Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Antietam Armament: What Firearms Did Each Army Carry in the Maryland Campaign?

This blown-up view of the 93rd New York Infantry taken shortly after the Maryland Campaign shows the infantrymen holding their Enfield rifled muskets (Library of Congress)
     By September 1862, both the United States and the Confederate States had one and a half years to streamline the process of arming their soldiers in the field with uniform firearms. So, on the Antietam battlefield, how many foot soldiers carried smoothbore muskets as compared to rifled firearms in each army? While the answer might seem difficult to arrive at, a survey of several sources gives us an accurate estimate.