Daily Archives: August 3, 2012

Arms of the Fourteenth

Wooden crates filled with brand new Sharps and Springfield rifles arrived at Camp Foote, but the arms would remain in their crates until the regiment arrived in Virginia. Eight companies would receive the new Model 1861 Springfield muzzle-loading rifles (photo below), which a trained soldier could load and fire two to three times per minute.

Model 1861 Springfield Rifled Musket

  • Springfield Model 1861 Rifled Musket (Muzzle-loaded)
  • Manufacturer: Springfield Armory, Springfield, MA (or subcontractor)
  • Weight: 9.25 Pounds
  • Length: 56 inches
  • Cartridge:  .58″ minie ball
  • Muzzle Velocity: 950 feet per second
  • Rate of fire:  2-3 rounds/minute
  • Effective range:  100-400 yards

The other two companies, A and B, were issued the Sharps breech-loading rifles, which a trained soldier could load and fire up to ten times per minutes. These were the same type of rifles that were made famous by Berdan’s Sharp Shooters, although without the special Berdan’s modifications, as far as I was able to determine. The extra firepower of the Sharps men could be used either to protect the flanks of the regiment or support the center. They sported green stripes on their trousers instead of the usual dark blue for easy identification.Sharps_rifle_1859

  • Sharps Rifle Model 1859 Rifled Musket (Breech-loaded)
  • Manufacturer: Sharps Rifle Co., Hartford, CT
  • Weight: 9.5 pounds
  • Length: 47 inches
  • Cartridge:  .52″ (475-grain projectile with 50-grain cartridge)
  • Muzzle Velocity: 1200 feet per second
  • Rate of fire:  8-10 rounds/minute
  • Effective range:  500 yards