The most important industrial establishments still functioning during the siege may well have been the Confederate lead works, situated near the head of Halifax Street and Butterworth's bridge. The lead works were established before the Petersburg campaign by General Gorgas, when he was head of the Ordnance Bureau, and were later turned over to the Niter and Mining Bureau. The plant was described as well constructed and as capable of smelting many thousands of pounds of lead a day. Copper and zinc also were smelted at Petersburg. After Grant began his extentions south of Petersburg, the smoke stack of the lead works provided Union intelligence with a convienient point of reference.
There is a story of the lead works which tells of a call for lead so urgent there was no time to continue the separation of lead and silver; those who filled the order did so wondering how many Union soldiers would be shot with silver bullets.
The photo of the bullet above is not believed to contain any silver as it has been described as a Union bullet. It must have a story to tell however as it was found near a creek bed at one of the battle sites. The hole was already in the piece when found and may well have been worn by either a Union or Confederate soldier.