American Civil War Weaponary
By Joshua and Da'Quavious
1861 percussion rifle-musket
This was the standard rifle-musket of the war. It was originally made by the Springfield Armory, but due to the need for more firearms, the U.S. government contracted it with twenty private contractors.
Both sides imported large quantities of European firearms to assist them in arming their troops. The most widely used was the British Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle-musket because it was accurate and well made an important factor for both sides was that the .58 caliber bullet used by both Union and Confederate forces was interchangeable with the .577 Enfield its overall length totaled 55 1/4 inches and weighed about 9 pounds.
The Henry rifle was the immediate forerunner of the famous Winchester rifles. About 14,000 Henry’s were made between 1860 and 1866 by the New Haven Arms Company. The Henry rifle was developed from the Volcanic firearms system and was built around the .44 rimfire cartridge. Both the new rifle and the cartridge were designed by B. Tyler Henry. A basic feature of the .44 rimfire cartridge was the use of a metallic casing, rather than the undependable, self-contained powder, ball, and primer of the Volcanic bullet. Loading continued to be from the muzzle end of the magazine.
Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver
It was a six-shot, .44 caliber revolver and the primary handgun used by Union troops during the Civil War because of its reliability.
Confederate Bowie Knife
They were used by United States troops during the Mexican War and on the frontier during the disturbances in Kansas and Missouri in the 1850s. They were also popular with troopers during the Civil War, especially with Confederates, whose arms generally were inferior to the Yankees.
This percussion revolver was designed by Dr. Jean Alexandre Francois LeMat, of New Orleans. LeMat was assisted in this enterprise by P. G. T. Beauregard, one of the Confederacy’s well known generals.