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Antietam Infantry Weapon

Pattern 1853 Enfield Rifle-musket

Enfield Rifle


Manufacturer: Royal Small Arms Factory (Enfield)

Where made: near London, England

Model: 1853

Enfield 1853 Pattern Rifle

Enfield 1853 Pattern Rifle


Both sides imported large quantities of European firearms to assist them in arming their troops. The most widely used was the British Pattern 1853 Enfield rifle-musket because it was accurate and well made. An important factor for both sides was that the .58 caliber bullet used by both Union and Confederate forces was interchangeable with the .577 Enfield. Hundreds of thousands of Enfield rifle-muskets were successfully smuggled into the South by the Confederacy during the war.
(from Civil War @ Smithsonian)

Enfields were made at the Enfield factory, the London Armoury Company, the English Gun Trade, and the factories of Liege, St.Etienne and in Windsor, Vermont. About half a million were purchased by the Federals and a very large (but unknown) number by the Confederates.
(from Managing The Enfield, by WS Curtis)

Employment at Sharpsburg

Very common in many Federal and most Confederate Infantry units.

Ammunition Used

.577 or .58 caliber bullet (minie ball)


0.577 inches

Effective range

1000 yards


Overall: 55 inches; Barrel: 39 inches


9 pounds

More on the Web

See a fine period (1859) article about the making of the Enfield.


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