Possible Civil War-Era Grenade Recovered From Gull Lake
An odd object was recently found at the bottom of Gull Lake. What is it? The best guess is a Civil War era grenade. So just how did it get to Southwest Michigan?
Photos of the object were shared on the reddit WhatIsThis forum. The concensus was the object was a Ketchum Grenade, a weapon used during the Civil War. According to the Wikipedia article on the grenade:
The grenades have the appearance of a cast-iron ball, or a skinny dart, having fins of cardboard to stabilize the flight. They assured landing on the nose, which was backed by a percussion cap that set off the main powder charge in the body. The grenades were largely inefficient because they had to land on their nose to detonate. In one incident Confederates caught them in blankets and hurled them back at the attackers.
Ketchums came primarily in 1, 3 and 5 lb. varieties. The most recognized Confederate copy is the Raines Grenade; it was even less effective. In most cases, the body was the same, but a long cloth streamer was substituted for the fins, and the plunger was a contact explosive.
Oddly, the grenade was invented by a man who served as the mayor of Buffalo, New York.
The first :30 of this video show a Ketchum grenade as it appears in a museum today.