites are 4,000 feet apart from each other, and a small creek runs through both of them. These sites are excellent places to build the Breastworks. You got high ridge tops and a fresh water supply.. Plus at this time they had plenty of deer, and turkeys. Hey you know what! There still are plenty of deer and turkeys. haha Well at these 2 sites there were no cannonballs found. You would think with thousands of troops there and they had swivel guns and cannonballs, you would think you would find some there, but NO.

One day in spring of 2000, there were some guys digging a sewer line. The guy was making his trench and when he got a few feet away from the creek, he was about four-five feet deep he hit something hard. So he stopped and he jumped down to take a look. What he found he was not expecting to find. He was still not sure what it was. He never saw one before. Well what he found was a six-pound cannonball. He looked around and he found a few more.

By luck I was at my friendsí video store talking to him when he showed us the cannonballs and asked what they were. I told him what I thought. Paul and I were so excited about the find that he closed up shop and went cannonball hunting.

Well my Shadow X2 is always in the trunk waiting for action. When we got there I pulled out the Shadow X2 and jumped in the five-foot hole. Immediately the Shadow X2 was giving a good tone. It pinpointed a very large area. By this time my blood pressure is through the roof. Like it was on the autobaum. I knew we where on to something big. The Shadow X2 never lies. haha

The backhoe driver started digging more but more carefully. We are now about 7 feet, down when I jumped in the trench, turned on the Shadow X2 and it was screaming at this point. I knew we were close. We started digging with spades, we hit something had at 8 feet down. From what I saw was unbelievable. I saw these cannonballs stacked real nice, and they were still in their original crate boxes with square nails in them. The grape shot 3/4 lbs. where on top, the 1 1/4 lbs., 2 1/4 lbs., and 5 1/4 lbs. cannonballs where there. Wow, it was unbelievable. There were about 150 cannonballs all together. We where so excited about this find. I got an archeologist friend of mine to check out to see if there was any information on this site. He came back and said it was an UNRECORDED site. We think they buried them so they could come back and retrieve them later, but never did. That's the thing about metal detecting that we are always finding out about the history and what happened there.

My archeologist friend was researching all the information on the French and Indian War monuments there. He came to believe they are French and Indian War cannonballs. Plus it was part of "Bouquet's March to the Ohio - The Forbes Road" (1758-59)

Guess what? A few weeks later the same guy was digging finishing the sewer line dug another 150 cannonballs. Thatís a total of over 300 cannonballs found there. In my opinion and my archeologist friend we believe there are a lot more there. Maybe possibly a cannon to go with those cannonballs. Specifically, we think that there is an ammunition dump.

See you never know where the next finds are going to be. By the way, recently I talked to a guy digging a gas well line in Latrobe Pennsylvania. When he was digging, he found sandstone cannonballs in what looked like an old leather saddle bag or leather bag. The leather bag was almost completely gone. This site is right off of Old Forbes Road. So there is history waiting, everywhere. Just waiting to be found.

Good Luck on your hunting adventures, and I hope you unlock the secrets of long lost hidden history.

Remember, if you find anything significant or a site like this one, take some pictures and document it. Notify an archeologist that is metal detecting friendly.

Next time you are out there in the field. Just think you could find the next important discovery. I never thought it could happen to me. So you never know.

Keep your coil to the soil

Bill(pittsburgh,pa)

Return to Stories
Return to TimeSearchers.net