American Rifleman - July 2011 - 87

.69-cal. rifled muskets, while the
rest of the regiment shouldered
smoothbores. The 1st Connecticut
Militia had eight companies armed
with smoothbore muskets and two
"flank companies," which, like the
Irish Zouaves, were intended for
individual aimed-fire skirmishing in
front of the battle line. The Nutmeg
skirmishers were issued scarce
Model 1855 rifle-muskets and even
scarcer Sharps breechloaders. The
2nd New Hampshire Infantry mustered nine companies armed with
smoothbores, deemed excellent for
"close work," while one company
was armed with Sharps breechloaders privately purchased by the
citizens of Concord.
Other federal units, like the
Oglethorpe Guard and the 11th
New York, apparently used status and connections to well-arm
themselves. The 1st Rhode Island,
formed from the state's elite militia
companies, is a prime example.
Seven companies of the 1st were
armed with 1855 rifle-muskets and
three with 1855 rifles. Most enlisted
men carried privately purchased
revolvers, and each company
fielded seven men armed with
breech-loading Burnside carbines.
Prior to Bull Run, the soldiers carrying Burnsides were formed into a
"Carbineer" company.
A number of soldiers other than
the Rhode Islanders brought personal handguns to war, mostly officers, but including some enlisted
men-sometimes with unfortunate
results. One Jerseyman, apparently
inebriated, shot another accidentally while "skylarking" with his
sixgun on the way to Washington.
In the event, handguns played no
significant part in the combat at
Manassas. In the future they would
prove most effective in irregular
mounted warfare.
"Close work" was about all one
could expect with any arms the
armies carried at Bull Run, as the
soldiers who fought there had little
or no instruction in using them
beyond how to load and fire them.
continued on p. 78

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July 2011 American Rifleman

77


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American Rifleman - July 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of American Rifleman - July 2011

American Rifleman - July 2011 - 1
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