Weapons used in the US Civil War

During the American Civil War, both the Union Army and the Confederate forces used, more or less, the same type of weapons, with the infantry on both sides being issued with either the Springfield M1861 Minié rifle or the Enfield rifle-musket. They were muzzle-loading, percussion cap guns that fired minié balls, the Springfield being a .71 (18mm)-caliber gun and the Enfield a .58-caliber. A minié ball could easily amputate an arm.

The Southerner cavalry were equipped with the LeMat single-action .42-caliber revolver, with a 9-round cylinder, while the Northern Army cavalrymen were armed with the Colt Dragoon Pistol, a .44, 6-round cylinder revolver.

The most widely used artillery piece in the Civil War was the 12-pounder Napoleon, a 121mm-caliber field gun that fired 4.1kg balls or canisters, with a range of 1.5 km. With a weight of 626 kg and cast in bronze, it was light and easy to be towed about in the battlefield by horses, but powerful enough to destroy fortifications.

Officially known as the 3-inch Ordnance Rifle, the Griffen Gun was another widely used weapon in this armed struggle; it was a 76mm rifled field gun, with a wrought-iron barrel that shot 4.5 kg shells to a distance of 1,800 yards.

Another artillery weapon used was the 10-pounder Parrot rifle, a 70mm rifled field gun, which had a reputation among artillery crew for being unsafe.

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