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Thread: Artillery Sidearms - Manassas

  1. #1
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    Default Artillery Sidearms - Manassas

    Just out of curiosity here, I know that sidearms were not the norm during the war in regards to artillery unite, however, were they they the norm at 1st Manassas (I'm mainly wondering in regards to Federals; though equally curious as to what CSA units would have).
    And if so, what was the particular pistol of choice to be issued then?

    Thanks in advance for any info.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by redlegger1 View Post
    Just out of curiosity here, I know that sidearms were not the norm during the war in regards to artillery unite, however, were they they the norm at 1st Manassas (I'm mainly wondering in regards to Federals; though equally curious as to what CSA units would have).
    And if so, what was the particular pistol of choice to be issued then?

    Thanks in advance for any info.
    Pistols were issued to Mounted Buglers (for self defense), and Sergeant's (to shoot the horses), and I'm sure many an officer had one......but as far as the gun crew? Nada. No horses for your gun? No issued pistol's.
    RJ Samp
    Horniste! Blas das Signal zum Angriffe!
    "But in the end, it's the history, stupid. If you can't document it, forget about it. And no amount of 'tomfoolery' can explain away conduct that in the end makes history (and living historians) look stupid and wrong. "

  3. #3
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    Default Certainly They weren't

    issued the National Government but you have to remember than a number of the units (artillery included) weren't regular army but state militia called up for short term duty.

    What they carried was very much up to them (and may be a factor in why the march down was littered with a lot of unnecessary junk) just as their uniform choices were up to them.

    So they may have had infantry weapons with them.

    HOWEVER before you take this as carte blanche to arm yourself with pistols and knives and swords the operative words here are MAY HAVE.

    Research your unit and if you can document the presence of sidearms for your impression then by all means go for it (unless it is against the event rules but they may make an exception if you can document your case).

    Otherwise play with the big gun and leave the close in stuff to us experts.
    Bob Sandusky
    Co C 125th NYSVI
    Esperance, NY

    "Out beyond the ideas of wrong doing and right doing there is a field. I'll meet you there." -
    Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Balkhi

    "If you find yourself in a fair fight, someone screwed up." - A new variation of Murphy's Law based on current Military experience in Iraq:

    “In war the first principle is to disobey orders. Any fool can obey orders!” - First Sea Lord Admiral Sir “Jackie” Fisher

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJSamp View Post
    Pistols were issued to Mounted Buglers (for self defense), and Sergeant's (to shoot the horses), and I'm sure many an officer had one......but as far as the gun crew? Nada. No horses for your gun? No issued pistol's.
    I blame Don Troiani for putting the idea into my head




    (also the pic is 2nd manassas which I was unaware of when I first remembered seeing it)

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by redlegger1 View Post
    I blame Don Troiani for putting the idea into my head




    (also the pic is 2nd manassas which I was unaware of when I first remembered seeing it)
    It's not like individual soldiers didn't carry side arms or stash a carbine\rifle on a limber\in a battery wagon, etc. If the answer is 1 out of every 25 that's 4 or 5 per battery kind of thing. However you used the magic word "issued" as in Government Issue as in GI.....and I gave you the partial 'see the manual' answer. I know that artillery buglers in the light field artillery were issued a pistol and a saber, for example.

    The normal gun crew was expected to use their primary defensive weapon: their cannon. Tough to keep a determined skirmish line from capturing the guns without infanty support to be sure....although the 9th Mass Battery managed just that at the Trostle Farm battle, July 2nd 1863 Gettysburg PA versus the battery gobbling 21st MS infantry regiment.

    PS: pistols are a pain to transport, store, carry, reload, CLEAN, effective range is much less than 50 feet in real life....I'd rather bring a couple of cans of Borden's Sweetened Condensed Milk along for the coffee, for example. About the same weight.....tastes great.....less of a pain to handle.
    RJ Samp
    Horniste! Blas das Signal zum Angriffe!
    "But in the end, it's the history, stupid. If you can't document it, forget about it. And no amount of 'tomfoolery' can explain away conduct that in the end makes history (and living historians) look stupid and wrong. "

  6. #6

    Exclamation

    Hallo!

    As shared, the ultimate litmus test for hisgtorically accurate impressions is what research and documentation shows for the time and place of the unit being portrayed.

    In the absence of that, we often have things because:

    1. we justify it for ourselves based on hobby lore, campfire discussions, wishful thinking, imagination, and coulda's (because that works for us and out Mental Pictures.. and

    2. depending on our ipressions, or unit standards, and the enforcved standards of the events we attend- we CAN

    IMHO and in my heresies, there are probably far more artillery crew "side arms" in use in reenacting than we in use during the ACW.



    As lads often say, save the money and put it towards a more authentic piece of uniform or kit or two.



    CHS
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
    I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.

  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RJSamp View Post
    It's not like individual soldiers didn't carry side arms or stash a carbine\rifle on a limber\in a battery wagon, etc. If the answer is 1 out of every 25 that's 4 or 5 per battery kind of thing. However you used the magic word "issued" as in Government Issue as in GI.....and I gave you the partial 'see the manual' answer. I know that artillery buglers in the light field artillery were issued a pistol and a saber, for example.

    The normal gun crew was expected to use their primary defensive weapon: their cannon. Tough to keep a determined skirmish line from capturing the guns without infanty support to be sure....although the 9th Mass Battery managed just that at the Trostle Farm battle, July 2nd 1863 Gettysburg PA versus the battery gobbling 21st MS infantry regiment.

    PS: pistols are a pain to transport, store, carry, reload, CLEAN, effective range is much less than 50 feet in real life....I'd rather bring a couple of cans of Borden's Sweetened Condensed Milk along for the coffee, for example. About the same weight.....tastes great.....less of a pain to handle.
    I completely agree with you. I really only inquired because all the research I have done in this area were regarding batteries that were mustered into service later in the war and thus had wondered if perhaps with 1st Manassas being the first (major) battle if maybe there were different initial regulations.

    I don't know what group the above painting is supposed to portray (some Maine battery according to the description), but I would be suprised if it is wholly correct with regular crew members - a runner, and possibly number 1 man (though he also has a sword frog?) dueling it out against the mounted charge.

    Anyways, Thanks for the info!

  8. #8
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    Default 6th NY Ind. Batt, had them.

    Unfortunately if those in command like you, you can carry what you like. if they don't you're screwed. Nothing worse than having some sob sister telling you how you should portray your unit.
    Too many times the order will come down no great coats and you see groups of coats, just appear. Same with swords. and pistols.
    Regards,
    Jeffrey Cohen

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