This excavated and distorted Confederate Bormann time fuze was acquired directly from the digger who recovered it from New Market, VA. Still visible on its top side are hash marks and the number “1”. Originally it also displayed the numbers 2, 3, 4, & 5 representing seconds, with the hash-marks representing quarter and half seconds indicating the length of time the fuze was to burn prior to exploding the shell. Though there is no evidence that this fuze was punched at particular number to set the fuze burn time, the condition of the fuze indicates that it was involved in an explosion. When not in distorted condition, these fuzes typically measure 1.6 inches in diameter. The side views show its distorted treads. It is the opinion of Peter George, co-author of "Field Artillery Projectiles of the American Civil War", that the shell equipped with this fuze was likely fired without the fuze being punched. The flame from the propellant charge in the cannon tube bypassed the fuze threads and ignited the shell’s powder chamber. Because of this, it is likely that the shell prematurely exploded at the muzzle or very shortly after leaving the cannon tube thereby endangering the nearby support troops. This fine Confederate artillery relic from New Market has not been repaired and will be an excellent addition to any Civil War artillery or general relic collection.
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