What Weapons Were Used During the Colonial Days of North Carolina?

Weapons used during the colonial days of North Carolina were knives, bayonets, tomahawks, cannons, flintlock muskets, rifles and pistols. These are the same weapons used by most American colonists during the Revolutionary War.

Most firearms during this period were single-shot muzzle loading flintlocks. Rifles had greater accuracy but were slower to load. Muskets were quick to load but had little accuracy. Pistols were only effective at close range. During the colonial period, British troops in North Carolina commonly used the Brown Bess musket, and the colonists and natives more often used rifles or long rifles.

Colonists and natives were more familiar with knives and tomahawks for close quarter combat. Soldiers carried bayonets, long knives designed to attach to the barrel of a musket transforming it into a spear. Swords were used by British and colonial officers, and sabers were used by British and colonial cavalry. Native warriors used spears and tomahawks rather than swords or sabers.

Cannons and howitzers were used by both English and colonial armies, but rarely, if ever, used by natives. There were archers among the earliest European settlers of North Carolina, as well as natives using the bow and arrow, but by the later colonial period, most settlers used muskets or rifles instead.