Tell me more! Long Arms Used by Specific Pennsylvania Infantry Regiments - Here is a List

Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Following up on a prior thread that I had started ( https://civilwartalk.com/threads/1841-mississippi-leman-modification.177955/#post-2315727 ), I have been doing some Internet searches on the longarms used by Pennsylvania infantry regiments. My interest arose after purchasing a Leman Modified M-1841 Mississippi Rifle, a modification that was made to the M-1841 Mississippi's that belonged to Pennsylvania ( 2,352 of these guns had been re-bored to .58 cal, and modified to accept a socket bayonet). I am still working on this search, but I thought I would share some interesting results. Below is a list of PA regiments for which I found information regarding the longarms they used:

  • 25th PA Infantry Regt: issued "new Springfield rifles" on April 17, 1861
  • 47th PA Infantry Regt: comprised of 911 men in August, 1861; armed with 1841 Mississippi rifles (Editorial comment: this theoretically would account for 39% of the Leman-modified Mississippi's...would Pennsylvania have any other Mississippi's that were not modified?...it wouldn't seem to make sense to not have them all modified)
  • 48th PA Infantry Regt (a.k.a Schuylkill Regt): initially smoothbore muskets converted from flintlock; replaced by Enfields in May, 1862
  • 50th PA Infantry Regt: initially armed with M-1816 muskets converted from flintlock; within a few months were re-armed with .54 cal Lorenz; in 1863, forced to replace with 1861 Springfields (the soldiers liked their Lorenz muskets which also were a bit lighter than the Springfield so they tried to resist the swap)
  • 52nd PA Infantry Regt: re-armed with Springfields in December, 1863; note that earlier in the war on May 20, 1862 during the Penninsula Campaign, 100 men (Company E) were designated as Sharpshooters (editorial comment: so it makes you wonder what weapons these 100 men carried)
  • 90th PA Infantry Regt: initially armed with .69 cal muskets converted from flintlock; carried these until the Siege of Petersburg when they received Springfields
  • 96th PA Infantry Regt: Austrian muskets later replaced by Enfields while at Malvern Hill, July 15, 1862
  • 140th PA Infantry Regt: initially armed with unwieldy Vincennes muskets; received "Springfield Rifled Muskets" on January 18, 1863
  • 9th PA Reserve Regt (a.k.a. 38th PA Voluntary Infantry): initially armed with 1842 Smoothbores, but quickly exchanged for 1861 Springfields (though many other PA Regts carried the 1842s for most/all of their service)
  • 11th PA Reserve Regt (a.k.a. 40th PA Voluntary Infantry): carried 1842 Smoothbores until they mustered out June 13, 1864
  • 13th PA Reserve Regt (a.k.a. 42nd PA Voluntary Infantry,1st PA Rifles, Kane's Rifles, The Bucktails): 1859 Sharps Rifles (not the carbines)

I am still working my way through the complete list of PA regiments....I'll update you later when I complete this search.

Mind you, the source of my information is a Wikipedia page ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Pennsylvania_Civil_War_units ) that lists (and provides links) to all the PA regiments from the Civil War. I have not verified this information independently by reading any primary reference materials (nor have I followed up on any of the references noted in the Wikipedia pages), but I thought I'd post the information here and see if anyone can confirm or deny the accuracy of the information.

NOTE: The information above is only as specific as what was provided by the Wikipedia page....therefore, in some cases the terms "Springfields" or "Austrian muskets" are used but the specific model was not noted.
 
Joined
Jun 24, 2020
Attached is a link to a Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Park blog. Eric Mink who works at the park has identified the weapons used by every battery and company who fought at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and the Wilderness. Links to his spreadsheets are in each blog post. He also incluDes where he got his information. I have not tracked that down as of yet. https://npsfrsp.wordpress.com/?s=Weapons

Good luck.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Here's a fellow that served with the 76th PA Inf Regt. What weapon is he holding? I see a patchbox.

Unidentified_soldier_of_the_76th_Pennsylvania_Infantry_Regiment_in_zouave_uniform_with_bayonte...jpg
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
OK, so I managed to track down more information, some of it from primary sources (e.g. History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5 by Samuel P. Bates; I will note the reference as HOPV):

  • 20th PA Infantry Regt: initially armed with "rifled muskets"
  • 97th PA Infantry Regt: September 14, 1861 received the "old rifled musket"; on November 20, 1861 received 1861 Springfields (Reference = "History of the Ninety-seventh regiment, Pennsylvania volunteer infantry, during the war of the rebellion 1861-65" by Isaiah Price); Question: could the "old rifled muskets" be the 1841 Mississippi rifles? The only other "old rifled muskets" that I can think of would be the M-1855s, but in all likelihood these probably would not have been considered "old" considering they were made only a few years prior to the war. Comments???
  • 145th PA Infantry Regt: mid-September 1861 received the "old Harpers Ferry musket" (Reference = HOPV); Question: what musket would they be referring to in all likelihood?
  • 123rd PA Infantry Regt: August 29, 1861 received "arms"; after First Bull Run and before September 14, 1861, exchanged the "Austrian musket" for "Springfield rifles" (Reference = HOPV)
  • 131st PA Infantry Regt: in period between late August and mid-September, 1861, exchanged "Austrian muskets" for "Springfield muskets" (Reference = HOPV); Question: sounds like both the 123rd and the 131st exchanged arms at the same time and likely received the same Springfields but not sure which model...what model would that be, the 1861s?
  • 155th PA Infantry Regt: after Bull Run, "the enemy having advanced into Maryland...we paused in Washington long enough to exchange our worthless Austrian rifles...for the smoothbore Springfield muskets" (Reference = HOPV)
  • 143rd PA Infantry Regt: November 7, 1861, the regiment "proceeded to Harrisburg where it was armed with Enfield rifles (Reference = HOPV)
  • 138th PA Infantry Regt: soon after March 13, 1864, "the smooth bore muskets were exchanged for "Springfield rifle muskets" (Reference = HOPV)
Still working on this project....I will update as I get more info. Your contributions and comments graciously welcomed!
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Attached is a link to a Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Park blog. Eric Mink who works at the park has identified the weapons used by every battery and company who fought at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and the Wilderness. Links to his spreadsheets are in each blog post. He also incluDes where he got his information. I have not tracked that down as of yet. https://npsfrsp.wordpress.com/?s=Weapons

Good luck.
This is a fantastic resource! :thumbsup:

Why have you been hiding this until now!!!!!!! :stomp: (haha!)
 

Kyle Kalasnik

Sergeant
Joined
Aug 3, 2014
Location
Potter County, PA
I know many regiments (from multiple states) carried a mix of arms, for example a certain regiment carried Enfields and Springfields. But would the issue of arm be a bit more uniformed by company?

For example...
A Company - Enfields
B Company - 1861 Springfield
C Company - 1842 Springfield
D Company - 1861 Springfield
E Company 1861 Springfield
F Company - Enfields
G Company - 1861 Springfield
H Company - 1855 Springfield ...etc
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Location
Texas
Question: could the "old rifled muskets" be the 1841 Mississippi rifles? The only other "old rifled muskets" that I can think of would be the M-1855s, but in all likelihood these probably would not have been considered "old" considering they were made only a few years prior to the war. Comments???

In all likelihood that would be a reference to rifled M1842 Muskets or altered and rifled M1822/28s.


  • 145th PA Infantry Regt: mid-September 1861 received the "old Harpers Ferry musket" (Reference = HOPV); Question: what musket would they be referring to in all likelihood?

Again, likely M1842 or percussion altered M1822/28 muskets, with all or at least a substantial portion of them having been made at Harpers Ferry.


  • 123rd PA Infantry Regt: August 29, 1861 received "arms"; after First Bull Run and before September 14, 1861, exchanged the "Austrian musket" for "Springfield rifles" (Reference = HOPV)
  • 131st PA Infantry Regt: in period between late August and mid-September, 1861, exchanged "Austrian muskets" for "Springfield muskets" (Reference = HOPV); Question: sounds like both the 123rd and the 131st exchanged arms at the same time and likely received the same Springfields but not sure which model...what model would that be, the 1861s?

If the 1861 dated are correct I doubt both of those regiments received new US M1861 Rifle-Muskets. It is more probable that the 123rd got M1855s, while the 131st may have gotten smoothbore M1842s since they don't make any comment about the arms being rifled. If you find an ordnance return listing the ammunition they were drawing you could at least solve the .58 vs .69 caliber dilemma.
 

Noonanda

Private
Joined
Oct 19, 2016
Location
Fredericksburg Virginia
Following up on a prior thread that I had started ( https://civilwartalk.com/threads/1841-mississippi-leman-modification.177955/#post-2315727 ), I have been doing some Internet searches on the longarms used by Pennsylvania infantry regiments. My interest arose after purchasing a Leman Modified M-1841 Mississippi Rifle, a modification that was made to the M-1841 Mississippi's that belonged to Pennsylvania ( 2,352 of these guns had been re-bored to .58 cal, and modified to accept a socket bayonet). I am still working on this search, but I thought I would share some interesting results. Below is a list of PA regiments for which I found information regarding the longarms they used:

  • 25th PA Infantry Regt: issued "new Springfield rifles" on April 17, 1861
  • 47th PA Infantry Regt: comprised of 911 men in August, 1861; armed with 1841 Mississippi rifles (Editorial comment: this theoretically would account for 39% of the Leman-modified Mississippi's...would Pennsylvania have any other Mississippi's that were not modified?...it wouldn't seem to make sense to not have them all modified)
  • 48th PA Infantry Regt (a.k.a Schuylkill Regt): initially smoothbore muskets converted from flintlock; replaced by Enfields in May, 1862
  • 50th PA Infantry Regt: initially armed with M-1816 muskets converted from flintlock; within a few months were re-armed with .54 cal Lorenz; in 1863, forced to replace with 1861 Springfields (the soldiers liked their Lorenz muskets which also were a bit lighter than the Springfield so they tried to resist the swap)
  • 52nd PA Infantry Regt: re-armed with Springfields in December, 1863; note that earlier in the war on May 20, 1862 during the Penninsula Campaign, 100 men (Company E) were designated as Sharpshooters (editorial comment: so it makes you wonder what weapons these 100 men carried)
  • 90th PA Infantry Regt: initially armed with .69 cal muskets converted from flintlock; carried these until the Siege of Petersburg when they received Springfields
  • 96th PA Infantry Regt: Austrian muskets later replaced by Enfields while at Malvern Hill, July 15, 1862
  • 140th PA Infantry Regt: initially armed with unwieldy Vincennes muskets; received "Springfield Rifled Muskets" on January 18, 1863
  • 9th PA Reserve Regt (a.k.a. 38th PA Voluntary Infantry): initially armed with 1842 Smoothbores, but quickly exchanged for 1861 Springfields (though many other PA Regts carried the 1842s for most/all of their service)
  • 11th PA Reserve Regt (a.k.a. 40th PA Voluntary Infantry): carried 1842 Smoothbores until they mustered out June 13, 1864
  • 13th PA Reserve Regt (a.k.a. 42nd PA Voluntary Infantry,1st PA Rifles, Kane's Rifles, The Bucktails): 1859 Sharps Rifles (not the carbines)

I am still working my way through the complete list of PA regiments....I'll update you later when I complete this search.

Mind you, the source of my information is a Wikipedia page ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Pennsylvania_Civil_War_units ) that lists (and provides links) to all the PA regiments from the Civil War. I have not verified this information independently by reading any primary reference materials (nor have I followed up on any of the references noted in the Wikipedia pages), but I thought I'd post the information here and see if anyone can confirm or deny the accuracy of the information.

NOTE: The information above is only as specific as what was provided by the Wikipedia page....therefore, in some cases the terms "Springfields" or "Austrian muskets" are used but the specific model was not noted.
Are you sure of this info, I have summaries of the Ordnance returns from the NPS that were compield from the official record. Even taking them with a grain of salt there are some differences between what you have posted and what they say.

The Ordnance returns for the 90th Penn just after Fredericksburg list them as having a mix of 1842 Springfield smoothbores and Rifled Muskets. Same for Chancellorsville. Going into the Overland campaign they only had 1842 Smoothbores.

The 40th PA (11th Penn reserves) had 1842 for Fredericksburg, no listing for Chancellorsville, but went into the overland campaign with a small smattering of Enfields as well
 

Noonanda

Private
Joined
Oct 19, 2016
Location
Fredericksburg Virginia
Attached is a link to a Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Park blog. Eric Mink who works at the park has identified the weapons used by every battery and company who fought at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and the Wilderness. Links to his spreadsheets are in each blog post. He also incluDes where he got his information. I have not tracked that down as of yet. https://npsfrsp.wordpress.com/?s=Weapons

Good luck.
I have .pdf files of the 3 docs you mention, got them from Eric a few weeks ago. More than willing to share them if anyone is interested, just PM me the email address you would like them sent to
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Are you sure of this info, I have summaries of the Ordnance returns from the NPS that were compield from the official record. Even taking them with a grain of salt there are some differences between what you have posted and what they say.

The Ordnance returns for the 90th Penn just after Fredericksburg list them as having a mix of 1842 Springfield smoothbores and Rifled Muskets. Same for Chancellorsville. Going into the Overland campaign they only had 1842 Smoothbores.

The 40th PA (11th Penn reserves) had 1842 for Fredericksburg, no listing for Chancellorsville, but went into the overland campaign with a small smattering of Enfields as well
As I noted in Post#1, I did not independently verify the longarms information in Post #1, but I have found some primary references now that will allow some checking (but perhaps not for each regiment). In Post#5, almost all of that information is from primary references (see Post#5 for reference notes).

I have not yet completed my work on this, but hope to post again this weekend...sorry for the delay.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
I must say that in my efforts to try and identify PA regiments that used the 1841 Mississippi's, I have not yet found much reference to them (only the 47th PA Regt, which mustered in with 911 soldiers and there is no reference to the type of bayonet so its not entirely clear whether they were the Leman altered ones), although I am still working on this project. I find it strange that in an army that was clamoring for weapons, where conversions from flintlock are fairly prominent and sub-standard European weapons were also being used, that Pennsylvania's inventory of 1841 Mississippi's would somehow have been not been used by primary combat units. Considering that the Leman alteration (re-bored to use the .58 cal Minie, and altered to take a socket bayonet) basically put the 1841s on par with the M-1855s, why would these guns not be considered a viable and desireable weapon? I know I would have gladly accepted the altered 1841s over alot of the other junk that was being used at the start of the war. Please share any insights on this question.

Also, does anyone have the allocation records of 1841 Missy's to Pennsylvania under the Militia Act (correct name?)? How many did PA receive? Is it safe to presume that the 2,352 Missy's that underwent the Leman alteration comprised the entire inventory of Missy's?
 

Noonanda

Private
Joined
Oct 19, 2016
Location
Fredericksburg Virginia
I looked in the Fredericksburg Returns, the only Pennsylvania units that has the Mississippi rifle listed is the 102nd Penn with 3 "U.S. Rifles, model 1840. Calibre .54", the 136th with 54 "U.S. Rifles, sword bayonet, model 1840, 1845. Calibre .58 (which would obviously be a modified Mississippi).

They may have had more before that that were traded in for other arms, such as the Lorentz or even the 1842.

But surprisingly a decent smattering of Mississippi's with NH and Connecticut units
 

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Noonanda

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Location
Fredericksburg Virginia
Considering that the Leman alteration (re-bored to use the .58 cal Minie, and altered to take a socket bayonet) basically put the 1841s on par with the M-1855s, why would these guns not be considered a viable and desireable weapon? I know I would have gladly accepted the altered 1841s over alot of the other junk that was being used at the start of the war. Please share any insights on this question.
The 1841 Rifle while desireable when compared to some of the junk rifles coming over from Europe or even our own arsenals, would not have been as desirable as a Rifle Musket or Rifled Musket. Dont get me wrong, I think the 1841 is a great Rifle, but if I had to choose a weapon on the battlefield, a Springfield or Enfield would be my first choice, then a Lorentz, then a shorter gun such as a rifle like the 1841. Now if I was one of the flank/Skirmish companies I would prefer a rifle.
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
I'm back...started digging through primary references again. This is what I found from a limited Google book view (I don't have full access) of "The Pennsylvania Reserves in the Civil War: A Comprehensive History" by Uzal W. Ent:

  • 13th PA Reserves - page 6; this unit was originally armed with 1837 Harper's Ferry muskets which caused a "near-riot" when the men were told. They did not want these old muskets. As I noted in post#1, this unit was later armed with Sharps rifles, since they were an infantry regiment, but the author states they were issued Sharps breech loading carbines (I think the author made an error since these were in high demand by the cavalry, and the Sharps carbine would not have been suited for possible bayonet charges).
  • 2nd PA Reserves - page 8; initially armed with "smoothbore muskets" and that was still the case in July 1861.
  • 9th PA Reserves - page 35; "the Johnnies were astonished with the 9ths rapid handling of our Sharpe's (sic) rifles" (quote relates to December 20, 1861 Battle of Dranesville. Note that this conflicts with what was identified in post#1...or perhaps some Sharps rifles were distributed to a particular company?...I have heard that "flank companies" were often issued rifles, and have seen that mentioned in primary reference books.
I wasn't planning on covering cavalry regiments, but here's an interesting quote from the book:
  • 1st PA Reserve Cavalry - page 40; "originally, the United States armed each cavalryman with a pistol and a sabre, plus ten carbines to each company. From time to time thereafter, the number of carbines was increased, until September 1862, when, finally, the whole regiment was armed with them."
Considering that I live in Canad-istan and can't access U.S. Libraries that may have primary resources, and I am cheapskate (haha) trying to do this search using only free online resources, I'll continue to do what I can, but you won't be stepping on my toes if you pitch in and look through this and similar books. Does anyone have or can access the above book?
 
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Joined
Nov 1, 2018
What gun is this Pennsylvania soldier carrying? I don't know the date of the photo, but as of September 2, 1861, his regiment (11th PA Reserve) was armed with "the altered flint-locks, except the flank companies, which have rifles". Can anyone identify his weapon?

Pennsylvania soldier.jpg
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
Continuing my research....re post#15 about the 9th PA Reserves (a.k.a the 38th PA Volunteer infantry) I have just verified that indeed some men were using Sharp's rifles, and I identified which Company. For simplicity, I will re-post everything I have found about this regiment here in one place:
  • 9th PA Reserve Regt (a.k.a. 38th PA Voluntary Infantry): initially armed with 1842 Smoothbores, but quickly exchanged for 1861 Springfields (though many other PA Regts carried the 1842s for most/all of their service); source for this info was a Wikipedia page
  • "the Johnnies were astonished with the 9ths rapid handling of our Sharpe's (sic) rifles" (quote relates to December 20, 1861 Battle of Dranesville. (my earlier commentary in post#15 stated - Note that this conflicts with what was identified in post#1...or perhaps some Sharps rifles were distributed to a particular company?...I have heard that "flank companies" were often issued rifles, and have seen that mentioned in primary reference books; source is page 35 of "The Pennsylvania Reserves in the Civil War: A Comprehensive History" by Uzal W. Ent)
  • On September 21, 1861, "..the Harper's Ferry smooth-bore muskets...were exchanged for new Springfield rifled muskets ... except Company A, which was armed with Sharp's rifles, the private property of the men."; source is page 784 of "History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5" by Samuel P. Bates
It seems there is a fair bit of information about weapons used by different regiments, if one digs deep. This has been an interesting research project, though it requires a great deal of time. And, as the ultimate reward for myself, I corroborated another piece of information regarding the 1841 Mississippi rifles (Leman Alteration). In post#1, I wrote:
  • 47th PA Infantry Regt: comprised of 911 men in August, 1861; armed with 1841 Mississippi rifles (Editorial comment: this theoretically would account for 39% of the Leman-modified Mississippi's...would Pennsylvania have any other Mississippi's that were not modified?...it wouldn't seem to make sense to not have them all modified)
The new piece of information re the 47th PA Infantry is that:
  • "It had been armed by the State with the Mississippi Rifle and drilled exclusively in light infantry tactics"; source is page 784 of "History of the Pennsylvania Volunteers, 1861-5" by Samuel P. Bates (Editorial comment: since it is clear that the 1841s were issued by the State, these must have been the Leman modified Mississippis. But just to take the verification one step further, does anyone have records regarding how many 1841 Mississippis Pennsylvania had received under the Militia Act?)
 

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
Member of the Year
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Jan 16, 2015
Here are some mentions in the sources cited, nearly all pertaining to the period of the Gettysburg campaign, June-July 1863:

69th Pennsylvania: Most armed with Springfields and Enfields, but a May 1863 ordnance report shows C, D, F and H still had a number of .69 cal. rifled muskets carrying buck and ball rounds. Company F was completely armed with .69 cal. rifled muskets. (At the Wall, the 69th Pennsylvania … at Gettysburg, by Don Ernsberger, p. 86)

Company D, 72nd Pennsylvania: Mention of Springfield rifled muskets, cal. 58. (Record of ordnance and ordnance stores dated August 24, 1863)

155th Pennsylvania: Received permission after the battle of Gettysburg to replace their old buck and ball muskets with Springfield rifles collected from the battlefield. (Marshall, Company K, 155th Pennsylvania). During the battle, while posted on Little Round Top, the regiment did not open fire until almost sunset, when the Confederates came near in Plum Run valley in their final advance of July 2.

11th Pennsylvania Reserves: Armed with smoothbores (buck and ball). (Three Years in the Bloody Eleventh, by Joseph Gibbs, 2002, p. 220). They were armed with smoothbore muskets with additional charges of buckshot added. (Pennsylvania at Gettysburg, I:74)

1st Pennsylvania Rifles (Bucktails): Armed with breech-loading rifles and Spencer repeating rifles. (Pennsylvania at Gettysburg, I: 113, 115)

Company K, 23rd Pennsylvania: Mention of Austrian Rifles with bayonets. (Record of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores, 2nd Quarter 1863)

28th Pennsylvania: On May 5, 1863, the regiment turned in their Enfield rifles with sword bayonets and were issued Springfield muskets. (28th Pennsylvania, History of Pennsylvania Volunteers, vol. I, p. 430)

Company I, 29th Pennsylvania: Mention of Springfield Rifled Muskets, cal. 58. (May 16, 1863 camp and garrison equipage and ordnance accounts)

Lewis Harper, Company E, 29th Pennsylvania: Captured an English-made Enfield rifle on Culp’s Hill, and used it until the close of his service on July 13, 1865; he took the weapon home. (Ashtabula County – Biographies)
 
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Noonanda

Private
Joined
Oct 19, 2016
Location
Fredericksburg Virginia
What gun is this Pennsylvania soldier carrying? I don't know the date of the photo, but as of September 2, 1861, his regiment (11th PA Reserve) was armed with "the altered flint-locks, except the flank companies, which have rifles". Can anyone identify his weapon?

View attachment 405866
Tough to tell but it looks like an 1842 Springfield to me based on the ramrod and front band
 
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