POTTSVILLE, Pa. - A bomb squad removed a newly acquired Civil War-era artillery round from the Schuylkill County Historical Society because of safety concerns.

The unexploded Hotchkiss shell is filled with black powder and made to fit a rifle. It was donated recently by the estate of Leo L. Ward, a former society president.

But when Civil War historian J. Stuart Richards visited the society on Friday, he encouraged officials there to get rid of it.

"As soon as I picked it up and saw it was a Hotchkiss with the date of 1862 on it, I wasn't sure if it was an active round or what they call a canister round," Richards said.

But officials contacted Pottsville police to be safe, he said.

Officials with a bomb squad from Fort Drum, N.Y., took the shell Saturday and put it in an ammunition can.

They said it could have gone off if it was dropped and that they would probably dispose of it on the range.

Ward, a longtime president of the historical society, died May 17, according to David Derbes, acting president of the society.

Ward's son, David, found the antique round and other historical items when he cleaned out his father's apartment.

He decided to donate them to the society, Derbes said.