Going Ballistic: A Firearms Analysis of Florida’s Natural Bridge

Author(s): Janene W Johnston

Year: 2018


The Civil War Battle of Natural Bridge was fought within miles of Tallahassee, Florida, in March of 1865. In 2015 archaeologists and volunteers conducted a metal detecting survey on the battlefield, which is now a state park. Utilizing a modified catch-and-release strategy allowed for just the analysis of battle related artifacts, the vast majority of which were munitions related to both small arms and artillery combat. Due to the amount of Minié Balls recovered, firearm identification was performed and, while the condition of the lead bullets did not allow for an in-depth analysis, characteristics such as caliber, bullet type, rifling patterns, impact features, and modifications were noted when possible. This investigation, when combined with the detailed analysis of the artillery related artifacts, yielded several interesting conclusions about the battle regarding troop placement, equipment and gun types, the environment, and quality control issues. 

Cite this Record

Going Ballistic: A Firearms Analysis of Florida’s Natural Bridge. Janene W Johnston. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, New Orleans, Louisiana. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441704)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 1088