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"Carbines and questions without answers yet" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP14 Aug 2021 9:08 p.m. PST

"…Finally, this is the last of the series of Second Manassas related posts.

The army had five mounted regiments in service at the outbreak of the war and an inventory of just 4,076 carbines and 27,192 revolvers. Firearms could not be produced fast enough to meet demand, as volunteers poured into the ranks. In the first year of the war, most regiments received but ten carbines per company. Put another way, fewer than 10% of the men carried a carbine. On December 18, 1861, Gen. George Stoneman, then George McClellan's Chief of Cavalry, confirmed the policy, stating, "it was thought that for volunteer cavalry it would not be wise to put too many arms in the hands of inexperienced men." Too many arms meaning a carbine, pistol, and saber. Stoneman concluded his statement by noting, "I have made it a rule to withhold pistols from regiments which are armed with carbines."

Inventors answered the call for new weapons and factories sprang up to mass-produce carbines. But the growing ranks of eager young horsemen continued to overwhelm the army's ability to equip them. As early as November 1861, Gen. George McClellan asked that "no more cavalry regiments be authorized in any part of the country. Those already authorized cannot be armed and equipped for several months…"…"
From Small but Important Riots Blog


Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2021 5:39 a.m. PST

Nice post Armand. Robert O'Neill does fabulous and exhaustive research. One of the premier ACW cavalry historians.


donlowry15 Aug 2021 8:28 a.m. PST

4,076 carbines and 27,192 revolvers

That's a lot of revolvers for five regiments (about 5 per troopers)!

Bill N15 Aug 2021 10:55 a.m. PST

I read that differently Don. I was assuming those were the numbers of weapons in the army inventory rather than the number of weapons issued to the five cavalry regiments.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP15 Aug 2021 3:42 p.m. PST

A votre service mon ami….


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP24 Aug 2021 4:21 p.m. PST

Civil War – Cavalry Weapons



alexpainter11 Oct 2021 6:03 a.m. PST

Effectively the army was about 17.000 men and officers strong, assuming for a cavlry rgt a force of (generally less than)about 600 men, and you have to add also artillery's crews and enginneers' corp, we have to consider that there was surely a sort of reserve for the revolvers, a lot of officers bought their sidearms, f.e. Custer at LBH had a pair of Webleys. Surely some of these carabines were obsolete/older models

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