Recovered Civil War Era Bayonet, Fort Lee (FL2009.003)


On Thursday, October 22nd 2009, Fort Lee archaeologists were asked to report to the construction area off of Carver Avenue between Sisisky and 5th Avenues. After arriving at the site, the archaeologist recovered a heavily corroded bayonet which had been inadvertently excavated by heavy machinery. The area of discovery was an approximately ten foot deep excavated pit within the limits of construction. After the surrounding area was searched for additional cultural remains it was determined that the bayonet was an isolated find and construction should be allowed to continue.

Initial analysis of the bayonet suggests that it is a civil war era socket bayonet. Heavy concretions on the proximal end of the artifact limit further analysis at this point. The bayonet was compared to another bayonet currently part of the Fort Lee collection and was found to have an identical 18 inch long blade with a 3 inch long base. Based on this comparison the bayonet was probably a component of a .58 caliber rifle, used by both the Union and Confederate armies during the American Civil War.

This project contains a brief analysis of the recovered bayonet including historical reference to the object's context.

Cite this Record

Recovered Civil War Era Bayonet, Fort Lee (FL2009.003). ( tDAR id: 392519) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8FN17K8

Spatial Coverage

min long: -77.379; min lat: 37.206 ; max long: -77.298; max lat: 37.261 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Patty Conte

Repository(s): Fort Lee Regional Archaeological Curation Facility

Record Identifiers

RACF Accession Number (s): 2009.003

Accession Number(s): FL2009.003

Resource Inside this Project (Viewing 1-1 of 1)

  • Document (1)


  1. Recovered Civil War Era Bayonet - Electrolytic Conservation of Iron Artifacts (2009)
    DOCUMENT Full-Text Fort Lee Regional Archaeological Curation Facility.

    Due to the nature of the find, any contextual analysis of the artifact would be purely speculative. The bayonet was recovered from a deep excavation pit which contained several layers of artificial fill which had, over time, been added on top of the natural strata of the original ground surface. Without out knowing the exact positioning within the layers it can not be determined if the artifact was in its original place of deposition or it was brought in as part of the fill. The area of...