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18606Murray's Raid

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  • badger222ca
    Aug 2, 2003
      Here's an interesting little tidbit for your amusement.
      Does anybody know anything about this action?
      Should someone be organizing a re-enactment? Vermont is a lovely spot.

      ^Espy Que.@<
      ^Mtl Note@<
      ^INDEX: International, Defence, Technology, Environment, Social@<
      ^HL:U.S. historian credits finding War of 1812 shell for interest in
      Lake Champlain@ <
      BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) _ An underwater military artifact that
      was probably fired as part of a War of 1812 attack on Burlington
      helped lead one of Lake Champlain's most prominent historians into
      his study of the lake.<
      In 1977 or 1978, diving instructor Art Cohn was leading a
      class of Middlebury College students out into the lake in Burlington,
      not far from where the U.S. coast guard station is today, when he
      noticed an object _ about the size and shape of a bowling ball _ in
      the sand.<
      He and his students wrestled it to shore and Cohn said he
      realized what it was. But he didn't know why it was there.<
      It didn't take long for historians to point him to Murray's
      Raid, an 1813 attack on Burlington by the British.<
      "It was almost destiny, really," Cohn said.<
      He's still not sure the shell was fired during Murray's Raid.
      But most likely it was a British shell from about 2.5 kilometres
      offshore that didn't reach land. Or possibly it's a U.S. shell that
      fell short after being fired from what is now Battery Park.<
      Holding the shell underwater, Cohn drilled out a wooden plug
      and found gunpowder inside. He said he didn't test the powder to see
      if it was still explosive.<
      At the time he didn't know it was illegal to remove
      historical artifacts from the lake. It didn't take long for him to
      find out.<
      Within a few days, he had a call from the Vermont Division of
      Historic Preservation.<
      "It was through those discussions that we realized we were
      entering a new world of underwater resource management," Cohn said.<
      A year later, the division hired him to do archeological work
      on the lake. He's still an employee of the division, responsible for
      managing the archeological resources hidden under the water of the
      And there are plenty.<
      Cohn has helped find debris in front of Plattsburgh, N.Y.,
      from the War of 1812 Battle of Plattsburgh; he has found an intact
      shipwreck from the Revolutionary War Battle of Valcour Island and
      he's discovered numerous commercial vessels resting on the bottom of
      the lake.<
      And it all stems from the shell that probably came from
      Murray's Raid. The shell now sits on his desk at the Lake Champlain
      Maritime Museum in Ferrisburgh.<
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