250-Year-Old Musket Balls from “Shot Heard Round the World” Found in Concord, Massachusetts

CONCORD – Archaeologists in Concord, Massachusetts have discovered five musket balls they believe were fired on April 19, 1775, at Minute Man National Historic Park during the event known as “The Shot Heard Round the World.”

The musket balls were discovered by archaeologists preparing the site for the park’s Great American Outdoors Act project.

According to historians, a musket ball was fired during the historic battle in Concord, Massachusetts.

National Park Service

“To be able to pull one out of the ground and hold it in your hand, knowing that the last person to touch that musket ball rammed it down the barrel of his rifle on the morning of April 19, 1775, is incredible,” said Jarrad Fuoss, a Minute Man park ranger and historical weapons specialist.

“The shot heard around the world”

According to the National Park Service, previous analysis of the 18th-century musket balls showed they were fired by members of the colonial militia at British troops during the Battle of North Bridge.

Historians say this was the first time that provincial militia leaders ordered their members to shoot at soldiers of their own government.

Ralph Waldo Emerson later called it “The Shot Heard Around the World,” because of the event’s impact on the escalation of the conflict between colonial rebels and British forces.

Historic Discovery at Minute Man National Historic Park

The musket balls were discovered in an area of ​​the park where British soldiers were massing to resist a river crossing by their opponents. Analysis of the musket balls showed that they were fired from across the river, and not dropped during reloading.

“It’s incredible that we can stand here and hold a few seconds of history that changed the world nearly 250 years ago,” Fuoss said. “These musket balls can be collectively considered ‘The Shot Heard Round the World,’ and it’s incredible that they’ve survived this long. It’s also a poignant reminder that we are all stewards of this battlefield and are here to preserve and protect our shared history.”

The musket balls can be seen on Saturday, July 13, during the park’s Archeology Day.

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