Burnside's Expedition and beyond
Charles McDonald discovered a rare Confederate Archer bolt on the South Mills battlefield back on February 18th. Archer bolts were early Civil War ordinance. Production was discontinued in 1862. (The battle was fought on 19 April 1862.)
The bolt had to have been fired from the rifled 6-pounder cannon placed in the county road at the mouth of Sawyer's Lane, near where Nosay Road bears off to the right of NC 343. An elevation of 3 degrees with a 1.25 pound powder charge would have propelled the missile to its resting place. William Hoffman of the 51st Pennsylvania Volunteers was killed in that vicinity by a piece of shrapnel, probably fired by that same gun. It was the Confederates' only rifled piece involved in the battle.