View single post by Hellcat
 Posted: Sun Apr 10th, 2011 03:53 am
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Root Beer Lover

Joined: Tue Nov 15th, 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 830

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Ok, just got something interesting here for you. It's from The History of the Forty-Second Indiana by Captain S.F. Horrall ( Now I did a simple word search in the PDF for rifle and it came up with a single hit from page 165  (180 of the PDF), which is the start of the 19th chapter.

     WHEN the road leading from Louisville to Nashville was reached again, we went into camp for a general overhauling and reorganization of our division. The absence, from wounds, of General Lytle made it necessary for the selection of another commander for our brigade, which upon its reorganization consisted of four regiments, viz.,:

      The Forty-second Indiana, Fifteenth Kentucky, Third Ohio, and Eighty-eighth Indiana. Col. James G. Jones being senior colonel, he succeeded to the command, and at once drew on the Forty-second for two staff officers, namely Capt. James L. Orr for Brigade Quartermaster, and the writer of this for Ordinance officer and Inspector, both of whom entered upon the discharge of their duties at once. Major-General Lovell H. Rosseau remained in command of the division. All the commands, comparatively speaking were re-equipped. There were no companies, perhaps, in the brigade whose guns were all the same caliber; for those who had the old 69-calibre muskets at the start, altered from flint-locks to percussions, had when opportunity offered exchanged them for Engfield rifles, or for new muskets of 58-calibre, so it made it very difficult to supply them with ammunition! It was highly necessary, therefore, for uniformity of calibre to be obtained in every regiment.


The Chapter heading mentions that the Battle of Stones River is to be a part of the battle and these are the first two paragraphs of the chapter. So we do know the brigade had been carrying different caliber rifles/muskets and at this time they were trying to conform to a uniform caliber weapons throughout the brigade.

The thing that gets me is the Engfield rifles. Was this a mistake in the original writing or did the compilers of the PDF make a mistake and it's supposed to be Enfield rifles. If so, was there a .58 caliber Enfield that wasn't among the most commonly used in the Federal army? Or was there a rifle called an Engfield rifle and it was a .58 caliber weapon. Cause I really don't know how similar a .58 and a .577 caliber bullet is but I'd thing one is slightly larger than the other and might be more prone to jam in the smaller caliber gun.

Edit: Ok, doing some more research. The Experiences of a Private Soldier of the Civil War, by George Morgan  Kirkpatrick  ( has five hits on a search for rifle. Page 17 (19 of the PDF) states that the brigade had a jumble of calibers and that they changed to ENDFIELD rifles or .58 caliber muskets for uniformity. I stress Enffield because I get the feeling now that Engfield may have been a mistake of the folks doing the previous work rather than those transcribing it to PDF. I have to assume both meant Enfield. The next three hits are meaningless, two are about rifle pits and one about Mr. Kirkpatrick getting hit by a shot from a Whitworth rifle on August 11, 1864 (side note, Kirkpatrick was by that time a sharpshooter) while on picket duty. The fifth hit though is from a letter to his sister dated July 29, 1864 and falls on page 50 (52 of the PDF). Here he states he'd fired two thousand shots from his Springfield Rifle. So by the summer of 1864 some men of the 42nd were carrying Springfelds.

A change of search to musket brings up 8 hits. The first on page 4 (6 of the PDF) states that the 42nd Indiana drew flintlocks that had been used in 18124 and 1813 (the previous page states that they had enlisted on October 8th for three years or the duration of the war and drew ten days ration for the march to Chatanooga; 42nd roster page reveals he was mustered in October 9, 1861). Company A replaced these with 80 Halls breech-loaders. The next two hits are meaningless here, the four returns us to the Endfild rifles or .58 caliber muskets mentioned above. Hits fifth and sixth are meaningless. Hit seven is in reference to what appears to be a reunion around 1924 in which survivors were drilled with flintlocks (page 55, 57 of the PDF). Hit eight is meaningless. Meaningless meaning no reference to the type of rifle or musket being used by the men of the regiment.

Last edited on Sun Apr 10th, 2011 04:40 am by Hellcat

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