What kind of ammunition for small arms weapons did Civil War soldiers use?

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The basic ammunition load for each infantry soldier was 40 rounds in the cartridge box. When a large action was expected 20 additional rounds might be issued to each soldier, who placed them in his uniform pockets or knapsack. In addition, 100 rounds per man were held in the brigade or division trains and 100 rounds in the corps trains.

Ballard, Ted; Arthur, Billy (2014-07-16). Chancellorsville Staff Ride: Briefing Book [Illustrated Edition] (Kindle Locations 1129-1131). Pickle Partners Publishing. Kindle Edition.

What kind of small arms weapons did Civil War soldiers use?

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“During the Civil War the typical infantry weapon on both sides was a 9 1/ 4-1b., muzzle-loaded, rifled-musket. Loading procedure required the soldier to withdraw a paper cartridge (containing powder and bullet) from his cartridge box, tear open one end with his teeth, pour the powder into the muzzle, place the bullet in the muzzle and ram it to the breech using a metal ramrod. A copper percussion cap was then placed on a hollow cone at the breech. To fire the weapon the hammer was cocked, and when the trigger was pulled the hammer struck the cap and ignited the powder charge. Each soldier was expected to be capable of loading and firing three aimed shots per minute. With the beginning of the Civil War a shortage of rifled-muskets on both sides forced the Northern and Southern governments to issue older smooth-bore weapons, or purchase weapons from European nations, the English Enfield, caliber. 577, being the most popular. As the war progressed most soldiers were armed with rifled-muskets, although as late as the battle of Gettysburg some troops on both sides still carried smooth-bores.”

Ballard, Ted; Arthur, Billy (2014-07-16). Chancellorsville Staff Ride: Briefing Book [Illustrated Edition] (Kindle Locations 1120-1128). Pickle Partners Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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Lincoln’s 1837 Lyceum speech is foreboding 25 years before the Civil War

Start this clip at 2:24 on the counter.

Abraham Lincoln’s 1837 Lyceum Speech

“At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”

Read the full speech

Andrew Jackson’s family connection to the Civil War

Guest blogpost: Ron Coddington | Publisher of Military Images Magazine

ANDREW JACKSON’S FAMILY CONNECTION TO THE CIVIL WAR.—This photograph from The Hermitage collection pictures Capt. Samuel Jackson of Company I, 44th Tennessee Infantry. He was killed at the Battle of Chickamauga in 1863.

A brief bio: General Jackson’s “grandson,” Samuel, was born at the Hermitage on June 9, 1837, to Andrew Jackson, Jr. and Sarah Yorke. He enlisted and was elected as the 1st lieutenant of Company G, 44th Tennessee Infantry on December 30, 1861, and received an appointment as captain on April 24, 1862. He too was wounded at the Battle of Stones River (Murfreesboro). Unlike his cousin, John Donelson, Jackson’s wound was recorded. He took a shot in the hand and was sent to Marietta, Georgia, to recover. His company’s muster roll recorded him as being “present” in May and June 1863. Like his cousin, Samuel Jackson took part in his final battle on September 19, 1863, at Chickamauga. Brigadier General Bushrod Johnson described the scene in his official report on October 24, by saying, “ The Forty-fourth Tennessee Regiment had Lieut. Col. John L. McEwen, jr., commanding, a gallant and able officer, who has rendered faithful and efficient service in our army, and 5 company officers wounded, 1 (Capt. Samuel Jackson) mortally.” Johnson goes on to say that “Captain Jackson, of the Forty-fourth Tennessee Regiment, has since died of his wounds. Known to me long and familiarly in youth and manhood as Capt. Samuel Jackson has been, I feel unable to do justice to his many virtues, his pure and admirable character, or his merits as an officer and a soldier.” Jackson’s CSR records he died on October 2, 1863, from wounds received at Chickamauga, but his gravestone at the Hermitage records his death as September 29. Samuel Jackson’s name was placed on the Confederate Roll of Honor on August 10, 1864, posthumously.

Source: http://bullyforbragg.blogspot.com/…/old-hickorys-ties-to-ch…

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97th Ohio soldier, hospital worker in Nashville, writes of Parson Brownlow

[Original Civil war letter from occupied Confederate Nashville, Tennessee, under the military governor, Andrew Johnson] 4 page letter with original envelope from William Henry Ruse of the 97th Ohio Volunteer Regiment to Maggie Stewart of Adamsville, Ohio. W. H. Ruse worked in a hospital (No.8) in Nashville, Tennessee (possibly as a pastor). Ruse talks of William Gannaway Brownlow’s sermon just 400 yards away (preacher and future Tennessee Governor) and the transfer of Clement Laird Vallandigham to Confederate lines (on direct orders from Lincoln)


Pleasant Sunday Eve
Nashville Tenn
May 24th1863

Dear Maggie,

I have just come in from preaching and now I am going to try to write to you a few lines in answer to yours which I received two or three hours ago. Last Sunday evening you was writing to me. It is slow work talking at such a long distance. For my part I would prefer having the distance shortened. But don’t know how to accomplish it… you say you read my letters often. I don’t think you read them as often as I do yours. For that is the way I past my time reading letters and looking at those treasurable pictures… Monday Evening May 25th.

Well as I did not finish yesterday I will now try to write a little more. It is so excessively warm today that I can scarcely write. Parson Brownlow preached in this City yesterday at 12 A.M. the Church in which he preached is not more than four hundred yards from this hospital, but I did not know he was going to preach until it was all over. I tell you I was spited. To think I didn’t get to hear him when he was so close. It was not generally made known that he was to preach till an hour or two previous to the hour for preaching… The Northern Traitor (Vallandigham) arrived in this City on last evening. On his way south of our lines. He was strongly guarded. I don’t think his punishment was half severe enough.”

Last page contains a poem about death, entitled:

“How, where and when”

(This poem has been attributed to Mrs. Abdy, 1842, Church of England Magazine, Vol. 12)

When shall I die?

Shall death’s cold hand arrest my breath?

While loved ones stand in silent watchful love to shed.

Shed tears around my quiet bed?

Or shall I meet my final doom far from my country and my home?

Or shall my fainting frame sustain the tedious languishing of pain?

Good-bye dearest.

Please write soon and often.

W.H. Ruse

How essential were the roles of women on the home front?

The Winter 2017 issue of Military Images has an excellent article on “Women on the Home Front: Their essential roles during the Civil War,” by Juanita Leisch Jensen. The article is liberally sprinkled with high resolution version of some 29 separate images of women, their husbands, children, or family.  Each image has a nice annotation explaining what the image emotes according to Jensen.

To learn more about this fantastic magazine: Ron Coddington | Publisher of Military Images Magazine

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How do deaths in the Civil War compare to all other American wars?

The scale of death that was wrought by the Civil War, the first modern war, is hard to fathom.

Number of deaths per day in the Civil War: 425

Deaths in ten days: 4,250

In comparison, we lost four thousand soldiers in the recent long (13 years) Iraq-Afghanistan war. The Civil War saw that many deaths in just ten weeks.

The Revolutionary War lasted eight years, resulting in sixteen thousand deaths. In comparison, the Civil War saw that many deaths in an average five-week span.

Source: Civil War Trust infographic

What are the top ten most visited Civil War sites?

According to the National Park Service here are the top ten, in order, by annual visitors:
Kennesaw Mountain | 2.4 mil visitors
Gettysburg | 1.1 mil
Chickamauga/Chattanooga | 1 mil
Fredericksburg | 969,000
Fort Sumter | 888,000
Ford’s Theatre | 650,000
Manassas Battlefield | 534,000
Vicksburg | 508,000
Shiloh | 421,000
Antiteam | 351,000

What do you think of this list? Does anything surprise you? Have you seen them all?

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Spotsylvania Court House fighting ends . . .

The NPS summary for Spotsylvania: “After the Wilderness, Grant’s and Meade’s advance on Richmond by the left flank was stalled at Spotsylvania Court House on May 8. This two-week battle was a series of combats along the Spotsylvania front. The Union attack against the Bloody Angle at dawn, May 12-13, captured nearly a division of Lee’s army and came near to cutting the Confederate army in half. Confederate counterattacks plugged the gap, and fighting continued unabated for nearly 20 hours in what may well have been the most ferociously sustained combat of the Civil War. On May 19, a Confederate attempt to turn the Union right flank at Harris Farm was beaten back with severe casualties. Union generals Sedgwick (VI Corps commander) and Rice were killed. Confederate generals Johnson and Steuart were captured, Daniel and Perrin mortally wounded. On May 21, Grant disengaged and continued his advance on Richmond.”

Here are some pictures of soldiers who fought in the battle, from an exhibition display in the visitor’s center.

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