“Civil War Firearms: The Guns of North & South” Full Documentary

Epic thanks to “War and Peace: American Civil War” for sponsoring this video!

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This is our documentary on the development and use of firearms by both the Northern and Southern Armies during the American Civil War —

When the guns fired on Fort Sumter in April 1861, the Union government had about five hundred thousand shoulder arms held in arsenals in Northern states. About eighty percent of these were .69-caliber smoothbores.

The Southern states possessed only about a third as many long guns – many seized from federal arsenals.

Both sides could raise more troops than they could quickly arm, and there was a massive effort to build or buy as many guns as possible. Eventually millions more muskets, rifles, carbines, and revolvers would be delivered to Union and Confederate soldiers between 1861 and 1865.

The Civil War would lead to dramatic advancements in the technical progress and historical record of the American firearm — and would lead to the dawn of modern warfare.

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Some other videos you might like on our Channel:

”Civil War Uniforms of Blue & Grey – The Evolution” Volume 1: https://youtu.be/n8MAlu2NEps

”Gettysburg: Darkest Days & Finest Hours” Complete Civil War Docu-Drama: https://youtu.be/xaNGbe0ymkU

400 Evolution of the United States Army Uniform: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3Q6RyDFAJI&t=21s

Civil War – 1862 U.S. Army Musket Drill HD: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvFMzZ-mczE

Civil War 1863 – Gettysburg July 1st – The Opening Attacks:
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Civil War 1863 – Gettysburg’s Picketts Charge:
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This video is sponsored by war and peace American civil war an intense new Multiplayer mobile real-time strategy Game Welcome to the year 1861 The game is free to download and play And right now you can click on the link In the description to fight the civil War On your very own smartphone [Music] When the guns fired on fort sumter in April 1861 The federal government had about 500 000 Shoulder arms Held in arsenal’s in northern states About 80 percent of these were 69 Caliber smooth bores The southern states possessed only about A third as many long guns Many seized from federal arsenals and Again Most were smooth bore muskets These included old model 1816 and 1822 Springfield flintlock muskets some of Which have been converted to the Percussion system And some not as well as Model 1842 muskets which were Manufactured as percussion guns from the Start Both sides could raise more troops and They could quickly arm And there was a massive effort to build

Or buy As many guns as possible eventually Millions more muskets rifles carbines And revolvers would be delivered to Union and confederate soldiers The civil war would lead to dramatic Advancements In the gun and the evolution Of the firearm War and peace american civil war is a Hyper realistic Multiplayer mobile game where you can Command the union army under abraham Lincoln or Join the confederacy with jefferson Davis and this time Your game play will decide who wins the Civil war North or south use your knowledge of American history to pick your choice of Multiple commanders based on famous Civil war personalities Each having individual skills and Bonuses This game includes insanely detailed and Authentic civil war weapons and Artillery Along with civil war battle maps based On historical battles With team play you can join other war And peace american civil war players Worldwide in an exciting Balance of strategy and real-time Virtual combat

You can also chat in real time and set Up diplomatic ties with other alliances Download the game using the link in the Description for hours of exciting Tactical civil war gameplay start base Building Develop war tactics and take command by Playing War and peace american civil war In 1776 an arsenal Was established in springfield Massachusetts In 1794 it became the first National armory and in 1795 It produced the first truly american Musket During the war thousands of 1766 Charlevilles Had been delivered to the colonies by Their french allies And the gun was well regarded by American soldiers It served as the inspiration for the 1795 U.s army musket which would be used During The war of 1812. [Music] The model 1795 Is considered the first american-made Shoulder arm for the u.s army This particular example is a copy of the 1795 made in springfield massachusetts But along with the arsenal in

Massachusetts There was an arsenal in harpers ferry Virginia That produced a copy of the 1795. This musket is Almost an exact copy of the model 1777 Charleville musket given to us by the French government To support our revolution it works Like any flint lock it uses a simple Piece of flint in the lock mechanism That strikes against this steel Face of frison or a hammer as they Called it during the 18th century This is actually the [ __ ] and this is The hammer When you [ __ ] it full [ __ ] And press the trigger A shower of sparks goes into the pan Igniting Uh about a teaspoon’s worth of gunpowder In the pan That in turn goes into a tiny hole In the base of the barrel called a touch Hole Igniting the main charge and firing the Weapon A good soldier was supposed to be able To fire Three shots a minute the model 1795 Musket is the musket that we fought the War of 1812 with This musket was replaced by a A model of 1816

Which had only a couple improvements Namely the Pan rather than iron it was made of Brass And less susceptible to powder fouling And corrosion In 1799 construction began On the second national armory at harpers Ferry In the western part of virginia that Would eventually split off to become West virginia By 1810 over 10 000 Muskets rifles and pistols were produced Each year A notable model musket produced at both The harpers ferry and springfield Armories was the model 1816 Flintlock musket the model 1816 Was an improvement on the model 1812 Which had borrowed its design from the French charleville 1777 the 69 caliber barrel Was 42 inches long like the 1812 But the model 1816 had a longer lock Plate A shorter trigger guard and a longer Bayonet In total the musket was 58 inches long Further improvements were made in 1822 1835 1840 and 1842 Almost 700 000 model 1816 muskets Were manufactured at harpers ferry and

Springfield between 1816 And 1844 more than any other u.s Flintlock musket These were the muskets used to defend The alamo in san antonio texas In 1836 and by the us army In the mexican american war [Music] A major innovation occurred in 1839 That would solve one of the greatest Problems plaguing flintlock guns Which was they didn’t work well In wet weather if the powder became wet While it was added to the priming pan The primer charge wouldn’t ignite And therefore neither would the Gunpowder that would fire the bullet Patented in 1822 the percussion cap Was a small copper cap containing Mercury of fulminate The cap could be attached to a nipple And tube leading into the barrel of the Gun When the trigger was pulled the gun’s Hammer would strike the cap Sending a flame through the nipple and Tube into the barrel Igniting the gunpowder and firing the Bullet After the development of the percussion Cap many flintlock muskets were Converted to the percussion system This was a relatively simple conversion As most hardware for the percussion

System Is exactly the same as the flintlock The first standard us rifle to use the Percussion system Was the m1841 mississippi rifle [Music] This is a model 1841 U.s rifle nicknamed the mississippi Not because it was made in mississippi But because A regiment of mississippi volunteers Commanded by a man named jefferson davis Who was later to become the president of The confederate states of america Commanded regiment of mississippi Volunteers Armed with the model 1841 rifle In the battle of buena vista during the Mexican-american war The battle of buena vista was fought in February of 1847 and the Mississippi volunteers were instrumental In winning that battle for the americans They Checked a an assault by mexican forces This weapon is 54 caliber And it’s extremely unique because it is The very first Shoulder arm in the us arsenal with a Percussion system The percussion system is really quite Simple it has a cone Or a nipple as it’s called and a small

Percussion cap would be fitted to that The cap was full of Fulminating mixture called mercury Fulminate When you [ __ ] back the hammer depress The trigger The hammer strikes the cap sending a hot Jet of flame through this bolster Into a hole in the barrel igniting the Main charge It’s really loaded very much like any Muzzle loader the main cartridge Would be poured down the muzzle here and Rammed home With the ram rod because this weapon has A great deal of brass furniture was Considered very attractive weapon for Its time It’s got the brass muzzle strap up here Brass band brass trigger guard patch box And butt plate the first regulation Smoothbore musket With a percussion lock was the 1842 Springfield musket Produced at both springfield and harpers Ferry The 1842 model was a further development Of the 1816 model [Music] The original smoothbore 1842 model and a Modified rifled version Were used extensively in the civil war The next major development in firearms Was not the gun

But the bullet the mini ball Was developed by french army officer Claude etienne migney The miniball was a muzzle loading spin Stabilizing bullet For rifled barrels with a cone-like Shape Similar to the modern idea of a bullet It was made of soft lead And had a hollowed vase Rather than the traditional bullet for a Rifle which had to fit tightly into the Barrel The mini ball was slightly smaller than The hollow of the rifle’s barrel When the gun was fired the hollow base Of the ball would expand Catching the grooves of the rifled Barrel and taking full advantage Of the increased speed and accuracy That the spin provided because the Miniball was slightly smaller It was much easier to ram home than Traditional bullets in a rifle The loading drill taught not only the Steps in loading the musket But for the officers established a Standard rate of fire For his men and his company the drill Would begin with The order The musket brought to the center of the Feet in a snug but convenient location To handle the rammer and to place eyes

On the muzzle And to his cartridge box which held the 40 hand rolled paper rounds A cartridge between the thumb and Pointer finger place the cartridge to The mouth Using teeth to open the powder end of The cartridge Pull it to the front of the muscle Dumping the gunpowder down the barrel Then squeezing the bullet Into the muzzle Draw rammer Placing the tulip or head of the rammer Upon the point of the bullet Ram cartridge Return rammer In battle many nervous soldiers would Forget this And would shoot their rammers at the Rebels The musket is now eased in front of the Soldier Muzzle down range at the height of the Eye Shoulder arms In battle every man was supposed to Finish the loading process In 15 to 20 seconds By the book every man could shoot three Rounds per minute Each company of 90 muskets could fire 270 rounds Every regiment of 10 companies could

Fire 2 700 Rounds per minute By the middle war period the average Strength of a regiment in the army of The potomac Was 400 men Firing three rounds per minute a veteran Regiment could easily expend 12 000 rounds in a 10 minute fire fight The mini ball would first be used Extensively in europe In the crimean war it would prove deadly There And again in the american civil war While these developments were being made In muskets rifles and bullets Major innovations were taking place with Handguns as well And the greatest innovator of american Handguns Was samuel colt As the slogan said god created man Sam colt made them equal Colt’s first patent was the 1836 Patterson revolver it was an Innovation in firearms design and Technology Now that’s not to say it was the first Firearm that had a revolving cylinder on It or the idea of a revolving cylinder There had been many before the collier The List of names that you don’t recognize Goes on and on

Only to be found in the dusty records of The patent office The reason why cult is today a household Word Is because colt’s design was the first Practical revolver It was the first one that actually Worked now colt Produced a number of different models of Of this gun At patterson new jersey the plant that He He worked from over patterson falls And his guns came in three different Frame Sizes from 28 caliber up to 36 caliber most of them uh were five Shot not the common or more traditional Six shot that we know of today Colt took them down to florida uh there They were used during the seminole war Of 1838 a number of individuals That fought with the u.s army in florida Were exposed not only to colonel colt Himself But to his his new firearm invention Guys like samuel hamilton walker of uh Of maryland took patterson revolvers With him When he left florida and went west and Became a Texas ranger with jack coffey hayes and Uh The list of of greater you know texas

Rangers from the 1840s before when texas Was a republic But unfortunately it never found favor With the u.s military at the time Because ordinance officers were afraid That if a soldier Had the ability to discharge his weapon Rapidly he would do so indiscriminately And of course there’s the cost involved Generally an individual can fire a Muzzle loading gun Three times a minute each one of those Shots costs the ordinance department So many uh so many pennies per shot if You’re able to uh Triple or quintiple that rate of fire That drives the cost up as well so the Idea was Limit the number of rounds you have you Limit the expense And the individual firing will be much More economical On many levels in the discharging of his Firearm Not all rifles were made at the u.s Armories of course One popular model was the sharps rifles Produced by the sharps rifle Manufacturing company The sharps rifles played a role in Bleeding kansas The violent struggle between pro and Anti-slavery forces That preceded the civil war

Breach loading sharps were supplied to Anti-slavery activists They were called beecher’s bibles Because activist henry ward beecher Insisted that while You might just as well read the bible to Buffaloes as to those fellows They have a supreme respect for the Logic that is embodied in sharp’s rifle One of the most violent actors in Bleeding kansas Would soon make a strike against the Second national armory at harpers ferry John brown had killed men with a Broadsword in kansas But at harper’s ferry in october 1859 He would lead what he hoped would be the Start of a massive slave rebellion Armed by the arsenal at harper’s ferry [Music] John brown’s friend abolitionist Frederick douglass Warned that brown would find himself in A steel Trap of death [Music] Colonel robert e lee led a force of Marines to stop Insurrection Douglas prediction was correct He later described brown’s assault on Harper’s ferry On the night of the 16th of october 1859 There appeared a party of 19 men 14

White and five black they were not only Armed Themselves but had brought with them a Large supply of Arms for such persons as might join them Three out of the 19 invaders were Captured whilst Fighting and one of these was captain John brown John brown died by hanging on december 2nd 1859. half his men were killed during The raid Including one of brown’s sons most of The others were captured and hanged Four men escaped including another of Brown’s sons This was one more event to shock the Consciences of the american people And to put them into opposing camps on The rightness of brown’s cause If not his method less than 18 months After the raid on harper’s ferry The american civil war began with the Firing On fort sumter this war Would see the advancements in firearm Technology Take a shocking toll [Music] As brother fought brother the american Gun Would prove itself deadlier than ever Although many soldiers were using older

Generation flintlock muskets Converted to the percussion system that Didn’t mean They liked it union lieutenant john mead Gould of the first main regiment Described their experience As their initial 90-day enlistments drew To an end Soon after the first battle of bull run On july 30th the six maine marched into Our camp and changed muskets with us They gave us the old flintlock Smoothbore Altered over to a percussion lock and Understood to be more dangerous to the User And his right hand comrade than to the Enemy We heard that all sorts of inducements Were to be offered to us to re-enlist Principally a new blue uniform Springfield muskets Such as we had just lost Those springfield muskets were prized Weapons among soldiers The model 1842 springfield musket was a 69 Caliber smoothbore originally Manufactured with a percussion lock It was the first us army musket to be Manufactured at both the springfield and Harpers ferry armories The model 1842 musket was developed One year after the model 1841 rifle

This was uh the standard shoulder arm For the u.s infantry Rifles at this time were considered a Specialized weapon This is in fact a smooth bore many of These Weapons were later rebored For a conical ball they were rifled and Given A rear sight this is a standard Loader uses a ram rod to ram the main Charge down the bore It also is a percussion weapon in that It uses a percussion cap To ignite the main charge the model 1842 Was extremely robust and attractive Weapon And remained in u.s arsenals right up To the civil war many of these model 1842 Springfields were issued to early Volunteers and some units had them in The u.s Army right up through 1863 Warfare was still fought standing Shoulder to shoulder And linear tactics linear formations During the war with mexico and the rifle Was really not suited for that purpose Although smoothbore muskets did not have The range or accuracy of rifles They could be loaded and fired much more Quickly than the muzzle loading rifles Available at the start of the war

To compensate for the poor accuracy of The smooth wars Soldiers frequently loaded the muskets With a combination Of one heavy lead bullet and several Pieces of buckshot This buck and ball load was Devastatingly effective At short ranges Jacob dolson cox was a republican Senator of ohio Later commissioned a brigadier general In the ohio militia After considering the many recent Advancements in firearms Cox later wrote the regular army Influence was generally Against such innovations not once But frequently regular army officers Argued to me that the old Smoothbore musket with buck and ball Cartridge was The best weapon our troops could desire We went through the war with a muzzle Loading musket Brigadier general thomas mahar’s iris Brigade Consisting largely of irish immigrants From new york regiments Was armed almost exclusively with the Model 1842 Smoothbores this continued even after They were phased out Of most units in 1862

Mahara preferred the smoothbore over Rifles Precisely because of the effectiveness Of the buck and ball load The irish brigade proves the value of Smoothbores loaded with buck and ball At gettysburg against pickett’s charge But of course the rifle had substantial Advantages over the smoothbore In terms of range and accuracy Therefore in 1855 the armory in Springfield massachusetts Began planning a rifled musket that Would have a unique Design The 58-caliber model 1855 rifle Was a departure from the 69 caliber Muskets That the u.s armories had been producing For decades Testing by the army had demonstrated That the smaller caliber rifles were More accurate with the new Conical mini bullets the model 1855 Was a muzzle loading rifle but had an Unusual firing system The new maynard tape primer was used in Place of the percussion caps Which were themselves a fairly recent Improvement over the flintlock firing Systems That have been used for centuries A dentist by the name of edward maynard Developed the tape primer as an

Inexpensive manner of containing the Mercury a four minute Which would ignite when struck in turn Igniting the gunpowder to fire the Bullet The tape primer looked and worked much Like the strips of caps Used for toy cap guns as the gun was Fired The tape would advance ready for the Next shot Unfortunately it proved unreliable in Practice The tape was susceptible to moisture and Testing showed it failed to fire almost Half the time nonetheless The model 1855 would become one of the Most common shoulder arms Of the civil war but that doesn’t mean It was well loved first lieutenant john Mead gould Whose regiment had been promised Springfield rifles if they re-enlisted Wrote about receiving model 1855 Springfields The entire regiment had the springfield Rifled musket Caliber 58 with the maynard primer Attachment A contrivance never used during the war To our knowledge And i believe it was left off of all Muskets manufactured after the first few Thousand

Dr maynard founded the maynard arms Company which contracted with the Massachusetts arms company To produce a breach loading rifle of his Design Although not produced in close to the Same numbers as the muzzleloading Springfield rifles They were well regarded The confederate field manual listed the Maynard carbine As one of the official arms of the Confederate army many confederate Soldiers carried these guns Calling them simply maynard rifles An ordinance officer captain l Jacqueline smith Reported to his colonel after inspecting Some companies near tallahassee florida In february 1864. captain smith’s report Highlights the variety of arms that a Single company Might possess company i South florida cavalry captain paramore Armed with maynard rifles 40 mississippi Rifles Six infield rifles Five hall’s carbines seven Double-barreled shotguns five This company has taken good care of Their arms though the horses were by no Means as well kept Captain griffin’s company 59 men No arms captain gwen’s company

73 men arms just received Smooth-borne muskets caliber 69 In very poor condition most of the locks In very bad order General appearance of the arms very bad And will doubtless soon become Unserviceable Captain simmons company g armed with Maynard rifles And sabers arms in good condition Well taken care of but have only five Rounds of ammunition None of the companies armed with maynard Rifles are able to procure a supply of Ammunition Owen to its peculiar character The problems with the manor tape primer Led to its elimination From the next model springfield The 1861 model springfield rifled musket Would become the most widely used long Arm of the union Army it would be popular with the Confederates too When they could get their hands on one The new model maintained the 58 caliber Barrel But replaced the tape primer with Individual percussion caps Loaded each time the gun was fired this Percussion system was a bit slower But much more reliable the 1861 model Also added a rear sight To increase accuracy

[Music] The union soldiers loved their Springfield rifles The confederate soldiers had to look Elsewhere The south lacked the industrial power of The north And once the war began the federal Government stopped allowing northern gun Manufacturers To sell to the southern states At the beginning of the war on april 18 1861 The union soldiers based at the harpers Ferry armory set it on fire In an effort to prevent it from falling Into the hands of the virginia militia Marching toward them residents of the Town of harpers ferry Depended on that armory for income put The fire out Saving most of the equipment the Confederates took all of the equipment Required For manufacturing muskets and sent it to Richmond Early that summer the richmond armory Started producing rifles On the springfield pattern Though the armory in richmond would Eventually send hundreds of thousands of Arms To the confederate armies these would Primarily be firearms retrieved from

Battlefields and repaired The richmond armory was never able to Produce more than 1500 rifles In a single month the confederacy Would need to find arms elsewhere and Soon The union and confederate governments Would both need to purchase arms abroad Particularly in the early years of the War But the rebels figured that out first In april 1861 the confederate government Sent captain Later major caleb hughes to europe To procure the arms Hughes worked tirelessly to find sources Of arms and ammunition The confederacy had no access to International credit But hughes was able to purchase arms Using king cotton Literally millions of pounds of cotton Were traded for weapons needed by the Confederacy In his rebel war clerk’s diary Published after the war clerk j.b jones Wrote Regarding hughes and other purchasing Agents August 23 1861 No arms yet of any amount from europe Though our agent writes that he has a Number of manufacturers at work The us agent has engaged the rest all

The world seems to be in the market Buying arms Mr dayton u.s minister in paris Has bought 30 000 flintlocks in france And our agent wants authority to buy Some too He says the french statisticians allege That no greater mortality in battle Occurs from the use of the percussion And the rifled musket And from the old smoothbore flintlock This may be owing to the fact that a Shorter range is sought with the latter But the confederate government wasn’t Looking for flintlocks In directives to purchasing agents Working with hughes the secretary of the Confederate navy wrote If you can purchase ten thousand good In-field rifles Muskets with bayonets do so at once Without regard to price Fuse negotiated contracts with the best Rifle manufacturers in great britain For purchase of the model 1853 british And field rifle Also known as the p-53 enfield it would Be the primary firearm of the Confederate army Almost a million of these rifles would Make their way from britain to america During the war Most bound for the confederacy The p53 enfield was a 58 caliber

Percussion ignition rifle It fired the conical mini ball bullets And was well regarded for its accuracy That is most enfields were well regarded Thanks to hughes’s efforts the Confederacy was able to purchase Almost all machine-made enfields with Interchangeable parts In a may 21 1861 letter to the Confederate ordinance bureau Hughes wrote that after arriving in London A very short time suffice to satisfy That of small arms there were none in The market of the character And quality required there were muskets To be purchased in any quantity Called by different names i heard of not A few enfield rifles These when i came to examine them i Found to be for the most part Worthless i then made inquiries at the London armory company for enfield rifles To be manufactured by them This establishment is in some respects Superior to every other musket Manufacturer in the world And in every respect equal to the Government works at enfield The rifles at this establishment Interchange in every part with the Perfect accuracy The importance of the principle of Interchange of parts i need not dwell

Upon It is fully recognized by the wall Departments of every Civilized nation the london armory Company is the only establishment in Europe Except in the government armories that Works upon this principle I propose to take from the company ten Thousand enfield rifles of the latest Government patent With bayonet scaven extra nipple Snap cap and stopper The confederacy became the london armory Company’s number one Client over seventy thousand rifles And seven thousand revolvers would Eventually ship from the company To the confederate buyers though they Had to pass the union blockade ships To get there as for those other enfield Pattern rifles that hughes found The ones he called for the most part Worthless They often ended up on ships bound for The union Union agents also purchased many enfield Rifles But hughes had locked in the contract With the london Armory the enfields the union purchased Were generally made by smaller outfits Which assembled the rifles using parts From various smaller manufacturers the

Parts were not always uniform Which led to the infields getting a bad Reputation with some union units John mead gould of maine wrote On october 21st muskets were delivered To the men and this furnished Another excuse for a hardy growl from The first mainers Had we not been promised a new blue Uniform in springfield muskets To be sure we had the blue uniform but Look at these enfield muskets With their blue barrels and wood that no Man can name They were not a bad weapon however Differing little from the springfield And actual efficiency weight length and Caliber But far behind in point of workmanship Ghoul’s regiment were more fortunate Than some The infields provided to the 35th Massachusetts infantry Were actually defective the nipples on The fire mechanism were brittle And shattered when hit by the gun’s Hammer But the rifles were used throughout the Confederacy and proved themselves Reliable weapons The next most commonly imported firearm Was the austrian lorenz Originally a 54 caliber gun it was often Rebored

To 58 caliber well regarded in europe The lorenz was snapped up by union and Confederate purchasing agents Scouring europe for arms over 225 000 were purchased by the union and a Hundred thousand By the confederacy the anders still well A soldier with the 61st illinois Volunteer infantry Wrote we were finished with the austrian Rifle musket He was of a medium length with a light Brown walnut stuck And was a wicked shooter at that time The most of the western troops were Armed with foreign maid muskets imported From europe Many regiments had old belgian muskets a Heavy cumbersome piece and awkward And unsatisfactory in every way we were Glad to get the austrians And were quite proud of them we used These until june 1863 When we turned them in and drew in lieu Thereof the springfield rifle musket Of the model 1863. it was not as heavy As the austrian Was needed looking in a very efficient Firearm Loading and cleaning firearms in the Field could be a difficult And hazardous affair the wide variety of Weapons Calibers firing mechanisms and

Ammunition Didn’t make it any easier John mead gould of maine described how Men in his regiment loaded their weapons In our regiment we had the combustible Envelope cartridge Manufactured by johnson endow in new York which is put in the musket entire Without tearing the paper consequently Our fire was rapid compared with what Was common with the muzzle loader Some of the men say that they loaded by Dropping the cartridge and bring the Musket smartly to the ground And the shock would send the cartridge Home But the process varied across weapons And Units the build-up Of black powder which fouled the rifles Was a constant Problem one solution Was the development of cleaner bullets Developed by elijah williams These had a thin zinc disk attached to The base of the bullet When the gun fired the zinc disk scraped Along the bore The first rounds were issued to union Troops in 1862. The model 1861 springfield was updated In 1863 Minor improvements were made to this Already reliable rifled musket

Including new oval clamping bands a new Ramrod And a case hardened lock john mead Gould’s regiment Received the upgraded springfields in January 1864. We had the 1863 pattern of the Springfield rifled musket Muzzle loading as almost all the arms of The infantry were And differing from those we had before In a number of small points Having among other things heavier bands And no maynard primer It was the best musket we ever had So far we’ve mostly looked at the long Arms of the union and confederacy But handguns were prized weapons as well The most widely used revolver of the Civil war was the 44 caliber 1860 colt Army model over 125 000 were purchased from colt’s Manufacturing company By the union and sent to troops in the Field In the months leading up to the war some Southern states stocked up on arms from Colt And other manufacturers but the federal Government Put a halt to that after the outbreak of Hostilities A muzzle-loading single-action six-shot Revolver

The colt army model was accurate up to About 100 The 1861 colt navy model was similar to The 1860 Colt army revolver but with a slightly Shorter barrel And less recoil the model 1851 Colt navy revolver is termed navy Not because it was intended for issue to Navy personnel But because it had a navy motif Engraved upon its cylinder This particular pistol is 36 caliber and it is a Cap and ball revolver because it takes Percussion caps To fire it and you can load this pistol With Loose powder and ball but you can also Use a pre-made Paper or linen cartridge To load this weapon it’s really quite Simple You put it on half cop one click of the Hammer will free up the cylinder To rotate freely underneath The barrel on this hinged pivot Is a ram rod You unclip it simply from its catch Under the barrel And that frees it up for movement you’ll Move it upright and you’ll load The powder and the ball in each cylinder As you rotate it you’ll ram that down

With the rammer Like so Then you’ll use this little cut out to Put a Percussion cap on each cone Or nipple once all six of those are Loaded A process which can take About 10 minutes roughly sometimes a lot Less Then you’re ready to fire well this uh Colt navy along with the colt army Revolver Were the most widely used revolvers During the Civil war [Music] Handguns were prized weapons but hard to Come by Except for cavalry and officers John mead gould of maine wrote of an Experience demonstrating the value of a Gun That could fire six times without Reloading The story of walton was told by the Citizens is brief He was far behind the regiment when the Rebel cavalry made a dash upon the Stragglers Walden fired and ran into the field Thinking perhaps that the Fences would save him from pursuit some Fine writer

The citizen said it was general ashby Himself Followed him and called surrender walton Still retreated loading He was a stubborn self-willed fellow To surrender without a fight was no part Of his nature He said only i won’t surrender Therefore poor walton was shot before he Could reload his musket With these two combatants the question Was not who fought the better It was a contest of the revolver with The slow loading muzzle loader And the revolver won As in gould’s story of poor walton most Revolvers held by the union or Confederacy Ended up with the cavalry the revolver Was truly the ideal weapon for cavalry They were also popular among the Guerrilla fighters in the border states The six guns were the perfect weapon for Ambushes When a small band of bushwackers in Kentucky missouri or arkansas Ambushed an unsuspecting unit whether Confederate or union That unit’s superior rifles were Unlikely to have a chance Against the hailstorm of bullets flying From the gorillas Six guns these guerrilla fighters Would carry multiple six guns so they

Would never find themselves unable to Shoot back When federal soldiers killed some of Bloody bill anderson’s Missouri raiders they collected 30 Revolvers From the six corpses There are rifles and there are rifles Just as a marksman is capable of more Than the average soldier So is he likely to want a rifle that is More than the average springfield Lieutenant colonel william ripley of the First united states sharpshooters Later wrote about the formation and Arming of his vermont rifleman unit Occasionally a musket would be found That was accurate in its shooting Qualities And occasionally such a gun would fall Into the hands of a man competent To appreciate and utilize its best Features It was speedily found that such a gun in The hands of such a man Was capable of results not possible to Be obtained From a less accurate weapon in the hands Of a less Skillful man to remedy this state of Affairs And to make certain that the best Weapons procurable Should be placed in the hands of the men

Best fitted to use them effectively It was decided by the war department Early In the summer of 1861 that a regiment Should be Organized to be called the first Regiment of the united states Sharp shooters and to consist of the Best and most Expert rifle shots in the northern States The detail of the recruiting and Organization of this regiment Was entrusted to hiram berdan Then a resident of the city of new york Himself an Enthusiastic lover of rifle shooting and An Expert marksman a detail of the best Men was made and a display of skill took Place Which perhaps was never before equaled President lincoln himself took part in The firing Then president using a rifle belonging To corporal h.j Peck of the vermont company Ripley noted that originally the men Were going to provide their own rifles Fine guns designed for precise shooting On the target grounds But it was then decided that these guns Were not Suited to the rigors of combat

Despite opposition from the ordnance Chief hiram berdan’s sharpshooters Finally received their sharps rifles While on the peninsular campaign In virginia in may eighteen sixty two Two thousand fifty two caliber breech Loading model 1859 sharps rifles were produced for Berdan’s men And they loved them one of the features That made christian sharps rifles so Attractive Was the breech loading design which Allowed for much Faster reloading than a standard muzzle Loader like the springfield rifles The sharps used a falling block design To allow the breach load The sharp’s rifles were only sighted to 800 yards But the sharpshooters didn’t let this Stop them One reason that the ordinance officers Were resistant to ordering sharps rifles Was that the production of the rifles Would delay production of a much more Popular weapon The sharp’s carbine Christian sharps patented his sharps Carbine in 1848 Over the course of the war almost 100 000 Sharps guns were put into service in Either union or confederate hands

And most of these were the shorter Barreled carbines Like the sharps rifles the 52 caliber Carbines Were breech loading for a quick reload Both the sharps rifles and carbines were Highly regarded By the troops who used them the carbines Were particularly prized By the union cavalry the confederate Government Recognized the quality of the model 1859 Carbine And contracted with a richmond firm to Manufacture copies The sharps rifles were not the only Makes prized by sharpshooters Other rifles valued by marksmen but not Always loved by the chief of ordnance Were the henry repeating rifle and the Spencer 56×56 The henry rifle designed by benjamin Tyler henry Was a breach loader like the sharps and Had the distinction of being the fastest Shooting shoulder arm in the civil war With a magazine that could hold 15 Metallic Rimfire cartridges officers worried that Such a rate of fire Would mean a lot of wasted bullets The henries were never provided in the Same numbers as the sharps But they were often purchased by

Individual soldiers Who hoped that being able to fire up to An incredible 30 rounds per minute Would give him an edge indeed Confederate soldiers were said to call The henry that Damned yankee rifle that they load on Sunday And shoot all week But rebel soldiers also managed to get Their hands on henry rifles A large number of henries were captured Or privately purchased by southerners The confederate government placed no Orders for these repeating rifles But the guns were available on the open Market and many were bought by or Four confederate soldiers Though most of the henries used by the South had been captured from the north In particular the virginia cavalry made Good use or bad Depending on your perspective of henry Rifles captured From the first dc cavalry the only Federal unit fully equipped with henry’s The henry rifle would have a second life After the war Evolving into the famous 1866 winchester Guys like christian sharp were very Innovative in their Breach loading rifle designs but they Were still hampered by the fact that They were

Using black powder cartridges uh they Weren’t Evolved in the self-contained metallic Cartridge yet With the spencer you still had a paper Cartridge of A almost a flash paper top style Uh casing for the uh for the bullet that Held the powder You put it in the breech drew up the uh The Falling block on this fence on the Sharps you still had to put a percussion Cap on the end of the gun It was evolving from having to use a Percussion cap Like you did with the burnside or smith Or gwyndon campbell That that hampered the ability to be Able to fire Rapidly and repeatedly with with Carvings during the civil war It was the development of the 44 caliber Rimfire cartridge that first appeared in The henry Rifle and the 56 caliber cartridge that Was in the spencer Carbine and rifle that really Accelerated Firearms development and use Through the superior firepower during The civil war period The spencer rifles designed by Christopher spencer

Were used more widely than the henry’s Like the henry the spencer 56 by 56 Used a self-contained metallic rimfire Cartridge The spencer’s seven round magazine was Half of henry’s And it took a bit more time to load but It was a sturdier gun More apt to survive the rigors of the Trail and combat And its cartridge packed a lot more Punch than the 44 cartridge Fired by the henry like the henry The spencer used a rolling block design To feed cartridges Into the chamber with the pull of a Lever the army preferred the spencer in Testing And initially ordered ten thousand Lieutenant colonel grover s wermer Commanding the eight michigan cavalry Wrote to his headquarters in july 1863 Our arms the spencer rifles proved as Before A terror to the rebels they thought us In much stronger force than we were When each man can pour seven shots into Them so rapidly This is the first instance in the war i Think where the proportion of killed was Greater than the wounded As far as reports come in it is at least Three killed to one wounded And this fact is owing to the terrible

Execution of our rifles However while a soldier’s rifle fired There was always the possibility that The gun could become Even more valuable in a situation that Didn’t involve gunpowder At all when the enemy is right on top of You You don’t always have time to load your Weapon especially If he is screaming down at you as part Of a bayonet charge Bayonets didn’t see as much use in the Civil war As they had in previous wars in large Part Due to improvements in firearms that Allowed for greater range And greater rate of fire gone were the Days of standing two armies 50 yards apart firing a few volleys with Smooth bores To soften them up for deadly Hand-to-hand combat With bayonets but the bayonets were Still used They made excellent candle holders with The points stabbed into the ground And the candle held in the socket and They could also be used as a spade in a Pinch To dig trench works or latrines But their military use had not Disappeared

The bayonet’s most famous use in the Civil war was in defense of little round Top At gettysburg the 20th maine Was assigned to hold little round top Under the command of brigadier general Joshua chamberlain Attacks from the 15th alabama were Critically low on ammunition Chamberlain ordered a bayonet charge Which routed and captured the rebels Earning for himself the medal of honor The american civil war would change Firearms And firearm innovations would change war The explosion of modern arms that came Out of the war Would change the face of the american West And the american west would create a Mythical archetype The gunslinging cowboy that would Forever affect The world’s vision of the gun [Music] Thanks for watching if you’d like to Help us produce more compelling Historical content like this Please like comment below and share this Video with fellow history buffs And of course be sure to subscribe to Help keep history happening

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