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 Posted: Sun Mar 27th, 2011 05:26 pm
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BHR62
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I've been reading Grant's Memoirs and just wrapped up the part on Vicksburg falling.  Page 384 he talks about how the western Yank armies were armed with converted flint lock muskets.  That the Rebs had the newest,  best rifles and upon the surrender of Vicksburg the Yanks swapped their rifles with captured Reb rifles.  My question is when did the Springfield 1861 become the sole rifle of the Union infantry?



 Posted: Sun Mar 27th, 2011 11:50 pm
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Mark
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Short answer: it depended on the unit, the theater and the connections of the commanders. Very generally the Army of the Potomac got the better weapons, and by late 1862 the vast majority of the AOP's units were armed with first rate rifles. However, even in that army some continued to use smoothbore muskets or second rate rifles throughout the war. In the west by mid to late 1863 most units were using first rate rifles. In both theaters, a tiny fraction received repeating weapons and breach-loaders, but these did not make any tactical difference until mid-1863. Of course, take these general statements with a grain of salt, it depended on a lot of factors. Hope that helps.

Mark



 Posted: Tue Mar 29th, 2011 04:43 pm
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9Bama
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Quick answer is that it still hasn't..
The military uses a variety of rifles depending on the need... in the ACW, the variety was dependent on availibility and need.



 Posted: Tue Mar 29th, 2011 04:44 pm
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9Bama
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Quick answer is that it still hasn't..
The military uses a variety of rifles depending on the need... in the ACW, the variety was dependent on availibility and need.



 Posted: Tue Apr 5th, 2011 05:26 am
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Hellcat
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According to the Library of Congress Civil War Desk Reference the most commonly used muskets and rifles in the Federal Army were:



 
American Made

U.S. Rifle, Model 1841 - .54 caliber muzzle-loading percussion rifle, populary known as "Mississippi" or "Jaeger" rifle; 25,296 manufactured at Harpers Ferry between 1841 and 1855; 68,000 by private contractors; many rerifled to .58 caliber and equipped with bayonets between 1855 and 1862.

U.S. Rifle-Musket, Model 1855 - .58 caliber muzzle-loading rifle; 47,115 manufactured at Springfield, 1857-1861; 12,158 manufactured at harpers Ferry, 1859-1861.

US Rifle-Musket, Model 1861 ("1861 Springfield") - .58 caliber muzzle-loading percussion rifle; 265,129 manufactured at Springfield, 1861-1863; 643,439 delivered by private contractors, 1861-1865. A variation, the "Special Model 1861," designed by Samuel Colt, was a hybrid of Enfield and Springfield patterns.

U.S. Rifle-Musket, Models 1863 and 1864 -
.58 caliber muzzle-loading percussion rifle; 255,040 of these models produced at Springfield, 1863-1865.


British Made

Muskets, Patterns 1839 and 1842 - .753 caliber, muzzle-loading smoothbore; 4,000 imported by Charles Bulkley for sale to U.S. Government; unknown quantities purchased by the U.S. and Confederate governments.

Rifled Musket, Pattern 1853 - .577 caliber; manufactured by Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield, England, and by Belgian and British contractors; nearly 16,000 manufactured by Robbins & Lawrence, Windsor, Vermont; issued to U.S. troops during the Civil War.

Enfield Sergeants Rifle and Naval Rifle, Patterns 1856, 1858, and 1860 - .577 caliber, used same ammunition as rifle-musket; manufactured by private gun makers in London; approximately 8,000 imported during the Civil War.

Enfield Volunteer Rifle - .577 caliber; similar to rifle-musket.



Other European Made

Converted Infantry Musket, Models 1798, 1807, and 1828 (Austrian) - .71 caliber, muzzle-loading smoothbores converted to percussion.

Lorenz Rifle Musket, Model 1854 (Austrian) - . 54 caliber muzzle-loading percussion rifle.

Prussian Rifle Musket, Model 1839/55 - .69 caliber

Prussian Jaeger Short Rifle, Model 1835/47 - .58 caliber, muzzle-loading percussion rifle.

Converted Infantry Musket, Model 1822 (French) - .69 and .71 caliber muzzle-loading smoothbores converted to percussion.

Infantry Musket, Models 1842, 1853, and 1857 (French) - .70 and .71 caliber, muzzle-loading smoothbores converted to percussion.

Short rifle (Carabine) Model 1842; Short Rifle (Carabine a tige) Models 1846 and 1853; Short rifle (Carabine de Vincemmes) Model 1859 (French) - .69 and .70 caliber muzzle-loading percussion rifles.

 
Now Philip Katcher in The Complete Civil War states that between January 1, 1861 and June 30, 1866 the US Army purchased 670,617 rifled muskets. It should be noted that not all were Model 1861s as the paragraph in which he gives this purchase figure he discusses the Model 1861 and 1863s being produced in the Springfield Armory and at 22 private contractors all to the same exact specification. On the Enfield he says the US Army purchased some 428,292 over the course of the war. Furthermore, the Pattern 1856 rifles purchased by the U.S. Army are supposed to have been just slightly higher than listed above according to Katcher, thirty-four rifles higher. On purchases from other nations he lists the following numbers (though not models) from January 1, 1861 to June 30, 1866:
  • Austiran made rifles: 226,294
  • Belgian made rifles: 57,467
  • Prussian made rifles: 59,918
  • French made rifles: 14,250
  • Itailian made rifles: 5,995
Now Katcher does provide this look into a possible makeup for regiments in terms of rifles. Discussing that men in the same regiment could be widely equipped with a variety of weapons he discusses how in 1862 one particular Illinois regiment (the regiment isn't listed) had 96 .58 Model 1855 or 1861 rifled muskets, four .577 Pattern 1853 rifled muskets, 143 .69 Model 1842 muskets which had then been rifled (as he specifies that they had been rifled I'm assuming it was a conversion from smoothbore), 72 Belgian made .69 rifled muskets, 22 .58 Austrian made rifles, and eleven .54 Austrian made rifles. All this in the last quarter of the year. In another instance Company B of the 72 Pa Volunteers were recorded as having the following on March 31, 1863:
  • 20 Springfields (unknown model year)
  • 17 Enfields (unknown model year)
  • 4 Belgian made rifles (unknown caliber)
  • 1 .58 Austrian made rifle (unknown model year)
 

Last edited on Tue Apr 5th, 2011 05:27 am by Hellcat



 Posted: Sat Apr 9th, 2011 07:31 pm
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BHR62
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Hellcat....you definitely got a lot of info there. I'm wanting to find out about what rifle the 42nd Indiana carried during the war. Is there a website with this information? I'm assuming they were issued 1861 Springfields. But I know some Union regiments carried the Enfield also. Is there a easy way of finding this out about what individual regiments carried into battle?



 Posted: Sun Apr 10th, 2011 12:19 am
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BHR62, I found a picture that is supposed to be of PVT Henry Hunter of Co G, 42nd IN. While I can't verify the picture is actually him or when the picture was taken, the soldier appears to be holding an imported Austrian model 1842 tubelock musket. The unit probably ditched these as soon as they could, but who knows when that might have been. It would take come digging in the records to find it. I hope that helps though.

http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~indiana42nd/HENRY_T_HUNTER_BIO.htm



 Posted: Sun Apr 10th, 2011 12:20 am
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Sorry, don't know. I know of several websites that might lead to websites with that kinda of info, but I got that out of a couple of books. Both of which I italicized. There may be somewhere to find this kind of info out, obviously Philip Katcher was able to get ahold of some for his book. 



 Posted: Sun Apr 10th, 2011 03:53 am
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Ok, just got something interesting here for you. It's from The History of the Forty-Second Indiana by Captain S.F. Horrall (http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~indiana42nd/Horrall.PDF). Now I did a simple word search in the PDF for rifle and it came up with a single hit from page 165  (180 of the PDF), which is the start of the 19th chapter.


 
     WHEN the road leading from Louisville to Nashville was reached again, we went into camp for a general overhauling and reorganization of our division. The absence, from wounds, of General Lytle made it necessary for the selection of another commander for our brigade, which upon its reorganization consisted of four regiments, viz.,:





      The Forty-second Indiana, Fifteenth Kentucky, Third Ohio, and Eighty-eighth Indiana. Col. James G. Jones being senior colonel, he succeeded to the command, and at once drew on the Forty-second for two staff officers, namely Capt. James L. Orr for Brigade Quartermaster, and the writer of this for Ordinance officer and Inspector, both of whom entered upon the discharge of their duties at once. Major-General Lovell H. Rosseau remained in command of the division. All the commands, comparatively speaking were re-equipped. There were no companies, perhaps, in the brigade whose guns were all the same caliber; for those who had the old 69-calibre muskets at the start, altered from flint-locks to percussions, had when opportunity offered exchanged them for Engfield rifles, or for new muskets of 58-calibre, so it made it very difficult to supply them with ammunition! It was highly necessary, therefore, for uniformity of calibre to be obtained in every regiment.







 





The Chapter heading mentions that the Battle of Stones River is to be a part of the battle and these are the first two paragraphs of the chapter. So we do know the brigade had been carrying different caliber rifles/muskets and at this time they were trying to conform to a uniform caliber weapons throughout the brigade.





The thing that gets me is the Engfield rifles. Was this a mistake in the original writing or did the compilers of the PDF make a mistake and it's supposed to be Enfield rifles. If so, was there a .58 caliber Enfield that wasn't among the most commonly used in the Federal army? Or was there a rifle called an Engfield rifle and it was a .58 caliber weapon. Cause I really don't know how similar a .58 and a .577 caliber bullet is but I'd thing one is slightly larger than the other and might be more prone to jam in the smaller caliber gun.





Edit: Ok, doing some more research. The Experiences of a Private Soldier of the Civil War, by George Morgan  Kirkpatrick  (http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~indiana42nd/Experiences.PDF) has five hits on a search for rifle. Page 17 (19 of the PDF) states that the brigade had a jumble of calibers and that they changed to ENDFIELD rifles or .58 caliber muskets for uniformity. I stress Enffield because I get the feeling now that Engfield may have been a mistake of the folks doing the previous work rather than those transcribing it to PDF. I have to assume both meant Enfield. The next three hits are meaningless, two are about rifle pits and one about Mr. Kirkpatrick getting hit by a shot from a Whitworth rifle on August 11, 1864 (side note, Kirkpatrick was by that time a sharpshooter) while on picket duty. The fifth hit though is from a letter to his sister dated July 29, 1864 and falls on page 50 (52 of the PDF). Here he states he'd fired two thousand shots from his Springfield Rifle. So by the summer of 1864 some men of the 42nd were carrying Springfelds.




A change of search to musket brings up 8 hits. The first on page 4 (6 of the PDF) states that the 42nd Indiana drew flintlocks that had been used in 18124 and 1813 (the previous page states that they had enlisted on October 8th for three years or the duration of the war and drew ten days ration for the march to Chatanooga; 42nd roster page reveals he was mustered in October 9, 1861). Company A replaced these with 80 Halls breech-loaders. The next two hits are meaningless here, the four returns us to the Endfild rifles or .58 caliber muskets mentioned above. Hits fifth and sixth are meaningless. Hit seven is in reference to what appears to be a reunion around 1924 in which survivors were drilled with flintlocks (page 55, 57 of the PDF). Hit eight is meaningless. Meaningless meaning no reference to the type of rifle or musket being used by the men of the regiment.



http://www.42ndindiana.com/

Last edited on Sun Apr 10th, 2011 04:40 am by Hellcat



 Posted: Sun Apr 10th, 2011 01:22 pm
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BHR62
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Thank you guys for the information. It's very appreciated! The online book on the 42nd looks pretty cool. I also found another one online that I believe was published in 1892 on the 42nd. So I saved the sites to my favorites....I have plenty of reading material now!



 Posted: Wed Jul 27th, 2011 08:43 pm
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Rabbit6
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What was the name of the one you found online...just curious. I'm always looking for new reading material.



 Posted: Thu Jul 28th, 2011 04:21 am
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BHR might mean this one, Rabbit, http://freepages.history.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~indiana42nd/Horrall.PDF. It's in the Letters, Diaries, and Misc. Information section of the 42 Indiana link I posted in my last post.



 Posted: Thu Sep 29th, 2011 09:32 am
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BHR62
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Yesterday I sold my extra car. Didn't advertise or anything....a friend of ours just offered me $6,000. So after a little deal making I sold it and then....went online and ordered a 1861 Springfield Rifle.

According to my ancestor of the 42nd Indiana records there was a charge of 25 cents in 1864 for a new Springfield Rifle sling. So it will be cool to know that is the rifle he carried into battle.



 Posted: Thu Sep 29th, 2011 09:39 am
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Hellcat
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So maybe $13.25 for musket and sling then.  According to what William Price said in The Civil War Handbook, the average cost of a musket in the 1860s was $13 (He compared this to an M1 Garand from WWII which he said was $105). Talk about how things have changed, though it does put into perspective the buying power of the dollar then and now

Last edited on Thu Sep 29th, 2011 09:40 am by Hellcat



 Posted: Thu Sep 29th, 2011 11:18 pm
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Mark
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I like to think of it as a month's pay for a Private!

Mark



 Posted: Fri Sep 30th, 2011 01:47 am
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Hellcat
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True. Though I like to think of how the times have changed. Seems like you could say a dollar then was worth a hundred today. Or more.



 Posted: Tue Oct 23rd, 2012 07:49 pm
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Darryl
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If you are in Indiana, find a library that has a history of "Indiana in the Civil War" series of books. Most states had their CW histories written. Many times it will give the unit mustering date and its equipage and where it was equipped. The Enfield 58 bullet is .577 the Springfield 58 is .575. The Enfield type was preferred as it would take both types of 58 cal bullets.. My replica Enfield is 575, not like the originals. The Union bought 400k Enfield type weapons.



 Posted: Sun Sep 1st, 2013 05:29 am
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I do know that by 1863 the Springfield 1861 musket was being used by both sides followed by the Enfields.



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