Recovered:  Selma Arsenal CSA Lube Grooved Bullet

Recovered: Selma Arsenal CSA Lube Grooved Bullet

Confederate items are all the rage this week ūüôā so it was fitting that I happened to dig a pile of Enfields over the weekend. ¬†Now technically, the Enfield, or more accurately, the Enfield-Pritchetts, were used by both sides, but the ones I dig are usually in sites that pretty much scream “CSA”.

The bullet pictured above is a fairly uncommon find.   The Model 1853 Enfield rifles were imported from England in mass quantities by the Confederacy..  To avoid being completely dependent on England to supply the .577 caliber  ammunition, this bullet was manufactured in Alabama at the Selma arsenal located in Dallas County, an arsenal that was second only to the Richmond Arsenal in Virginia for the amount of materials manufactured and supplied for the war effort of the South.

The basic design of the bullet is the same as the English version, but with three rings similar to the rings on most of the common Federal bullets, to hold lubrication.   This allowed a simpler, faster manufacturing process, and allowed the bullet to be loaded into the barrel of the gun without the paper.

I found mine in Columbia, Tennessee – a very satisfying, super deep bullet located with the Fisher F75 at well over 10¬†inches in the ground right on the Duck River where both armies crossed, skirmished and encamped. ¬† These are late war bullets, so you can bet it is extremely likely that this bullet was left behind by General Hood’s army right before the battles of Spring Hill, Thompson Station and Nashville, on November 24-29, 1864. ¬†It is extremely satisfying to research and build that level of provenance on a dug item, isolating it to an army or unit, a battle, skirmish or camp, and/or a date range. ¬†Special thanks to those out there that assisted me with manufacture dates and supply dates out in the field – the type of hardcore, tough information that only the hardest of hardcore relic hunters that immerse themselves in history take the time to gather.

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Johnny Pryor

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