Every American citizen over the age of six or seven should at least know the words
“American Civil War”. Of the millions who have, most only know a little about it, like who won,
and who the president was during the time. Many people do not think about all of the
weapons of the time, though. I mean, the Iron Clad, Train, Telegraph, and the Gatling Gun are
popular, but not many people think about revolvers and the Minie Ball. You didn’t think about
that, did you? Technological changes during the American Civil War changed the tide of who
was winning and who was losing. This paper is about some of the weapons that do not get
enough credit. If these weapons didn’t exist, the ...view middle of the document...
It too was a single
action, cap and ball revolver that held six rounds. Unlike the Dragoon, it came in Army, Navy,
Police, and Pocket models, all of which were .36 caliber except the Army model which was .44
caliber. The main innovation with these was that they were lighter, weighing anywhere from
twenty-five ounces to two pounds eleven ounces, depending on the model. Mr. Colt’s
revolvers revolutionized modern weaponry in the Civil War and the World. Of course, his
company produced other guns for the Civil war, some of which I will go over later.
Another huge aspect of the tide of the war was the ammunition that was used. Up until
the American Civil War, all guns except a few were cap and ball, muzzle loaded guns. That
was until the Minie Ball and the sealed Brass cartridge were introduced into war. The Minie
ball was created by Frenchman Claude Etienne Minie. This cylindrical Lead round was hollow
at the end, which was crucial to it working. Rifles were notorious for being extremely hard to
load, because in order for a rifle to work correctly, the bullet had to touch the inner barrel, so
the rifling could spin the bullet. Claude solved this problem by the Minie ball having a hollow
base. This allowed the bullet to slip in easily, and once fired, the gases expanded the lead,
increasing the size of the end of the round, causing it to touch the rifling, thus, the round
would spin, which increased the accuracy and range of the Minie Ball. Since it was made of
Lead, once it hit its target, it would flatten some, increasing its surface area, and lethality. If
you were hit by one of these, you were pretty much dead. In some ways, the sealed cartridge
was even more of an advancement. Its design was simple, there was a Brass cartridge with a
primer, once struck with a hammer, it would ignite the gunpowder, sending the crimped bullet
flying out of the rifling. This method decreased reloading time dramatically. The rounds loaded
from the back of the gun, so there was no stuffing rounds.The bullet was also cylindrical,
further increasing speed and accuracy. Once fired, the Brass expanded, then shrunk past its
pre-fired stage, allowing for easy retrieval of the empty shell. For several years, only the
Henry and Spencer Rifles used these, but revolvers were soon converted to use them.
This is the accuracy of a Minie Ball compared to two other muzzle loading rounds.
This gun of terror was the first machine gun. When it was used, the wielders were
nearly invincible. If someone was down the sights of this gun, they were already dead. The
Gatling Gun was created by Professor Richard Jordan Gatling, and in 1862, he had his
revolutionary design patented. This ten barrel, hand cranked, .30 caliber gun of destruction
had a rate of fire of a whopping four hundred rounds per minute! It was constructed by Colt
Arms and it was used by the Union Army. The ten barrels rotated...