Musket balls (40) excavated at a British Revolutionary War camp

Object Number: 
INV.6142.34-73
Date: 
1760-1783
Medium: 
Lead
Dimensions: 
largest: 1 in. ( 2.5 cm )
Marks: 
engraved: (47), on flattened part of musket ball: "17"
Description: 
Lead musket balls; three have a small hole; fifteen are flattened: eight of them are cut in half; one is covered with small indentations; one has a small hole and an engraved inscription on a small flattened area; another has several flattened sides.
Gallery Label: 
These musket balls were excavated by Reginald P. Bolton and others before the formation of the Field Exploration Committee at a sanitary camp that extended east of Broadway, between 196th and Ellwood Streets. The camp was built in the summer of 1779 to quarantine British and Hessian soldiers infected with a fever that was sweeping through the military camps in Washington Heights. The flattened bullets may have been used as gaming pieces by quarantined soldiers.
Credit Line: 
Gift of the Washington Headquarters Association, Daughters of the American Revolution, 1947
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group