Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Mixed Arms

Last night, I was up at ASU again, continuing my journey through the compiled service records of the 58th NCT. It takes me about three hours to go through one roll. And to be honest, three hours is about as much microfilm reading that I can do at one time. The one really interesting thing that I found was a requisition, showing that the 58th NCT "borrowed" two cases of ammunition from the 65th GA: one thousand rounds of musket cartridges, and one thousand rounds of Mississippi ammunition. I suspect that the musket cartridges were .69 cal. smoothbore. Mississippi to me would mean .54 cal. What does all of this mean? That on the eve of the battle of Chickamauga, the 58th was mixed when it comes to their arms - possibly a nightmare for their ordnance officer.

Having a regiment with different caliber of arms seems to be a common thing for the first half of the war. Granted, I have only studied one other regiment on this level, the 37th NCT. The 37th started the war with flintlocks. By the time of the battle of New Bern, they were armed with altered .69 cal. muskets. After arriving in Virginia in May 1862, two companies of the regiment were armed with Enfield rifles (.577 caliber). In keeping with earlier time periods, these two companies should have been the flanking companies of the regiment. It was not until May/June 1863 that the rest of the regiment traded their smoothbores in for rifles.

Maybe in time, as I study other North Carolina regiments, more of this type of history can be brought to light.

1 comment:

Wade said...


So true on the three hour limit when looking at the Compiled Service Records. I'm currently going through some of the Alabama units that fought at Wyse's Forks. It can be tough on the eyes no doubt!

Its a good pain though, because at times you can discover a wealth of information on the unit and its Soldiers. Like your post on the logistics nightmare facing Confederate Ordnance Officers.

Post-battle recovery by the Confederate Ordnance details and individual Soldiers "DXing" their old, helped standardize the disparity of weapons in the ranks. Written accounts post-Chickamagua confirm the saying "to the victors goes the spoils of war."

Great story - thanks for sharing.