1. Welcome to the CivilWarTalk, a forum for questions and discussions about the American Civil War! Become a member today for full access to all of our resources, it's fast, simple, and absolutely free!
Dismiss Notice
Join and Become a Patron at CivilWarTalk!
Support this site with a monthly or yearly subscription! Active Patrons get to browse the site Ad free!
START BY JOINING NOW!

Quitman rifle

Discussion in 'Civil War Weapons and Ammunition' started by major bill, Oct 11, 2017 at 11:52 PM.

  1. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    9,463
    Does anyone know what a Quitman rifle is?

    I am looking over the formation of the of the Smith-Quitman Rifles of Jackson, Mississippi in 1861.

    The Nelson had just arrived with munitions of war in New Orleans. The Nelson had brought the munitions of war from Liverpool in March of 1861 with...

    "...three cases and one cask containing Quitman rifles with sword bayonets, one six-pounder gun, 50 rounds of shot, 12 rounds of canister shat and 12 canisters..."

    So what was meant by "Quitman rifles"? I did a web search and did not find much except the Smith-Quitman Rifles of Jackson Mississippi and nothing about what a Quitman rifle was.
     

  2. (Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
  3. ikesdad

    ikesdad Private

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2016
    Messages:
    132
    I'm thinking it might be for the name of unit they were intended for instead of the make. But that is just my opinion.
     
    tbuckley likes this.
  4. tbuckley

    tbuckley Private

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Messages:
    210
    I don't know if Quitman was a person or name of a town, but could the name have come from Quitman being the name on the cases the rifles were shipped in? Shipped to Quitman?
     
    ikesdad likes this.
  5. ikesdad

    ikesdad Private

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2016
    Messages:
    132
    There is a Quitman, LA.
     
    tbuckley likes this.
  6. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    9,463
    I assumed the weapons, being shipped from Liverpool, were Enfield rifle muskets. These could have came with sword bayonets. I was wondering who in Great Britain made these Enfield muskets, perhaps someone name Quitman served as a middleman in the transaction and some how that name appeared on the shipping cases. Perhaps someone named Quitman who lived in Jackson and bought the weapons and so had his name on the shipping cases.
     
    ikesdad and tbuckley like this.
  7. tbuckley

    tbuckley Private

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2015
    Messages:
    210
    That early, March 1861, they could have been Pattern 1853 or maybe even Crimean War surplus Pattern 1851 rifle muskets but they didn't take sword bayonets.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017 at 10:30 AM
  8. Craig L Barry

    Craig L Barry Sergeant Major

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2010
    Messages:
    1,822
    Location:
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I don't think it's a what, I think it's a "who." I always heard the term Quitman Rifles in reference to the 10th Ark Inf, 15th Mississippi, etc. named in honor of Mexican War hero John Quitman.
     
    Package4, AUG351 and tbuckley like this.
  9. AUG351

    AUG351 Captain Forum Host

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    6,474
    Location:
    Texas
    As for the Smith-Quitman Rifles,"Rifles" was a typical name for a volunteer company or prewar militia organization, such as the Clinch Rifles, Liberty Rifles, etc.
     
  10. Package4

    Package4 First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,542
    Well since the reference is for a rifle and sabre bayonet, you can be sure it was a 2 bander.
     
  11. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    9,463
    Here is Ron Field's illustration of the unit. I do not know who he used the Quitman rifles note as a basis of the weapon he drew in this illustration. I am not sure Mr. Field even gave the fact they received Quitman rifles any thoughts but he does give them saber bayonets.

    rf.jpg
     
  12. Package4

    Package4 First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,542
    Appears to be a two band, but he doesn't show detail as to whether it was bar on band or just a barrel bayonet lug for attaching the bayonet, this would further help identify. Scale appears off as well.
     
  13. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    9,463
    Well Ron Field does have other artist illustrate his Osprey uniform books.
     
    Package4 likes this.
  14. hrobalabama

    hrobalabama First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2014
    Messages:
    1,380
    Location:
    Andalusia, AL
    There is a Quitmen, MS
     
  15. ucvrelics.com

    ucvrelics.com Sergeant Major Forum Host

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    2,461
    Location:
    Alabama
    There were 2 Quitman Rifles in Mississippi Co K 7th Miss and Co C 10th Miss raised in the Quitman Enterprise area. Plus 1 in Ark Co A 10th Ark Inf. I believe that the term or writing is referring to the person (Smith) who it was being shipped to care of the Quitman Rifles there fore Smith-Quitman Rifles. A lot of Southern companies were raised an outfitted by locals of a Plantation owner and were named for the town and Ive seen some named after the person who raised and supplied these units.
     
    hrobalabama likes this.
  16. Story

    Story First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2011
    Messages:
    1,059
    Location:
    SE PA
    1] Can you cite the source for this quote?
    2] Smith-Quitman rifles weren't formed and mustered until 1862, were part of the 3rd MS Infantry in the Army of 10,000.
    http://www.msgw.org/carroll/milrecords/histarmy10k.htm

    3] That company was named after RA Smith, a Captain from Jackson who later became Colonel of the 10th MS Inf. Smith got blown away trying to take a bridge in 1862, and the Smith-Quitman rifles were formed after that being bankrolled by Smith's brother in Scotland. https://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=dfl&GRid=5900906

    4]
    If it's a 'what', Quitman was a General in the Mexican War who commanded the 2nd Brigade.

    The 1st & 2nd Mississippi Regiments (and maybe the 1st Mississippi BN, don't know for sure) were issued M1841 Rifles.

    Purely speculation, but if the date of the original quote is accurate (March 1861) it could be that the New Orleans and/or Mississippi folks equated any Mississippi type Rifle with the Governor whose units bore them in the last war (sort of like how modern newspapers broad-brush label every semi-automatic rifle an "AK47" or "AR15", purely through ignorance).
    https://scholarship.rice.edu/bitstream/handle/1911/89002/RICE0037.pdf?sequence=1

    My guess would be some sort of Enfield two-bander. William Grazebrook of Liverpool made his first sale of 1853 Enfields to Caleb Huse within 30 days of the beginning of the war, so that might be worth pursuing.
     
    major bill and ucvrelics.com like this.
  17. major bill

    major bill Major Forum Host

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2012
    Messages:
    9,463
    Thank you to everyone who has help on this thread. I read thing in period newspaper accounts that do not make sense to me. The problem being the locals know what the writter was talking about but I do not.
     

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

Share This Page


(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)