Man unearths rusted ordnance in his backyard

Members of the Charleston Air Force Base Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team remove what appears to be a Civil War-era ordnance Thursday from Tony Deaton's yard on James Island.

JAMES ISLAND -- Tony Deaton unintentionally dug up some history Wednesday.

Deaton said he was operating a trencher in the backyard of his Seaside Plantation Drive home on the island when the machinery struck what appeared to be a Civil War-era shell.

"I hit something and it spit a bomb out on the ground," he said Thursday. "I stopped what I was doing and tried to figure out what to do with it."

Deaton said the rusted object, about half the size of a car muffler, landed a little too close to home.

"It's not often that you see a bomb, so it was a little surprising," he said. "I probably shouldn't have picked it up, but it was close to my house so I moved it."

He contacted Charleston police Thursday. The department's bomb squad examined it before turning the scene over to the Charleston Air Force Base's Explosive Ordnance Disposal Team, who put the object in a container and carried it away within minutes.

Deaton, who has lived in the neighborhood for nine years, said discoveries like his aren't uncommon.

"I think it's probably something from the Civil War because some people in the neighborhood find that kind of stuff occasionally."

Reach Andy Paras at 937-5589 or on twitter at twitter.com/andyparas.