How many used single-shot pistols during the war?

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Championhilz

First Sergeant
Joined
Mar 18, 2011
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Clinton, Mississippi
William F. Scott, adjutant of the 4th Iowa Cavalry, had this to say about the regiment's arms in the spring of 1863:

"It was about this time that carbines were first issued to the regiment. Only forty could be obtained, and they were divided among several companies. They were "Hall" carbines, an inferior gun of short range, taking a paper cartridge; but they were breech-loaders, and their coming was a great interest to the men...The armament of the regiment in general was still very poor. A few men who had Colt's navy revolvers were the envy of their comrades, who had to put up with weapons in which they had no confidence. The clumsy Austrian (infantry) rifles, issued when the regiment was first equipped, were still in the hands of those men who had not had the hardihood or ingenuity to "lose" them. Some had revolvers of the Starr and other bad kinds, many had the single-barrelled holster-pistols, with ramrods, of the pattern in use in the Mexican War, while all had the awkwardly long and very heavy dragoon sabre, as old as the century. Every man saw and what was much worse, felt the inefficiency of the arms."

The Story of A Cavalry Regiment by William F. Scott, pg. 63
 

Booner

2nd Lieutenant
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May 4, 2015
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Boonville, MO
My GG Grandfather was in the 3rd Indiana Cav., and when they arrived in Washington, DC in Sept. of '61 were issued swords and "Dragoon Pistols" aka "horse pistols" which were carried in holsters affixed to the front part of their saddles. The trigger pull was so stout, that an aimed shot was all but impossible.
I'm reading through the history of his unit now in the hopes of finding when they were issued revolvers and carbines.
 
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rob63

Sergeant
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Jul 13, 2012
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738
Location
Indiana
I seem to recall a relic M1842 pistol from the Rosensteel collection in the old visitor's center at Gettysburg. Apparently a few single-shots were still around in 1863.
(I actually miss the old visitor's center and wonder where the relics from there went.)
I also miss the old visitor's center, it was far better than the current one in my opinion.

This clearly isn't the pistol you mentioned, but I thought I would share it simply because it fits into the discussion and it is a photo I took at the old Gettysburg visitor's center. (I wish I had taken a lot more!) I have no idea what the source of the information included with the pistol was, how reliable the attribution is, or why it is no longer on display. I kept the photo because I have the same pistol in my collection. It's a small pocket pistol that was surely a private purchase, not a government issue piece.

P1010076.JPG
 
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