Small arms of the Arizona Confederates?

SeaTurtle

Private
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
I'm curious to know what sorts of small arms the various Confederate forces in Arizona were equipped with. Given that many were militia types rather than professional soldiers, I can imagine there was a lesser degree of standardisation in calibers/patterns, assuming guys showed up for duty with their own weapons rather than anything centrally issued.

I'd welcome any details on what makes/models of small-arms are confirmed to have been used by these guys.
 

mrockwell

Private
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Location
12021 Birch Dr., Corning, NY
Many years ago I picked up a Model 1855 rifled musket that had rebored to a smoothbore. I had gotten it from a rancher who claimed that his grand father had picked it up after the battle at Glorieta Pass where it had hung on the wall. They claimed that that was exactly the way that it was found. Supporting evidence is that Price had mentioned in his report that some of his men were armed with the 1855 minie rifle, which I assume was the Model 1855. Another is that the rack number is engraved on the firearm which the confederate forces tended to do. The North stamped their numbers for the most part.
Being a smooth bore doesn't condemn it either since many commanders found smooth bore muskets to be more effective than rifled muskets. So there we have it; a creation of fiction or a true story we will never be certain one way or the other, but it did come from that area and I really didn't feel that they were leading me on because the price they asked was way below the going price at the time.
If you like I could go to the museum and get some pictures for you. The firearm has been well cared for over the years.
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
You are asking about an interesting combination, the West and the War.
This doesn't exactly answer your question, but one item in my collection I value is a Sharps Model 1853 carbine, military inspected and identified by exact serial number match to a trooper in the First California Cavalry who acted as a courier who carried messages across New Mexico, Arizona and through Sonora in Old Mexico. This fellow's pension file shows he was captured by Apaches, but escaped, was wounded by a lance to the back, and his most serious wound involved riding 61 miles (so says his pension claim) with an arrow stuck in the leg as he was riding dispatch, was chased, but escaped. He claimed to have been a special pard of Kit Carson, and that he was the favorite dispatch rider of Col. Carleton, commander of the California Column in Arizona.
Here is a letter he wrote at age 89 seeking an increase in his pension:

Mr. Earl D. Church Bureau of Pensions Department of the Interior Washington DC. My Dear Mr. Earl: As I am so near my 90th​ birthday which will be July 9, 1930, I thought I would ask for an increase in my pension. I am now receiving only $65.00 per month and I think I deserve more money from Uncle Sam, as I am getting to the almost helpless with my hands, especially the right and am quite feeble and need very much help and attention to dress and undress myself. Cannot be left alone long at a time and require someone with me most of the time.

I also served two (2) enlistments – enlisted from San Francisco, California first two years as common soldier. Second two years as veteran soldier. Was Chief Orderly for Major General James H. Carleton at Santa Fe, New Mexico – carried important messages down into Old Mexico and all over the Country – had many scrimmages with the Indians (shot by them once still have the arrow) and a very lame leg at times) and was captured but escaped the Indians – was working pal of Kit Carson.

I believe that I am deserving of the limit sum of pension.

Kindly send me instructions on a blank form and I will attend to it. Thanking you in advance very respectfully, (signed) James H. Westervelt.


He limped all his life, and in his last request for an increase in pension, said he still had the arrowhead that had been cut and removed from his leg. He survived all these adventures, but was killed in a car crash in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the summer of 1932!
 
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The Walking Dead

Corporal
Joined
May 19, 2021
Very few Confederate units operated in the Confederate Territory of Arizona and I'm sure they were at the far end (bottom) of the supply chain. I'm sure their weaponry was more varied then in most other Confederate units.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_Arizona#Confederate_units

With that being said, you did have the Confederate Ordnance Works at Tyler, Texas.

I don't know if any ordnance reports exist for the handful of Confederate units that served in the Arizona Territory.
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
Many years ago I picked up a Model 1855 rifled musket that had rebored to a smoothbore. I had gotten it from a rancher who claimed that his grand father had picked it up after the battle at Glorieta Pass where it had hung on the wall. They claimed that that was exactly the way that it was found. Supporting evidence is that Price had mentioned in his report that some of his men were armed with the 1855 minie rifle, which I assume was the Model 1855. Another is that the rack number is engraved on the firearm which the confederate forces tended to do. The North stamped their numbers for the most part.
Being a smooth bore doesn't condemn it either since many commanders found smooth bore muskets to be more effective than rifled muskets. So there we have it; a creation of fiction or a true story we will never be certain one way or the other, but it did come from that area and I really didn't feel that they were leading me on because the price they asked was way below the going price at the time.
If you like I could go to the museum and get some pictures for you. The firearm has been well cared for over the years.
It wasn’t smooth bored by the CS. The M1855 was considered top of the line and those issued out on either side were in use throughout the war. The CS garnered quite a few courtesy of the Regular Army units forced to surrender at the beginning of the war.
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
I think the California Column cleared the confederate forces out of Arizona pretty quickly at the start of the War.

Here is the listing of weapons approved for reinactors on the Arizona State Parks website. Obviously, this is not a primary source, and might include weapons used somewhere else in the entire western united states and used early and later in the War, not just Arizona and not just early in the War when there was some confederate activity in Arizona , but it sure includes lots of items, doesn't it?

CIVIL WAR IN THE SOUTHWEST: BATTLE WEAPONS GUIDELINES​

Confederate: Army of New Mexico​

VOL_button_Historical.jpg

Longguns: Preferred
1855 Springfield’s
1842 Springfield’s
1841 Springfield’s (Mississippi rifle)
1816 Conversions (Conversion of Flintlock Muskets to percussion)
1855 Colt Revolving Rifles
1859 Sharps Carbine/Rifles
Double Barrel Percussion Shotguns
Single Barrel Percussion Shotguns
1847 Musketoons
Civilian Period Rifles
Plains Rifles (Hawken Style)
Austrian Lorenz’s

Longguns: Acceptable
1861 Springfield’s and wartime contractor replicas
Enfields
Handguns: Preferred
1842 Springfield’s
1851 Colt Navy’s
1855 Colt Root Revolvers
Colt Dragoons
1849 Colt’s
1848 Colt’s
1858 Starr DA Revolvers
Single-Shot Pistol’s
Pepperbox’s
Handguns: Acceptable
1860 Colt Army
Colt Walker’s (rare)
Colt Paterson’s (rare)
Whitney Revolvers
Knives & Bladed Weapons: Preferred
Bowie
“D” Guard Bowie
Lances
Period Belt Knives
Period Sabers - mostly officers
Bayonets for military long arms

Federal: California, Colorado & New Mexico Volunteers​

Longguns: Preferred
1855 Springfield’s
1842 Springfield’s
1847 Musketoons
1859 Sharps Carbine/Rifle
Conversions of Flintlock Muskets
Longguns: Acceptable
1861 Springfield’s and wartime contractor replicas
1841 Springfield’s (Mississippi rifle)
Enfields
Handguns: Preferred
Note: Officers purchased their own side arms, anything manufactured before early 1862 is acceptable.
1842 Springfield’s
1851 Colt Navy’s
Colt Dragoons
1855 Springfield’s
1858 Starr DA Revolvers
Handguns: Acceptable
1860 Colt Army
Whitney Revolvers
Knives & Bladed Weapons: Preferred
Period Belt Knives
Period Sabers (officers & most cavalry)
Bayonets

Here is the link:

https://azstateparks.com/civil-war-in-the-southwest-battle-weapons-guidelines
 
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SeaTurtle

Private
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
To all folks saying that "there weren't many Confederates in Arizona" or "the Civil War didn't last long in Arizona" ... yes I know :smile:
But that still doesn't diminish my interest in this topic or negate that in the early part of the war there were guys shooting at other people out in Arizona in the name of the CSA. I'd like to know what they were shooting with :smile:

Here is the listing of weapons approved for reinactors on the Arizona State Parks website. Obviously, this is not a primary source, and might include weapons used somewhere else in the entire western united states and used early and later in the War, not just Arizona and not just early in the War when there was some confederate activity in Arizona , but it sure includes lots of items, doesn't it?

Thanks. It would be interesting to know what sources they used to come up with that list.
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
To all folks saying that "there weren't many Confederates in Arizona" or "the Civil War didn't last long in Arizona" ... yes I know :smile:
But that still doesn't diminish my interest in this topic or negate that in the early part of the war there were guys shooting at other people out in Arizona in the name of the CSA. I'd like to know what they were shooting with :smile:



Thanks. It would be interesting to know what sources they used to come up with that list.

All collectors or "buffs" of one sort or another are interested in such odds and ends of information.

I suspect these guys put the list together from other lists maintained by reenactment units from other places in the West.
 
Joined
May 1, 2015
Location
Upstate N.Y.
To all folks saying that "there weren't many Confederates in Arizona" or "the Civil War didn't last long in Arizona" ... yes I know :smile:
But that still doesn't diminish my interest in this topic or negate that in the early part of the war there were guys shooting at other people out in Arizona in the name of the CSA. I'd like to know what they were shooting with :smile:



Thanks. It would be interesting to know what sources they used to come up with that list.
Welcome, enjoy
 

mrockwell

Private
Joined
Jan 27, 2011
Location
12021 Birch Dr., Corning, NY
It wasn’t smooth bored by the CS. The M1855 was considered top of the line and those issued out on either side were in use throughout the war. The CS garnered quite a few courtesy of the Regular Army units forced to surrender at the beginning of the war.
Johan could you look at the firearm profiles and tell me your opinion on the country of origin of a rifle I have. I would sure appreciate the effort.
 

CowCavalry

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 17, 2017
You are asking about an interesting combination, the West and the War.
This doesn't exactly answer your question, but one item in my collection I value is a Sharps Model 1853 carbine, military inspected and identified by exact serial number match to a trooper in the First California Cavalry who acted as a courier who carried messages across New Mexico, Arizona and through Sonora in Old Mexico. This fellow's pension file shows he was captured by Apaches, but escaped, was wounded by a lance to the back, and his most serious wound involved riding 61 miles (so says his pension claim) with an arrow stuck in the leg as he was riding dispatch, was chased, but escaped. He claimed to have been a special pard of Kit Carson, and that he was the favorite dispatch rider of Col. Carleton, commander of the California Column in Arizona.
Here is a letter he wrote at age 89 seeking an increase in his pension:

Mr. Earl D. Church Bureau of Pensions Department of the Interior Washington DC. My Dear Mr. Earl: As I am so near my 90th​ birthday which will be July 9, 1930, I thought I would ask for an increase in my pension. I am now receiving only $65.00 per month and I think I deserve more money from Uncle Sam, as I am getting to the almost helpless with my hands, especially the right and am quite feeble and need very much help and attention to dress and undress myself. Cannot be left alone long at a time and require someone with me most of the time.

I also served two (2) enlistments – enlisted from San Francisco, California first two years as common soldier. Second two years as veteran soldier. Was Chief Orderly for Major General James H. Carleton at Santa Fe, New Mexico – carried important messages down into Old Mexico and all over the Country – had many scrimmages with the Indians (shot by them once still have the arrow) and a very lame leg at times) and was captured but escaped the Indians – was working pal of Kit Carson.

I believe that I am deserving of the limit sum of pension.

Kindly send me instructions on a blank form and I will attend to it. Thanking you in advance very respectfully, (signed) James H. Westervelt.


He limped all his life, and in his last request for an increase in pension, said he still had the arrowhead that had been cut and removed from his leg. He survived all these adventures, but was killed in a car crash in Grand Rapids, Michigan in the summer of 1932!
I'd like to think the old gentleman got his pension request fulfilled.....
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
I'd like to think the old gentleman got his pension request fulfilled.....

These are some photograpghs of the 1855. The sling is a recent concoction. The photo of the frontband illustrates the engraved 30. This is exactly how the musket was presented to me with the exception of the sling. I have added nothing to it.

View attachment 405014

View attachment 405015

View attachment 405019

View attachment 405020

View attachment 405021

I've never seen that type of engraving - interesting
 

Trooper "D"

Private
Joined
May 20, 2018
I'm curious to know what sorts of small arms the various Confederate forces in Arizona were equipped with. Given that many were militia types rather than professional soldiers, I can imagine there was a lesser degree of standardisation in calibers/patterns, assuming guys showed up for duty with their own weapons rather than anything centrally issued.

I'd welcome any details on what makes/models of small-arms are confirmed to have been used by these guys.
The Texas troops came together in San Antonio where the arsenal was surrendered. Any arms from there would have been employed but shotguns were popular also. Much Buck and Ball ammunition was fired at Glorietta. 1842 long arms in .69 Call. plus 12 gauges could fire Buck and Ball.
Any number and style of revolvers could have been present. Many troops brought their own weapons but sent them home when more reliable weapons were captured with plenty of ammunition from US forts. The overcoats and breeches of Yankee stores were put to use as well. Pre 1862 weapons and equipment.
Arizona mostly had Sherrod Hunter taking Tucson and running skirmishes like Stanwyx Station and the little action at Picacho Pass. Not much happened in what is now Arizona. Confederste Arizona and New Mexico were on top of each other instead of side by side so accuracy as to the terms is important.
Blood and Treasure is a good source book. There OS one on the Confederate stretch to the Pacific also that is good.
Cheers!
Gary Daniel
 

Trooper "D"

Private
Joined
May 20, 2018
I think the California Column cleared the confederate forces out of Arizona pretty quickly at the start of the War.

Here is the listing of weapons approved for reinactors on the Arizona State Parks website. Obviously, this is not a primary source, and might include weapons used somewhere else in the entire western united states and used early and later in the War, not just Arizona and not just early in the War when there was some confederate activity in Arizona , but it sure includes lots of items, doesn't it?

CIVIL WAR IN THE SOUTHWEST: BATTLE WEAPONS GUIDELINES​

Confederate: Army of New Mexico​

View attachment 404899
Longguns: Preferred
1855 Springfield’s
1842 Springfield’s
1841 Springfield’s (Mississippi rifle)
1816 Conversions (Conversion of Flintlock Muskets to percussion)
1855 Colt Revolving Rifles
1859 Sharps Carbine/Rifles
Double Barrel Percussion Shotguns
Single Barrel Percussion Shotguns
1847 Musketoons
Civilian Period Rifles
Plains Rifles (Hawken Style)
Austrian Lorenz’s

Longguns: Acceptable
1861 Springfield’s and wartime contractor replicas
Enfields
Handguns: Preferred
1842 Springfield’s
1851 Colt Navy’s
1855 Colt Root Revolvers
Colt Dragoons
1849 Colt’s
1848 Colt’s
1858 Starr DA Revolvers
Single-Shot Pistol’s
Pepperbox’s
Handguns: Acceptable
1860 Colt Army
Colt Walker’s (rare)
Colt Paterson’s (rare)
Whitney Revolvers
Knives & Bladed Weapons: Preferred
Bowie
“D” Guard Bowie
Lances
Period Belt Knives
Period Sabers - mostly officers
Bayonets for military long arms

Federal: California, Colorado & New Mexico Volunteers​

Longguns: Preferred
1855 Springfield’s
1842 Springfield’s
1847 Musketoons
1859 Sharps Carbine/Rifle
Conversions of Flintlock Muskets
Longguns: Acceptable
1861 Springfield’s and wartime contractor replicas
1841 Springfield’s (Mississippi rifle)
Enfields
Handguns: Preferred
Note: Officers purchased their own side arms, anything manufactured before early 1862 is acceptable.
1842 Springfield’s
1851 Colt Navy’s
Colt Dragoons
1855 Springfield’s
1858 Starr DA Revolvers
Handguns: Acceptable
1860 Colt Army
Whitney Revolvers
Knives & Bladed Weapons: Preferred
Period Belt Knives
Period Sabers (officers & most cavalry)
Bayonets

Here is the link:

https://azstateparks.com/civil-war-in-the-southwest-battle-weapons-guidelines
They tried to implement this one year but the reenactors balked because so many had 1863 Springfield and 1863 Sharps. They have never held reenactors to this and this year was cancelled for lack of a sponsor.
 

LouG.

Private
Joined
Jun 27, 2021
It's not Confederate, but in the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History is a U.S. Model 1817 rifle, Deringer contract, converted to percussion, which (according to the engraving on the patchbox and the museum's files) was carried by Lt. James Barrett of the California Volunteers at the battle of Picacho Pass.
 
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Trooper "D"

Private
Joined
May 20, 2018
In the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History is a U.S. Model 1817 rifle, Deringer contract, converted to percussion, which (according to museum files) was carried by Lt. James Barrett of the California Volunteers at the battle of Picacho Pass.
The Lt. who is still buried out there.
 
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