American Civil War in the News is a edited review of American Civil War related news and articles, providing collection of hand-picked 1861-1865 era history.

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Re-enactors & Tours
  Civil War Tours
Civil War weapons
  Military Swords
  Weapons: Rifles, muskets
  Civil War Artillery
Memorabilia, Militaria, Collectors
  Civil War Uniforms
  Flags: Battle & Confederate
  Medals & Stories
  Coins & Currency
  Relics, Militaria & Memorabilia
  Collectors: Collectibles
  Civil War Watches
Mysteries: Lost Gold, Medal Detectors
  Treasure Hunt: Lost Gold
  Battlefield relic hunters
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Films, Pics, Music, Reproductions
  Scale models, replicas
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Civil War Battles
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  Battle of Gettysburg
  Black Jack: The First Battle
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Commanders, Generals, Leaders
  Jefferson Davis
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  Generals & Leaders
Lincoln & his assassination
  Abraham Lincoln
  Mary Todd Lincoln
  John Wilkes Booth
Warfare & Wartime
  Soldier's Wartime
  Regiments & Units
  Spy & Intelligence
  Raids & Bandits
Naval Warfare
  Naval war & blockade
  Submarine Hunley
  USS Monitor: First Ironclad
  Civil War-era Wrecks
  Confederate States
  Confederacy Today
  Why Confederacy Lost
Archives, Letters, History
  Ancestry Research
  Civil War Books
  Documents, Archives
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Causes of Civil War
  Causes & Origins
  Slavery: American History
  What If - Scenarios
Civil War Now: Aftermath
  Aftermath: Reconstruction
  Memorial Day History
  Last soldiers, widows
  Coloured Troops
  Horses & other animals
Misc Civil War History
  Civil War Women
  POWs & Camps
  RIP: Remains
  Facts: Strange & Rare


Weapons: Rifles, Muskets - Civil War

Latest hand-picked Civil War news and articles.

Original Confederate gun from CSS Alabama finally arrives in Museum of Mobile
A Confederate cannon has been reunited with other historical CSS Alabama items and militaria at the Museum of Mobile. The cannon was one of 8 original guns aboard the CSS Alabama, which sank off the coast of Cherbourg, France, on June 19, 1864. The Civil War-era vessel was destroyed during a battle with the Union's USS Kearsarge. Only 3 cannons have been excavated and placed in museums (Charleston, Richmond) for visitors to view. The 10 feet 5,000-lb gun was salvaged in 2003 by French and American divers along with the wreckage of the CSS Alabama.

Revolver that belonged to Confederate spy Belle Boyd auctioned for $8,000   (Article no longer available from the original source)
A .31-caliber, 5-shot Allen & Wheelock revolver with ivory grips and a wooden case sold for $8,000 at an auction, on the basis it likely belonged to Belle Boyd - one of the Civil War's most well-known spies. The ivory grip of the pistol is inscribed with Boyd's name. And it came in a wooden case with a silver medallion on the lid, engraved with the name "Belle." Maria Isabelle "Belle" Boyd ran a spy ring for the Confederacy from her father's hotel - reportedly providing information to generals Turner Ashby and "Stonewall" Jackson.

Selling replicas of Civil War firearms and other antique weapons   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Buying an antique pistol or rifle might be the dream of many until they see the price tag. Purchasing a replica is much more affordable, said JoAnn Graham, a partner in 4G Company, which sells replicas of flintlock, Civil War, old west, WW1 and WW2 firearms and other antique weapons. "Unlike conventional firearms, replica guns cannot be used to fire harmful projectiles or adapted to do so, and therefore require no federal license." Graham explains the rifles and pistols have had their barrels plugged so they can't fire rounds. If someone takes out the plugs, they will discover regular ammo won't fit the guns.

Jack Hinson's One-Man War, A Civil War Sniper by Tom C. McKenney   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Jack Hinson just wanted to sit tight on his farm in an isolated area on the Kentucky-Tennessee border and let the Civil War swirl around. Instead, the war came marching right up his front gate and devastated the Hinson clan. So Jack Hinson, an "old" man in his mid-50s, showed that he could be just as determined when it came to killing. He shot 100 Union sailors and soldiers, mostly officers, before the civil war ended in 1865. Hinson covertly ordered a custom-made .50 caliber rifle with a long, heavy barrel, especially designed for long-range shooting - so accurate he could kill from 1,000 yards.

Militaria collector uses Civil War weapons to teach American history   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Going to antique sales with his father, Roger Baker was mesmerised by the Civil War pieces that would come up. He had seen countless 1860s firearms sold at auctions when he was little. So, when he set his sights on a Colt 1860 Army pistol, he had to borrow $85 to buy it. Now he is a metal detector dealer, who has written "Finding Civil War Campsites in Rural Areas" and "Interpreting History from Relics found in Rural Civil War Campsites". Fascinated by the technology Baker (his great-great-grandfather served with the last Confederate unit to surrender in New Orleans on June 25, 1865) uses his militaria pieces to help teach history.

Confederate weapons are prized finds for militaria collectors   (Article no longer available from the original source)
It's the details that reveal to historian Jack Meyer whether the antique gun is Civil War replica or the real deal. Meyer is the author of two books, one of which focuses on Columbia's Palmetto Armory, which built muskets, pistols and swords used by the Confederacy. And Palmetto Armory weapons were among the most wanted relics at the recent Land of the Sky Gun Show and Civil War Show at the State Fairgrounds - Muskets, swords, flags, letters, and slave collars and shackles, were all for sale. At a manufacturing disadvantage with the North, Southern-made weapons are more difficult to find.

High-tech equipment helps build Civil War cannons
The Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Flexible Manufacturing (RCBI) has worked with all types of manufacturers, but we never guessed we'd be helping build Civil War cannons. The Steen Cannon & Ordnance Works of Ashland is RCBI's most unusual client, leasing time on some of the world's most sophisticated manufacturing equipment to produce antique weapons. Steen's grandest task is a 30-pounder Parrott cannon, the largest fully functional Civil War reproduction cannon. The average price for iron cannons, including carriage, is $16,000-$18,000. Bronze versions are up to $45,000.

Jeff Stafford's replica cannons a hit among history buffs   (Article no longer available from the original source)
During 23 years, Jeff Stafford has built or restored over 150 cannons and gun carriages. So unmatched is the quality of his work that he has earned a national reputation as the go-to guy for fans of Civil War-era heavy artillery. His customers are private collectors, forts, museums and re-enactors. "I build them exactly the way they were made. ...I feel like I'm supposed to do this. This is my destiny." The other day, Stafford was assembling a 3-inch ordnance rifle that will be installed at the Cyclorama Gallery at the Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War at Gettysburg National Military Park.

Civil War items for sale: Firearms, swords and silk Confederate battle flag
A significant single-owner collection of Civil War items and other rare American historical artifacts will be sold in Atlanta, Georgia. Vintage firearms and swords dominate the militaria collection, although there is also a marvellous silk Confederate battle flag framed and over 130 years old that is sure to excite the crowd. The crossed-bars and 13 stars flag (the one most often associated with the Confederacy) is in a fine state of preservation. Firearms include a rare cased Petingil revolver - the Confederacy imported them from England during the Civil War. Swords include an original Civil War Major's sword with etched blade and scabbard.

Confederate Firearms Auction Places New World Record At $11.2M
James D. Julia Auctioneers carried an $11.2 million firearms auction October 810, the highest earning firearms auction ever. The sale offered 1,349 lots, with an average sale value of $8,328. This year's auction commenced with the collection of Confederate arms gathered by Ben Michel, a fanatical collector of arms. The star of the collection was a rare LeMat first model, serial number 7, revolver on the Confederate iron-clad Atlanta. The revolver topped out at $166,750 after a bidding battle. An extensive collection of Confederate long arms included the extremely rare Tarpley carbine, $80,500. Toughly 100 of these were made and only 20 exist today.

Virginia Pacificator carbine might have altered outcome of Civil War
in 1860, Lorenzo Sibert was hot stuff. This master iron worker from Mount Solon invented, patented and tested for the U.S. government a carbine that could fire 48 shots without reloading, or 600 times a minute "consecutively for 12 hours." He called it the Virginia Pacificator, and in 1861 the Staunton Spectator hailed it as "the greatest gun of the age." Sibert was the only citizen of a Confederate state to be granted a weapons patent by the U.S. Patent Office, and had his carbine gone into production as planned, the South might have possessed enough firepower to bring the War Between the States to a decisive close.

Plaque marking the torpedo warfare during the American Civil War
A band of men and gunpowder to turn the St. Johns River into a war zone during a dark spring night in 1864. That April, one of dozen improvised torpedoes seeding the water sank the Union Army steamer Maple Leaf - sparking a summer of detonations that struck a death knell for ships. Exploding devices such as naval mines were called torpedoes at that time. "People coming here, people moving down here don't really know how involved Jacksonville was in the Civil War," said Calvin Hart, adjutant of the Sons of Confederate Veterans Kirby-Smith Camp 1209. The group and Orange Park officials will erect a plaque to the history of torpedo warfare on the St. Johns River.

Civil War memorabilia: 1861 Springfield rifle from Battle of Gettysburg   (Article no longer available from the original source)
An 1861 Springfield rifle found on the Gettysburg Battlefield is among Civil War items for sale at a Mt. Holly Springs auction house. The rifle, discovered by Uriah and Adam Keefauver, is original and has been authenticated by the curator of the Gettysburg Museum. Other Civil War memorabilia to be auctioned include a sharpshooter`s frock, buckle and saber belt, a preacher`s coat, a ladies` wool waist cape, tintype photographs, a set of chaplain`s shoulder boards and a $5 Confederate bill. The sharpshooter`s frock was green (the original camouflage) but has turned black over time. It has no collar, because that would have interfered with firing a weapon.

Shooters in Civil War Uniforms   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Shooters in North-South Skirmish may have firearms that were used in US`s bloodiest war. But they are more like lovers than fighters. "We all share a love of firearms, history and competition," said Ed Flint, who belongs to the host 14th Mississippi Infantry Regiment. Groups of shooters dressed in Civil War uniforms fired smoothbore rifles, carbines and revolvers at Whitetail Ridge Outdoors in timed events at stationary targets 50 and 100 yards away. The firearms must be authentic Civil War weapons or fine reproductions, beginning with the smoothbore, or nonrifled long gun.

Colonel Sam Colt   (Article no longer available from the original source)
In 1830, Sam Colt went to sea working as a sailor on a merchant ship. According to legend while working on the ship he whittled out a wooden model of the revolving firearm that was to bring him fame. In 1831 Sam Colt was having model revolving firearms built by gunsmiths in hopes of getting orders for his guns. This venture failed in 1834 and he fled to Baltimore, still trying to get government contracts. Sam Colt hired a gunsmith John Pearson to improve his revolver and build prototypes - with Sam Colt seldom paying Pearson or his suppliers. Sam Colt`s big break came in 1846 when Captain Samuel Walker approached him to build revolvers for the Texas Rangers.

Minie balls were battlefield revolution
When it comes to weaponry, the Civil War is best described as the first modern war. Unfortunately, for the troops, the conflict was fought with tactics dating back to Napoleon Bonaparte. The era`s fighting methods didn`t take into account the small arms evolution, which began with a twist imparted by spiral rifling grooves cut into the bore. For 200 years, the smoothbore musket - fast to load, but inaccurate - had been the standard weapon for soldiers. Their range was 100-200 yards, but in reality they were only reliable at 40 yards. "You might fire at a man all day from a distance of 125 yards without him ever finding it out,` Gen. U.S. Grant wrote.

After 5 years of negotiating, collector obtains valuable sword   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The German-made blade, with ruby gemstones and an Indian statue on the hilt, is lined with ornate designs. "It's probably the best one I ever owned," said Civil War memorabilia collector Ted Vicks. The sword belonged to General Simeon Brown, a Civil War veteran of the Sixth and Eleventh Michigan cavalries. The sword, valued at $20,000, would have cost about $1,500 to buy in the 1860s. To get the sword, it took Vicks five years of persistence.

Re-enactor's bargain: 1861 Springfield .58-caliber rifled musket   (Article no longer available from the original source)
The minute Larry Rita saw the rifle in a trunk of Civil War-era equipment he had to have it. He casually inquired about the price, which was $200. He later found out the weapon, an authentic 1861 Springfield .58-caliber rifled musket, was worth at least $2,500. On the stock, one of its owners had carved "MEM 2nd Md Co A," which meant that he had the initials "MEM" and was a member of the 2nd Maryland Battalion, Company A. On the other side are the words "Yankey Kilr.. "They wrote it the way it sounded." He thinks the owner was a Confederate who took the gun off of a dead federal. "These were prized weapons on the battlefield."

Henry rifle is currently the best-known Civil War-era rifle   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Of the cartridge repeating rifles used in the American Civil War the best known is the colorful Henry with its yellow receiver. Total production of Henry rifles was tiny compared to quantity Spencer rifles and carbines. Total production of Henry rifles was only about 12,000. Some states purchased Henry Rifles for their militias. The Henry Rifle had another advantage that unlike a muzzle loader it could be rapidly loaded by a soldier crouched down behind something, or even lying down. To the Confederate Soldier the Spencer and Henry were both known as "the damn Yankee rifle you loaded on Sunday and shot all week."