Civil War Interactive Discussion Board Home
Home Search search Menu menu Not logged in - Login | Register


Spencer Repeating Carbine/Rifle - Weapons of the Civil War - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
 Moderated by: javal1 Page:    1  2  Next Page Last Page  
 New Topic   Reply   Printer Friendly 
 Rating:  Rating
AuthorPost
 Posted: Mon Nov 5th, 2012 09:44 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
1st Post
BHR62
Member


Joined: Sun Dec 12th, 2010
Location: Indiana USA
Posts: 242
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I found an ancestor that served in the 72nd Indiana Mounted Infantry.  I like collecting weapons that my ancestors used during their wars.  My question is there a website that would make it easy to see what a specific regiment carried in the war?  I've not been able to find one.  I know the 72nd served in Wilder's Brigade.  Studying the 72nd I found that it appears the officers carried the carbine version of the Spencer.  But I'm getting conflicting info on the enlisted.  I've found info that they carried the Henry Repeating Rifle.....then they also carried the Spencer Repeating Rifle.  I would think a regiment would want a standard weapon just for ammo supply purposes.  I guess I could just buy all 3 and cover all my bases :D

Anyway any info on finding out what a regiment specifically carried would be very appreciated!



 Posted: Mon Nov 5th, 2012 11:46 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
2nd Post
Mark
Member
 

Joined: Mon Mar 30th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 434
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

According to Peter Cozzen's, "This Terrible Sound" (p.14-15) the whole brigade was armed (at private expense) with Spencer rifles. As to your question, there is no comprehensive website (at least not that I have found). Although, for units at Antietam, I've found the OBs this website helpful: http://antietam.aotw.org/

I know that doesn't help your specific question, but perhaps it will help in the future sometime.

Mark



 Posted: Mon Nov 5th, 2012 10:53 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
3rd Post
Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352


Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1065
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Actually, those not armed w/ Spencers were carrying P53 Enfield Rifle Muskets. The majority of the men were carrying Spencer Rifles but there were a smattering of Henry Rifles as well as Spencer Carbines in the Brigade.

A good inexpensive book to own is "An Introduction to Civil War Small Arms" by Coates & Thomas at around $10 it's pretty hard to beat as a quick reference.



 Posted: Tue Nov 6th, 2012 10:49 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
4th Post
Hellcat
Root Beer Lover


Joined: Tue Nov 15th, 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 901
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Why do I think I just picked that up a few weeks ago at Barnes and Noble? Gonna have to check, I know it was a book on Civil War weapons but don't remember the title.



 Posted: Tue Nov 6th, 2012 03:13 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
5th Post
BHR62
Member


Joined: Sun Dec 12th, 2010
Location: Indiana USA
Posts: 242
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Johan...I will definitely keep that book in mind for my next purchase.

Mark...thanks for the link. One thing I've learned in researching my family Civil War vets is to save any informative sites for future reference. Saves a lot of backtracking later.



 Posted: Wed Nov 7th, 2012 03:28 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
6th Post
Hellcat
Root Beer Lover


Joined: Tue Nov 15th, 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 901
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

We did kinda discuss something along these lines here, http://www.civilwarinteractive.com/forums/forum27/2721.html



 Posted: Wed Nov 7th, 2012 06:10 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
7th Post
benzland
Member
 

Joined: Tue Nov 6th, 2012
Location:  
Posts: 1
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

something's wrong with the link



Please do check out my own personal blog site



 Posted: Wed Nov 7th, 2012 01:15 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
8th Post
Texas Defender
Member


Joined: Sat Jan 27th, 2007
Location: Texas USA
Posts: 920
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

  There is nothing wrong with the link posted by Hellcat. Clearly, this new: "Member" is another self-promoter who: "benz" the truth.



 Posted: Wed Nov 7th, 2012 04:26 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
9th Post
Hellcat
Root Beer Lover


Joined: Tue Nov 15th, 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 901
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Thank you TD.



 Posted: Thu Nov 8th, 2012 02:26 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
10th Post
Darryl
Member
 

Joined: Mon Oct 22nd, 2012
Location:  
Posts: 43
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

BHR62, I have a reference that says the Union supplied ammunition for 123 different types of firearms. What logisitical nightmare. It would make sense for one weapon type for the whole regiment. Those Spencer weapons before February 1865 were spencer rifles. I have seen a copy of the original contract for the Spencer Carbines signed by the US War Department. It was dated after Christmas 1864. The first ones were issued at the start of March 1865. Sheridan's men, a great number of the regiments in the Army of the Potomac were issued them in April and early May before the mission to destroy Stuart and his cavalry.



 Posted: Fri Nov 9th, 2012 07:30 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
11th Post
Hellcat
Root Beer Lover


Joined: Tue Nov 15th, 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 901
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Darryl, are you sure Sheridan's men were issued Spencers in April and May 1865 before the mission to destroy Stuart and his cavalry? Cause that sounds more like it should be 1864 since Stuart was killed at Yellow Tavern in May 1864.



 Posted: Fri Nov 9th, 2012 10:01 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
12th Post
Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352


Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1065
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

The Spencer Carbine hit the field in October 63, although there were some private purchase ones in the field prior. The first Spencer Rifles were ordered by the Navy in June of 1861 but the first real deliveries weren't until the Spring of 1863; again there were some private purchase ones out there prior to that.



 Posted: Sun Nov 11th, 2012 05:10 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
13th Post
Darryl
Member
 

Joined: Mon Oct 22nd, 2012
Location:  
Posts: 43
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I'm sorry guys, I typed that wrong. You are right I screwed up the dates. The contract was in December 1863. I don't know why I typed the wrong dates. Getting old I guess.



 Posted: Mon Nov 12th, 2012 04:58 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
14th Post
Darryl
Member
 

Joined: Mon Oct 22nd, 2012
Location:  
Posts: 43
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

johan, you are right in some repects, but the US government didnot authorize the purchase of Spencer Carbines until that December 1863 contract. The various sources I reviewed state that their were a limited number of older Spencer carbines that were manufactured and issued under private issue, ie: state type issue to the volunteer regiments.
Records show that cavalry units of the Army of Potomac did receive Spencer rifles before Gettysburg. But only a few companies in each regiment received them. Only the best shots and sharpshooters among those companies. As mentioned earlier there was the mass rearming of cavalry units under Sheridan's command in the Spring of 64 that were issued the new carbines. I was thinking 1865 because I'm doing research on a book on the CSA cavalry, circa the winter of 1864 to the surrender of in April 1865. Like I said, Getting older.



 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2012 01:42 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
15th Post
Hellcat
Root Beer Lover


Joined: Tue Nov 15th, 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 901
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I've run across things saying the rifle was in use at least as early as Gettysburg while the carbine came into use later and that the carbine became more popular. Now I am checking both in the War of the Rebellion and have found something interesting on the carbine. Series 1, Volume 32, page 258 http://ebooks.library.cornell.edu/cgi/t/text/pageviewer-idx?c=moawar;cc=moawar;q1=Spencer%20carbine;rgn=full%20text;idno=waro0059;didno=waro0059;view=image;seq=0260 has in the conclusion of a letter to Stanton in April 1864 from General J.H. Wilson a discussion about the purchase of the carbines. It, the part of the letter I'm refering to, reads

The general desire of the best regiments is to be armed with the Spencer carbine. By arming one or two regiments in each department with them, their old arms turned in will supply the deficiencies in the other regiments

To the Second and Fourth Michigan, 700 Spencer carbines were furnished ; the Fourth United States, 600. It is proposed to furnish 700 for the Fifth Indiana and also the Second Iowa, of the Department of the Tennessee.



 Posted: Tue Nov 13th, 2012 02:01 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
16th Post
Mark
Member
 

Joined: Mon Mar 30th, 2009
Location:  
Posts: 434
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Neat! My old Regiment, the 4th Cavalry got some of the Spencer carbines! Thanks for the link Hellcat.

Mark



 Posted: Wed Nov 14th, 2012 03:57 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
17th Post
Hellcat
Root Beer Lover


Joined: Tue Nov 15th, 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 901
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Gotta love Cornell for putting the War of the Rebellion online and scanned at that. Same with the Offical Records of the Union and Confederate Navies. Makes it possible for those of us who don't own these sets to view them with realitive ease.



 Posted: Mon Nov 26th, 2012 11:11 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
18th Post
BHR62
Member


Joined: Sun Dec 12th, 2010
Location: Indiana USA
Posts: 242
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Anyone know who makes the best reproductions of the Spencer Rifle/Carbines?

I did some reading on the rifle and it amazes me how Ripley fought so hard against it being adopted army wide. Lincoln finally had to move him out of the department to get some movement on accepting them. Was Ripley just too old fashioned to accept new weaponry? The war would have been shorter if the Union army had more of these rifles and carbines out in the field.



 Posted: Mon Nov 26th, 2012 12:12 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
19th Post
Texas Defender
Member


Joined: Sat Jan 27th, 2007
Location: Texas USA
Posts: 920
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

BHR62-

  James Wolfe Ripley was born in 1794, and had already passed the usual retirement age before the war began.

  I'm not sure if he can be called old-fashioned, since he was very receptive to the need for rifled cannon. He was much less so to any form of repeating rifle, because he thought that it would lead to wholesale wasting of ammunition.

  Here is a bio of Ripley from the much maligned (especially on this forum) Wikipedia site. It gives a pretty good discussion of the controversy about muskets and repeating rifles.

James Wolfe Ripley - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



 Posted: Mon Nov 26th, 2012 04:15 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
20th Post
BHR62
Member


Joined: Sun Dec 12th, 2010
Location: Indiana USA
Posts: 242
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Thanks TD for that link. That was a pretty good look at the situation. Like it said though....the Union regiments that bought their own rifles didn't run into any ammo problems.

But Ripley may have been right on the wasting of ammo. My ancestors regiment that used them was at Hoover Gap. Each man in the regiment fired off 140 rds yet there was only 300 Confederate casualties. Thats a lot of ammo going down range with no results. Although it probably did keep the Confederates heads down with all that firepower.

I've noticed an anti-Wikipedia attitude also and I'm not sure why there is one.



 Current time is 06:10 pmPage:    1  2  Next Page Last Page  
Top




UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2008 Data 1 Systems
Page processed in 0.4289 seconds (8% database + 92% PHP). 26 queries executed.