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A 14-year-old boy was seriously wounded when a cannon accidentally fired during a Civil War battle re-enactment in a suburban park, a hospital spokeswoman said today.

The boy, Brett Vicchrilli of Greencastle, Ind., was in serious condition in Cincinnati's Children's Hospital Medical Center after the cannon misfired Sunday, the spokeswoman said.

Brett was helping to load the cannon when it discharged, throwing him several feet through the air, witnesses said.

The boy was a member of an Indiana historical re-enactment group that was staging the pageant in a park in the Cincinnati suburb of North College Hill.

Cannons used in the mock battles are primed with gunpowder to lend authenticity but do not fire live ammunition, a spokesman for the group said. The cannon went off while a bag of gunpowder was being ramrodded into its barrel, he said.

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