Union Artillery Shell, Battle of Lynchburg

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Union Artillery Shell, Battle of Lynchburg


This three-inch artillery shell exploded in downtown Lynchburg near Seventh & Clay Streets during the June 1864 Battle of Lynchburg.

Written in white paint:

                         When Hunter threatened Lynchburg this fell
                             in Meem's garden near the reservoir
                         where the Church of Holy Cross now stands

From the book Memoirs of Life In and Out of the Army in Northern Virginia During the War Between the States (Compiled by Susan Leigh Blackford, 1896) 

One of my mother's servants said she heard a shell fall in what was known as "Meem's garden" (where the Catholic church now stands). She went to the place a day or two afterwards and found it. She subsequently gave it to me, and I now have it as a relic of that day so famous in the annals of Lynchburg. C.M.B. [Charles Minor Blackford]

From the book Campaign & Battle of Lynchburg, Va. (Charles M. Blackford, 1901),

It is not generally known that a few of the Federal shells were thrown into the city, but that was the case. The writer has in his possession a part of a three-inch percussion shell, shot from a rifle cannon, which fell in what was then known as "Meem's Garden," near the spot where the Catholic Church of the Holy Cross is now situatin. His mother lived in the immediate vicitiny of the place where it exploded, and, when the sound was heard, one of the servants ran over and picked it up, and it was thus preserved in the family. 

Blackford, Charles Minor, 1833-1903.

A newspaper photograph dated June 14, 1964 (the approximate Centennial of the Battle of Lynchburg) depicts Alvin Gerhardt Jr. with the shell.


Donated by Mr. Alvin Gerhardt who obtained it from the Blackford family.


Historic Sandusky-University of Lynchburg



“Union Artillery Shell, Battle of Lynchburg,” Historic Sandusky Archives and Collections, accessed April 15, 2024, https://historicsanduskyarchives.omeka.net/items/show/91.