Union Rifles

Although the rifle-musket was the primary shoulder weapon of the Union soldier, substantial numbers of rifles, both muzzle- and breech-loading, were issued to troops in the field. Of primary significance in firearms development were the magazine-fed Spencer (7) and Henry (8). There was a frenzy of invention in the North, spurred on by the war and lucrative government contracts, but only a few of the newly invented and patented guns ever saw as much service as the single-shot Springfield.

The Spencer .56 caliber rifle was tested and adopted by the Union Army soon after the war started but little was done until the enterprising designer demonstrated the weapon to President Lincoln, who was so impressed that within twelve months a whole division had been re-equipped with the weapon. The secret of the weapon lay in the removable, tubular, seven-round magazine, which was housed in the butt.

A different approach was adopted in the Henry rifle, which was probably the most advanced weapon used in the war, and was the predecessor of the celebrated Winchester lever-action weapons. The Henry (8) had a brass frame and was fitted with a sixteen-round, tubular magazine under the barrel, which was operated by a lever. The weapon was bought in some numbers, particularly for volunteer and state troops, special enthusiasm for the

Civil Rifle

A't'lacts courtesy of The Civil Wat Library ana Museum. Philadelphia, Pa 2 G. 6 7. B J. Craig Hannos Collection Philadelphia Pa I. J, J

Sharps Rifle Model 1859

Rifleman's waist belt and saber bayonet. Model 1855

US Army Springfield Model 1841 rifle

Waist belt for a US enlisted man

Cartridge box for a rifle-musket

Sharps "New Model" 1859 rifle

Colt Model 1855 rifle

Spencer rifle introduced in 1863

Henry rifle

Greene rifle weapon being shown by the State of 1

Kansas.

The Sharps New Model 1859 rifle 2

in .52 caliber (5) had great stopping 3

power and was also very accurate. It 4

thus became a favorite weapon of 5

Colonel Hiram Berdan and his 6

celebrated unit, which became 7

known as the "Sharpshooters" from 8

their choice of weapon. 9

Rifleman's waist belt and saber bayonet. Model 1855

US Army Springfield Model 1841 rifle

Waist belt for a US enlisted man

Cartridge box for a rifle-musket

Sharps "New Model" 1859 rifle

Colt Model 1855 rifle

Spencer rifle introduced in 1863

Henry rifle

Greene rifle

Springfield Rifle 1863

Union Longarms and Accouterments

Probably the three most widely used arms of the war were the U.S. Army's Springfield Model 1842 musket (4) and Model 1861 rifle-musket (10), and the British Enfield Pattern 1853 (13) which was imported from England in large numbers. Despite the availability of these relatively modern weapons, such antiques as the Model 1816 (1) were still in use.

1 U.S. Model 1816 smoothbore musket alteration with bayonet in place

2 Scabbard for bayonet item 1

3 Cap box and waist belt

4 U.S Model 1842 smoothbore musket

5 Socket bayonet for item 4

6 Cap box, waist belt, and bayonet scabbard

7 U.S. Model 1855 muzzle-loading rifle-musket

8 Socket bayonet for item 7

9 Rifle-musket cartridge box with shoulder belt

10 U.S Model 1861 muzzle-loading rifle-musket

Cartridge Box Pattern 1859

19 20 21

19 20 21

11 Cap box

12 Socket bayonet and scabbard for item 10

13 British Enfield Pattern 1853 muzzle-loading rifle-musket

14 Tompion, plug for top of barrel for item 13

15 Socket-type bayonet, scabbard, and frog lor use with item 13

16 Gun tools for use with rifle-muskets

17 Justice muzzle-loading rifle-musket

18 Ramrod for item 17

19 Non-commissioned officer's waist belt

20 Militia uniform waist belt with plate

21 .58 caliber paper cartridges

Spencer Repeating Carbine Cal

Aril/acts courtesy ot 7he Cetil Wrn library

ana Museum. XMMMtt». Pa I. ! 4. 5. 7. 10. 13, 14. 16- IB. it J Craig Hannos Colleclron 3.

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