19 February 2008 by Published in: General News 2 comments

Now this is a prime example of damned bad luck….

Civil War buff killed in blast blamed on antique munitions

By Associated Press
Tuesday, February 19, 2008 – Updated 1h ago

RICHMOND, Va. – A man who sold Civil War relics that included munitions was killed by an explosion, and residents of the neighborhood were kept out of their homes today as experts looked for more explosives.

Samuel H. White, 53, was found in his backyard Monday by neighbors who had heard the blast, Chesterfield County police said.

Police Capt. Steve Neal said that what exploded was military ordnance, possibly dating from the Civil War. Authorities found unexploded military ordnance at his house, and on Tuesday they were still collecting and detonating explosives.

White’s business, Sam White Relics, advertised various relics for sale including Civil War artillery shells, cannonballs and bullets. His Web site says he would “disarm, clean, and preserve your Civil War period and earlier military ordnance” for about $35 each.

About two dozen nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution and police spokeswoman Ann Reid said the evacuation would remain in effect indefinitely.

Neighbor Brian Dunkerly told the Richmond Times-Dispatch the explosion hurled a chunk of metal weighing about 15 pounds that struck the roof of his front porch about one-quarter-mile from White’s house. He said no one was hurt, although the piece of metal shattered his glass front door, hit the floor inside and bounced to the ceiling before coming to rest in the center of his living room.

I guess that’s a guy who died doing something he loved…..

Hat tip to Dan Mallock for bringing this to my attention.

Scridb filter


  1. Dennis Madison
    Tue 19th Feb 2008 at 10:45 pm

    I had know Sam for 15 years or so. I have purchased artifacts from him at different relic shows and at his shop. I found Sam to a honest dealer and always really to share knowledge with others. At shows he would spent time with the kids that stopped by his tables and I have seen him give bullets to them just to watch their reactions. The relic collecting community in the Richmond area will miss him.

  2. Wade Sokolosky
    Wed 20th Feb 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Sam will be missed in the collecting community. I heard thru the grapevine at work that an accident with Civil War ordnance had just taken place in Va.

    I did not know at the time it was Sam. Eric, thanks for posting the story. This is second tragic accident in the last couple years with regards to Civil War UXO.

    Demonstrates for us all just how deadly the stuff can still be after soo many years.


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