Dig continues at site of 19th-century Fayetteville Arsenal
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A team of archaeologists is finding shards, nails and other items during a dig at the site of the 19th-century Fayetteville Arsenal, where weapons were made for the Confederate army during the Civil War.
The Fayetteville Observer reports the dig that began July 24th resumes Monday and continues through Friday. So far, they’ve found items such as a ceramic shard of a smoking pipe, melted glass, nails and screws, along with brick, mortar, sandstone and slate.
“Coming in, oh, I had dreams of buttons and bayonets and cannonballs,” said Neal Sexton, a freelance archaeologist, as he stood hip-deep in the foundation of what is believed to have been a carriage house. “But once I got here, and got boots ‘in-ground,’ so to speak, I started looking at this a lot less like a military site — although it was — and it’s more of an industrial site. It is. It just happened to mass produce munitions and etc.”
The North Carolina Civil War & Reconstruction History Center will be built at the site, which is now part of the Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex.
The U.S. government built the Arsenal in the mid-1800s by the United States government to make weapons for the American military. The Confederacy expanded the Arsenal when it took it over in 1861, and workers there manufactured rifles and other weapons.
In 1865, just a couple of months before the Civil War ended, Union Gen. William T. Sherman’s Army knocked down the Arsenal with battering rams then set it on fire, archaeological team members said.
Since then, people took building materials and relics from the site, limiting what will be found now, Sexton said.
Information from: The Fayetteville Observer, http://www.fayobserver.com