- Robert E. Petersen Collection
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- Road to American Liberty - 1700 to 1780
- A Prospering New Republic - 1780 to 1860
- The American West - 1850 to 1900
- Innovation, Oddities and Competition
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- World War I and Firearms Innovation
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- A Nation Asunder - 1861 to 1865
CSA Richmond Arsenal Percussion Rifle Musket
This Confederate rifle musket was a close copy of the U.S. Army's Springfield produced in the same caliber.
These rifle-muskets were produced at the armory that had once
been home to the Virginia Manufactory of Arms. This facility was
the only state-operated armory in the days after the American
Revolution, as other states relied on private contractors to
produce arms for their militia forces. The C.S./Richmond was
manufactured with parts and equipment captured by General Thomas J.
"Stonewall" Jackson, whose Virginia troops seized the U.S.
Government armory at Harpers Ferry in the early days of the Civil
Because Harpers Ferry was indefensible, the armory's tools, machinery, and other equipment was relocated to Richmond and Fayetteville, North Carolina. At the time of the Armory's capture, the U.S. Model 1855 rifle-musket (see Case 37/ #s 4, 10, and 13) was still in production. This long arm used the Maynard tape primer system (see Case 31), which employed a compartment forward of the hammer as a cap magazine. The Maynard system proved unreliable in military applications and was later abandoned. The U.S. Armory at Springfield, Massachusetts, modified their lockplate design slightly (see Case 37/ #3), however, Confederate ordnance artificers used the original design but omitted the cap compartment. The result was a lockplate with a "humpback" profile often associated with Confederate-manufactured infantry arms.