Fayetteville Arsenal
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member showbizkid
N 35° 03.279 W 078° 53.674
17S E 692011 N 3881130
Site of the Confederate Arsenal in Fayetteville.
Waymark Code: WMEAY
Location: North Carolina, United States
Date Posted: 06/06/2006
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member webscouter.
Views: 130

The U.S, Arsenal at Fayetteville was constructed between 1838 and 1853, but the facility lacked equipment until 1857. Before the federal government could utilize it, the Civil War began, North Carolina seceded and local militiamen occupied it. In June 1861, the state transferred control to the confederacy. Workers converted 36,000 flintlock muskets to percussion cap weapons and installed machinery captured at Harpers Ferry, in present-day West Virginia. The arsenal produced about 10,000 rifles and assembled a few pistol carbines. Its greatest contribution to the Confederate war effort, however, was the more than 900,000 rounds of small arms ammunition, signal rockets, and friction primers assembled by women workers.

On March 11, 1865, Union General William T. Sherman and his army marched into Fayetteville, and Sherman made the arsenal his headquarters while he reported to Washington on the progress of the Carolinas Campaign. Believing that "The United States should never again confide such valuable property to a people who have betrayed a trust," Sherman ordered his chief engineer, Col. Orlando M. Poe, to "batter the arsenal building into piles of rubble and then burn and blow up the ruins." Poe assigned the duty to the 1st Michigan Engineers and Mechanics.

The engineers began their task on March 12, first attacking the machinery with sledgehammers and axes to render it into scrap. Poe wrote that "the clang of hammers & axes wielded by more than a thousand men, is almost enough to drive one crazy." Then the engineers battered down the arsenal's brick wall using railroad irons suspended from wooden tripods with chains. Finally, on March 14, the piles of rubble and lumber were set ablaze as Sherman moved his headquarters across the Cape Fear River. The arsenal grounds stood vacant until 1873 when the government auctioned the land.

The posted coordinates are at the interpretive signage for the North Carolina Civil War Trails project. You may also start your visit at the Museum of the Cape Fear at 801 Arsenal Street. There is a pedestrian bridge to the remains located behind the museum building.

To record your own visit to this waymark, take your own photo or photos of the arsenal grounds or displays and post with your log. Your photo or photos are proof of your visit and must accompany your log.

The North Carolina Civil War Trails interpretive signage at the posted coordinates:

Remains of foundation walls at Arsenal Park:

The display at the Museum of the Cape Fear:

Type of site: Other Military Site

801 Arsenal Ave.
Fayetteville, NC United States

Phone Number: (910) 486-1330

Admission Charged: No Charge

Website: [Web Link]

Driving Directions:
If you are able to visit, the Museum of the Cape Fear at 801 Arsenal Avenue has a nice display on the Arsenal and admission is free. From the museum, you can take a pedestrian bridge over the freeway to a park where the remains of the Arsenal have been preserved. Otherwise, take Hay Street west from downtown Fayetteville, cross the 87 Freeway and let your GPS point you in the right direction.

Visit Instructions:
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