The Weapons of Antietam
It is our plan to give you a little more information about some of the weapons used at Sharpsburg at the Battle, and to associate them with the specific military units which employed them. This is an ongoing project, and establishing weapons for every unit is no small task, so we may be at this for some time.
These are some of the Infantry weapons used at Sharpsburg. Click on a weapon's name for more information about it.
|1842 Springfield||Many Infantry units of both sides were equipped with this .69 caliber, smoothbore musket.|| |
|1842 Springfield (rifled)||At least 1 Federal regiment, the 81st Pennsylvania, used this weapon.|| |
|Enfield Rifle||Very common in many Federal and most Confederate Infantry units.|| |
|Richmond Musket||This was a common weapon in Confederate service in 1862 and later.|| |
|Sharps Rifle||Berdan Special versions were issued to the 1st and 2nd regiments of U.S. Sharpshooters earlier in 1862. Standard Sharps' were used by the 2nd Company, Minnesota Sharpshooters and the "Bucktails" - the 13th Pennsylvania Reserves (First Rifles) at Antietam.|
Sturges Rifles carried a version in .56 caliber with a longer 36" (vs. 32") barrel, but only a few men of that unit were at Antietam.
|Springfield Rifle-Musket||This was the most common weapon in most Federal Infantry units at Antietam. It was also in wide use in Confederate units following capture and battlefield scavenging. A large number of these were captured at Harpers Ferry immediately before the battle.|| |
This is a list of the types of Artillery known to have been in service on the Maryland Campaign. Click on a cannon's name for more information about it. Click Equipped Units to see which batteries had the weapon.
A table listing all of the guns on the Campaign generally and at Antietam in particular, by battery, is available for download [pdf]. For a general introduction to artillery at Antietam, see the Park Service brochure [pdf].
|10-pdr. Parrott||There were about 69 10-pdr. Parrotts in Federal Service on the Campaign and 50 or more in Confederate batteries.||Equipped Units|
|12-pdr. howitzer||There were 3 12-pdr. howitzers in Federal Service at Antietam and 56 pieces in Confederate batteries.||Equipped Units|
|12-pdr. James||There may have been only four of these guns at Antietam, all in Federal service.||Equipped Units|
|14-pdr. James||There may have been only six of these guns at Antietam, all in Federal service.||Equipped Units|
|20-pdr. Parrott||There were at least 22 20-pounder Parrotts in Federal Batteries at Antietam but none known to be in Confederate service at the Battle.||Equipped Units|
|24-pdr. Howitzer||There were 4 24-pounder howitzers in Confederate batteries at Sharpsburg.||Equipped Units|
|3-in. Ordnance Rifle||There were probably 83 3" Ordnance Rifles in Federal Service on the Maryland Campaign, and at least 49 in Confederate batteries.||Equipped Units|
|32-pdr. Howitzer||There were 6 32-pdr. howitzers in one Federal battery: the First NY Light Battalion, Battery D at Antietam. No Confederate batteries were known to have this weapon.||Equipped Units|
|6-pdr. Gun||At least 56 of these pieces saw service in Confederate batteries on the Campaign, but none were known to be used by the Federals.||Equipped Units|
|Blakely||There were probably 8 Blakelys in service on the Maryland Campaign, all Confederates.||Equipped Units|
|Napoleon||There were about 131 Napoleons in Federal Service and 30 or more pieces in Confederate batteries on the Campaign.||Equipped Units|
|Naval Howitzer||Only two units, Company K of the 9th New York Infantry, and Grimes' Portsmouth (VA) Battery were known to have these guns on the Maryland Campaign.||Equipped Units|
|Whitworth||There were probably only two of these guns at Sharpsburg, both in Confederate batteries.||Equipped Units|
These are some of the Cavalry weapons used at Sharpsburg. Click a weapon's name for more information about it.
|Burnside Carbine||Common in many Federal units early in the War. Captured pieces in Confederate service.|| |
|Colt Army Revolver||Most Federal cavalry units equipped their troopers with this sidearm, and many captured pistols were in use in Confederate units as well. This was often the sidearm of choice for Artillery and Infantry officers too.|| |
|Enfield Saddle Ring Carbine||Common in many Federal and Confederate Cavalry units.|| |
|Saber||The saber was carried by virtually all cavalrymen, both Federal and Confederate, for close combat. Some officers in other military branches also carried Cavalry sabers - MGen G.B. McClellan, for example, carried an 1840 Federal model. |
|Sharps Carbine||Many Federal cavalrymen were equipped with this weapon.|| |