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jerryeberg
09-13-2007, 09:03 AM
Did all units have to return their guns to the government after their unit was disbanded? North and South? Or did they get to keep their issued guns?
The only thing I could find/remember was that they did have to return them in the book "The Guns of the South."
thanks

cblodg
09-13-2007, 09:49 AM
Did all units have to return their guns to the government after their unit was disbanded? North and South? Or did they get to keep their issued guns?
The only thing I could find/remember was that they did have to return them in the book "The Guns of the South."
thanks

I'll keep looking, but as I recall they had the option to buy their musket after the war was over.

Chris

NC5thcav
09-13-2007, 09:53 AM
Confederates, obviously, surrendered their weapons when their unit surrendered. If they didn't surrender, they may have taken them home. Federal soldiers had the option of buying their weapons. I can't remember where I saw this, but I beleive they could buy their muskets for $8 or something like that.


The only thing I could find/remember was that they did have to return them in the book "The Guns of the South."
thanks

Is that the same one about the South using AKs or something? If so, I would completely disregard it.

jerryeberg
09-13-2007, 10:01 AM
Yea, it's the AK one. I don't and wouldn't use it for research, too many inaccuracies. But they did have to return the guns after they won the war, and that's what got me wondering. Thanks.

Kevin O'Beirne
09-13-2007, 10:25 AM
To add to the post above, long arms, bayonets, leathers, and the related tools including wrenches and tompions (collectively, "ordnance stores") were the property of the army, not the individual. Other gear, such as knapsacks, haversacks (both of which were "camp equipage"), and blankets (considered as part of the soldier's clothing), became the property of the individual.

Of course, at the end of the war, the US government had little use for millions of ordnance stores, and thus they typically offered them for sale to the soldiers.

jerryeberg
09-13-2007, 10:27 AM
Does anyone know what happened to the guns that weren't sold. Some were converted, I know that, but not all.

Kevin O'Beirne
09-13-2007, 10:46 AM
Does anyone know what happened to the guns that weren't sold. Some were converted, I know that, but not all.

That's what armories were for.

cblodg
09-13-2007, 10:46 AM
To add to the post above, long arms, bayonets, leathers, and the related tools including wrenches and tompions (collectively, "ordnance stores") were the property of the army, not the individual. Other gear, such as knapsacks, haversacks (both of which were "camp equipage"), and blankets (considered as part of the soldier's clothing), became the property of the individual.

Of course, at the end of the war, the US government had little use for millions of ordnance stores, and thus they typically offered them for sale to the soldiers.

What I couldn't believe is the hat belonged to the soldier, but the brass (ie Company letters, etc.) belonged to the government. I'll have to keep reading the school of the clerk 2007 over on the AC.

Chris

Jim Mayo
09-13-2007, 11:00 AM
Don't forget that at the end of the war, Bannerman bought large quantities of arms and other items from the US government as surplus. These articles were sold through catalogs and to foreign governments. Catalog sales continued into the 1950s. IMO, most of the P-1864 embossed cartridge boxes, belt, cap box and bayonet sets were surplus items sold after the war.

Some soldiers bought their arms and accroutements as they mustered out. Some also bought arms and accrouterments for reunions from catalogs. That is one reason that if you buy a identified US musket or accrouterments, and there isn't a National Archive receipt or record of that money being taken out at discharge for that person, you can't be sure it was used by him in the war. It may have been bought later.

Picket Post
09-13-2007, 12:55 PM
couple of points...

I read an account years ago of a Confederate soldier who was wounded in battle. He, along with his 55 rifle musket, limped to the rear and was getting into an ambulance. He was ordered to drop his weapon and his accouterments, and was told that he would be issued a weapon and accouterments when he returned to his company (he was very reluctant to give up his 55!)

Many weapons were taken to the arsenals to be cleaned up, etc. Many surplus weapons were sold back to Europe shortly after the war. This is my theory on why there are very few original Enfields with the original blueing. I believe many of them were returned to bare metal during the cleaning process after (and even during) the war. Just a theory, mind you.

jerryeberg
09-16-2007, 11:08 PM
I didn't know original blued enfields were rare, I have one. I think. I really don't know much about it at all, and so I'm trying tw o find out as much about it as possible. (that's one reason I started this post)

TheQM
09-17-2007, 01:55 AM
I remember reading that the Federal Government distroyed most of the weapons they captured from the Confederates at the end of the War. They had bunches of their own, now obsolete, rifle muskets to get rid of and they didn't want the market flooded with all those Confederate Enfields and Lorenzes.

It would have been pretty tough for a Confederate vet to get his weapon home, even if he didn't surrender it to Federal authorties. These guys had to get home the best way they could and I doubt the Yankee Army patrols would take kindly to a Reb walking down the road with his musket over his shoulder!

Pete K
09-17-2007, 02:58 AM
Many of the weapons were sold to European governments after the war. Denmark and Greece were large buyers of US surpuls weapons and uniforms in the late1860's.
Source of Information: Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall and Military Museum, Pittsburgh, PA

sbl
09-17-2007, 03:03 AM
Peter, I was just trying to look this up during lunch break.
I'm sure surpluse US weapons went to Juarista forces in Mexico fighting the French. Possibly sold to Brazil and/or Argentina for their war with Paraguay. I'll look later.

Jim Mayo
09-17-2007, 06:51 AM
I didn't know original blued enfields were rare, I have one. I think. I really don't know much about it at all, and so I'm trying tw o find out as much about it as possible. (that's one reason I started this post)

Original blued enfields aren't rare. Just the ones with the blue still showing are rare.

Read this: http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/1864/enf/enfblue.htm

Picket Post
09-17-2007, 07:05 AM
Original blued enfields aren't rare. Just the ones with the blue still showing are rare.

Read this: http://www.geocities.com/Pentagon/Quarters/1864/enf/enfblue.htm


so, if most originals do not have the blueing left on them, arent original blued enfields rare by default? I think you mean to say Enfields with blueing WERE not rare, but original examples with the blueing intact is rare, which is what I said.

Im not getting into the "did they come blued or not" arguement. As I noted before, I believe they were mostly blued, and that the blueing was removed on many weapons when the arsenals serviced/cleaned the weapons prior to being reissued or sold.

OVI
09-17-2007, 10:31 AM
I remember reading an account years ago from a Federal soldier who lamented not buying his musket when given the opportunity after the war. He mentioned that the government had so many muskets from units mustering out that they would use them to corduroy roads.

Kent Dorr
"Devils Own Mess"

Jim Mayo
09-17-2007, 01:15 PM
so, if most originals do not have the blueing left on them, arent original blued enfields rare by default? I think you mean to say Enfields with blueing WERE not rare, but original examples with the blueing intact is rare, which is what I said.

Im not getting into the "did they come blued or not" arguement. As I noted before, I believe they were mostly blued, and that the blueing was removed on many weapons when the arsenals serviced/cleaned the weapons prior to being reissued or sold.


The question was the rareity of originally blued enfields. Not enfields with bluing still showing. If you subscibe to the fact that all P-53 enfields were blued when manufactured, that makes every Enfield an originally blued enfield. It's just a play on words and nothing to get excited about.

mack63
11-15-2007, 09:03 AM
I remember reading an account years ago from a Federal soldier who lamented not buying his musket when given the opportunity after the war. He mentioned that the government had so many muskets from units mustering out that they would use them to corduroy roads.

Kent Dorr
"Devils Own Mess"

my great great grandfather bought his springfield and brought it home to casey county kentucky, my dad took it to school for show and tell and somebody stole it out of the cloak room of the one room school house..
can you imagine taking a weapon to school for show and tell now days..

regards
jg mcaninch

Craig L Barry
11-26-2007, 03:47 PM
Two General Orders issued at the close of hostilities by the Secretary of War Number 101 (May 30, 1865) and Number 114 (June 15, 1865) stated that all Federal soldiers who wished to retain the arms and accoutrements could do so by having the value deducted from their pay.

The prices determined by the Ordnance Department were $6 for muskets of any type, with or without accoutrements, $8 for most types of carbines and revolvers, and $3 for sabers and swords. The estimated one million Federals mustered out of service were allowed to retain, without charge, their canteens, haversacks, and knapsacks as Kevin O'Beirne states.

tompritchett
11-27-2007, 04:48 AM
Ouch! Over a billion percussion caps and small arm rounds. Thank you for those figures.

Pvt Schnapps
11-27-2007, 09:18 AM
Reported in the June 17, 1865 issue of the Army Navy Journal:

"GENERAL Orders No. 101, from the War Department, gives all honorably-discharged soldiers the privilege of retaining their arms, on condition that they purchase them at the following rates:

"Muskets, all kinds, with or without accoutrements, six
dollars.

"Spencer carbines, with or without accoutrements, ten
dollars.

"All other carbines and revolvers, eight dollars.

"Sabres, swords, with or without belts, three dollars."


An interesting summary of the operations of the Ordnance Department and the disposal issue, addressing some of the points made earlier, begins on page 1042 of Series III, Volume V of the Official Records:


"The operations at the National Armory at Springfield, Mass., during the past year have been confined to cleaning and repairing arms used during the war, and to making the requisite preparations for converting the Springfield muskets into breech-loaders... The ordnance returns for three consecutive years, including a period of active service and ordinary repairs, show an average duration of five years for cavalry carbines, of four years for cavalry pistols, sabers, and accouterments, of seven years for infantry muskets, and of six years for infantry accouterments. From January 1, 1861, to June 30, 1866, the Ordnance Department provided 7,892 cannon, 11,787 artillery carriages, 4,022,130 small-arms, 2,362,546 complete sets of accouterments for infantry and cavalry, 539,544 complete sets of cavalry horse equipments, 28,164 sets of horse artillery harness, 1,022,176,474 cartridges for small-arms, 1,220,555,435 percussion-caps, 2,862,177 rounds of fixed artillery ammunition, 14,507,682 cannon primers and fuses, 12,875,294 pounds of artillery projectiles, 26,440,054 pounds of gunpowder, 6,395,152 pounds of niter, and 90,416,295 pounds of lead. In addition to these there were immense quantities of parts provided for repairing and making good articles damaged, lost, or destroyed in the service."

As for disposition of stocks on hand, page 530 of the same volume states:

"The manufacture of arms at the National Armory was reduced at
the conclusion of hostilities as rapidly as could be done with economy,
and at present no new muskets are being made there. With a view
to change the model of small-arms from muzzle-loaders to breech-
loaders, extensive experiments have been made; but they have not
yet resulted in the selection of a model of such decided excellence as
to render its adoption for the service advisable. It is hoped that
such a model may soon be found. A plan for altering the musket of
the present pattern into efficient breech-loaders has been devised, and
5,000 of them are being so altered for issue to troops for practical
test. There are nearly 1,000,000 good Springfield muskets on hand,
and upward of 500,000 foreign and captured muskets. The latter
will be sold whenever suitable prices can be obtained for them, and
also other ordnance stores of a perishable nature which are in excess
of the wants of the service."

Craig L Barry
11-28-2007, 02:13 AM
If you want to determine if an Enfield was blued during its Civil War career, remove the barrel from the stock and look at the finish underneath.