The Richmond Arsenal was the most productive in the Confederacy, and fabricated a wide variety of ammunition and explosives. In general, however, the Confederate ordnance facilities were never able to master the manufacture of metallic cartridges, which seriously hindered their war effort, while the lack of standardization and the wide variety of calibers (as witnessed in these pages) wasted a lot of manufacturing effort.
Surviving examples of Confederate small arms ammunition are extremely scarce, even though millions of rounds were manufactured. However, the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond has a fine collection of this material.
1 Bullet mold for a British made 557 caliber rifle
2 Richmond Arsenal 69 caliber buck and ball cartridges
3 A pack of .58 caliber cartridges, still neatly tied.
4 Augusta Arsenal 69 caliber round ball cartridges
5 Columbus Arsenal Enfield or Minié
Rifle cartridges, .557 or .58 caliber
6 Richmond Arsenal .58 caliber cartridges
7 Lynchburg Arsenal 69 caliber cartridges
8 Macon Arsenal .54 caliber cartridges
9 and 10 Two packets of Merrill's Carbine cartridges
11 British 577 caliber rifle-musket mold
12 Richmond Arsenal .44 caliber pistol cartridges
13 and 14 Two packets of .36 caliber pistol cartridges 15 and 16 Cannon friction primers
17 Cannon quill primer
18 Friction fuze
19 Richmond Arsenal friction primers
20 and 21 Richmond Arsenal five second fuzes
22 Individual three-second fuze
23 Selma Arsenal friction primers
1 101b (4 5kg) Parrott shell
2 3in (76mm) Mullane shell
3 3in (76mm) Reed-Broun shell
4 101b (4 5kg) Parrott shell
5 121b (5.4kg) British Britten shell (sabot portion is missing)
6 3in (76mm) Reed-Parrott shell
7 121b (5 4kg) British Whitworlh shell
8 1 in (25mm)Williams solid bolt projectile
9 12lb (5.4kg) British Whitworth solid bolt projectile
10 3in (76mm) Burton shell (sabot portion is missing)
As with small arms, there were great technological advances with artillery. Smoothbore pieces were becoming obsolete and shells and other projectiles had to be designed to be fired from rifled barrels. The Confederates were not isolated from such progress, but the U S. blockade and the shortage of resources in the South made it difficult to keep pace.
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