It all started last weekend when a gentleman from the local Air Base stopped by the First White House of the Confederacy, and spotted an artillery shell in Mrs. Davis’s New York bedroom upstairs. He felt the “bomb squad” should examine it, to be sure it was not “live”.
We asked Mr. Bob Bradley from the Archives, a Civil War weapons expert, and our good friend, to give us his opinion. He informed us it was not of the civil war period, but more importantly, that it had been fired, and was harmless. Since the AF people still wanted to test it, and since it really did not belong in our museum, Bob thought we should give it to them, (i.e. get rid of it, best case scenario).
Simple enough, right? No, wrong! When I got downtown today all avenues around the First White House and the Capitol were blocked off by police cars. The FWH was temporarily evacuated,while the “bomb squad people” retrieved the shell. They then deposited it into a – guess what? – “bomb proof” container, and away they went, with our assurance to them that we did not want it back! It was an amazing moment and created quite a stir among those visiting us for a little while this morning.