Item Number: A00803
Item Title: 6pdr Bormann ball from Richmond defenses
Shipping: Not included
Type: Spherical shell probably case shot
Fuse: Bormann time fuse
Location Recovered: Fort Harrison -- Richmond area
Description:This is a nice ball. A person had this on his want list so I picked it up from an old timer at the recent Richmond show. This came from Fort Harrison where others have been recovered. Unfortunately, the want list fellow backed out so now someone else can get a crack at this desirable little shell.
Fort Harrison was key to General Butler's plan of attack. It represented the strongest point on the Confederate line of defenses. From it, one could see all the way to the James River. However, in 1864 most of the Confederate forces were in Petersburg and here the Confederate defenders numbered barely 200. Their guns were mostly so poor as to be scorned by the main field artillery. The Union attack pierced the fort quickly, with relatively few casualties. Had the Union attacks on the rest of the Confederate line succeeded as well as at New Market Heights and Fort Harrison, the overall military significance would have been greater.
On September 30, Robert E. Lee personally organized a major effort to recapture the lost fort. His attack also lacked coordination, and the well prepared Union defenders-some of them armed with multiple shot weapons crushed the Confederate effort and inflicted great loss on the attackers. The victors abolished the Confederate title for the fort and renamed it Fort Burnham after the Union general killed in the attack of September 29.