Assignment 5

1. Key Finding:
-The rifle-musket Accounted for nearly 90 percent of the casualties during the Civil War.
-Although there were american manufacturers, many designs were shipped to Europe to increase production of rifles.
-Although the rifled barrels made rifles more accurate, much of the war was still fought at close distances because the fighting tactics did not change with them.
-From 1861 to 1865, the Springfield Armory produced 793,434 and private contractors produced 882,561 of the Model 1861 Springfield rifles. This was the most commonly used rifle during the civil war.
This show’s the incredible number of rifles needed for the war and show’s that it was the first industrial war, which the Springfield Armory was a main part of.
-The Model 1861 Springfield Rifle was the first rifle to include iron sights which gave the shooter the sight of his target up to 600 yards.
-The Model 1861 Springfield Rifle was inferior to repeating weapons because it was only able to be shot 2 to 3 times per minute.
-It was a modification of the Model 1855 rifle-musket that eliminated the patch box and the Maynard tape primer. These changes lowered its manufacturing costs and time, both of which were beneficial to a country at war and in need of firearms.

2. Sources:
https://www.history.com/topics/american-civil-war/civil-war-technology
-The article explains that new rifled weapons were able to shoot 1,000 yards and were more accurate than the formerly used smooth bore muskets. This goes to show that wars no longer needed to be close range wars where two armies lined up and people just shot into crowds. Although this wasn’t realized until too late because much of the war was fought where two armies lined up across from each other. This would go on to change how wars were fought later on. Secondary Source.

https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/1999/fall/blockade-runners-1.html#page-header
-A shipment of 7,200 Austrian Rifles were shipped over for confederate use in the war. This proves that the Civil War needed a substantial amount of Rifles and whether they were built or shipped from overseas, they needed bulk. The rifles were needed quickly so the war became one of the first industrial wars which changed how wars were managed for later years. Secondary Source.

http://civilwar.archives.msu.edu/Object/7-1D-443/bostock-letters-april-14-1862/
The letter by Henry Bostock to his mother talks about Austrian Rifles that his unit had received. He explains that they were very accurate at long ranges. This helps prove that rifles now were more accurate at further distances which meant that the style of fighting a war had to be changed. Primary Source.

The ’61 Springfield Rifle Musket


-The springfield rifle musket was the most used rifle of the war. It was manufactured in factories in both America and Europe. This show’s how industrial the war was becoming because they needed help from Europeans to manufacture enough rifles for the war. Secondary Source.

https://www.militaryfactory.com/smallarms/detail.asp?smallarms_id=153
Describes the functions of the Model 1861 Springfield Rifle which was the weapon of choice in the civil war. The Model 1861 Springfield Rifle was the rifle of choice for both armies in the Civil War. It was a very easy to manufacture weapon for its time and it was unique in its capabilities at the time. It included iron sights, which had never been seen before, and it had a rifled barrel making it more accurate than muskets used before it. Secondary Source.

3. Thesis
The Civil War rifle changed the war in more ways than being a tool used to kill enemy soldiers.

One Reply to “Assignment 5”

  1. Hi Noah,

    This is a cool topic! I can tell you have a lot of interesting things to discuss here, but another interesting angle might be mass produced parts and ammunition. In one first hand account that I read, the Union soldier from 22 Michigan was saying that the ammunition delivery was late, so he was originally instructed to just carry a bayonet into battle and when his ammunition finally did arrive, it was too big so he had to whittle down. It might be interesting to research if this was a common problem or what soldiers were told to do if their weapon malfunctioned.

Leave a Reply