Local media alerted residents in and around Charleston, SC, on Sunday that they were probably going to hear something "like an explosion. That heads-up was because 16 rusty cannonballs were unearthed by Hurricane Matthew on Folly Beach, the city's Facebook page announced, and per USA Today, they appeared to be Civil War ordnance. A local couple tells the paper that a friend stumbled onto the cannonballs, though local officials weren't able to get to them at first because of the high tide.
The man who found the Civil War-era stockpile, former Folly Beach Mayor Richard Beck, tells WTVM he knew right away what he had, and that a responding police officer who happened to be a Civil War re-enactor confirmed his suspicions. "It didn't surprise me really, but delighted me," Beck says. Parts of the beach were shut down while Charleston County Sheriff and Air Force specialists destroyed some of them, while others were lugged to a Navy base for detonation, ABC News reports. (Three Civil War cannons were pulled last year from a South Carolina river.)