91st PA--weapons and ammunition

Weapons and ammunition







In October 1861, four companies had "the old flint lock musket, altered into percussion" ['Camp Chase at Gray's Ferry' Philadelphia Inquirer 19 October 1861 page 8]. In November 1861, they were planning on exchanging their muskets for "the improved Springfield rifle musket" ['Camp Chase', Philadelphia Inquirer 30 November 1861]. In December 1861, they had "the Enfield rifle, with sword bayonet" ("Flag presentation", Philadelphia Inquirer 13 Dec 1861) and 'The Ninety-first regiment' (Philadelphia Inquirer 17 December 1861 page 5 [reprinted 18 December 1861 page 5]; 'Military parade' [Public Ledger 2 January 1862, page 2]).

On 29 March 1862, Andrew Brown (C) wrote a letter to his father and sister. In that letter, he claimed that they were going to get new Belgian rifles.

On 9 April 1862, Assistant Inspector General John Buford inspected their weapons. He pronounced their 800 Enfield Rifles, supplied by P. S. Justice of Philadelphia, "unserviceable and unsafe". So many had burst at target practice that the men were afraid to charge them, and threw away some of the powder when they did. Many of the seventy Buford inspected were defective, although the regiment had had them only four months, and had rarely fired them. (report)

On 16 April 1862, General Wadsworth requested new arms for them. (letter)

They received new weapons on 24 April 1862: the United States rifle musket, .58 calibre, made at the Springfield armory in 1861. These were inspected on 3 May 1862, and found to be "in fine order" and to "meet in all particulars the requirements of a good and serviceable weapon" (report, Brig Gen L Thomas, 4 May 1862, in Senate Executive Document 72, 'Letter of the Secretary of War, transmitting, in answer to a resolution of the Senate, a copy of the report of the commission on ordnance and ordnance stores made to the War Department. July 17, 1862'. Serial Set volume 1123, 37th Congress, 2nd session, session volume 6, p.445).

drawing of Springfield Rifled Musket


Some consolidated morning reports list "guns", which seems to be the number of guns present in the regiment. They include:


circulars received, number 36, from brigade hq, 13 Sep 63, re supplying deficiencies

See also deficiencies and surplus property.

25 Aug 63: 1 rifle turned over to qm
2 Apr 64: W. Michael act reg qm to requisition ordnance stores, asap, and to issue them to senior srgts in any companies that aren't commanded by a comm off

On 15 March 1864, the regiment had 173 .58 calibre Springfield rifles, and 1960 .754 cartridges

see circular, HQ 91st PA, 10 April 1864

On 30 August 1864, the regiment had 205 58' Springfield rifle muskets, and 10,250 rounds of ammunition (50 per man).

On 4 October 1864, the regiment had 211 58' Springfield rifle muskets, and 10550 round of ammunition (50 per man).

special order 70, HQ 91st PA, 9 Aug 64 [surplus ordnance & stores to nearest post]
see letter, Sellers to Bennett, 7 Sep 64, for ordnance returns
letter, Sellers to Bennett, 7 Sep 64 [re non-company officers responsible for ordnance in Dec 63]
letter, Sellers to Tayman, 25 Oct 64 [no deficiencies in ordnance or stores]
see deficiencies for other reports of deficiencies in ordnance and ordnance stores
letter, Sellers to Bartlett, 9 Jan 65, reports that the "patent expansive tompion" was "a great improvement and far superior to the wooden one"
officers were required to give receipts for ordnance and ordnance stores, e.g. when Capt Carpenter returned and was assigned to his company on 13 Aug 64 [special order 71, HQ 91st, 13 Aug 64]
John Casner (K) to turn over to John Hamill (D) all surplus ordnance and stores in his company, 9 Sep 64 [special order [unnumbered], HQ 91st PA, 9 Sep 64].
special order 87, HQ 91st PA, 27 Sep 64: Matthew Hall to turn over to Theodore Hope all ordnance & stores in co.E
special order 89, HQ 91st PA, 28 Sep 64 (John Graham to receipt to Edward Maguigan for ordnance, stores, and other property in co E)
John Graham to turn over co C's surplus ordnance & stores to John Casner; James Closson to turn over co H's surplus ordnance & stores to Theodore Hope; John Donnell to turn over the surplus ordnance & stores to Francis Gregory [special order [unnumbered], HQ 91st PA, 28 Sep 64]
William Michael to give Francis Gregory receipts for ordnance, ordnance stores, and other property in co.A (s.o.94, HQ 91st PA, 12 Oct 64)
estimates of ordnance & stores to equip company [circular, HQ 91st PA, 17 Oct 64]
circular, 27 Nov 64: comp commanders to send estimates of ordnance & stores required to equip their command
s.o.10, HQ 91st PA, 26 Feb 65: Joseph Gilbert to receipt to Joseph Everhart for all ordnance & Ordnance Stores & other property in co.C
s.o.11, HQ 91st PA, 28 Feb 65: George Coster assigned to command co.D and ordered to receipt to A Murphy for all ordnance, ordnance stores, and other property
s.o.14, HQ 91st PA, 10 Mar 65: report deficiencies & surpluses in ordnance & ordnance stores
s.o.20, HQ 91st PA, 22 Mar 65: William Spangler assigned to command co.G, and ordered to receipt to William Michael for all ordnance, ord stores, and other property
s.o.21, HQ 91st PA, 23 Mar 65: William Carpenter assigned to command co.D and ordered to receipt to George Coster for all ordnance, ord stores, and other property in the company
s.o.24, HQ 91st PA, 28 Mar 65: Capt. John C Partenheimer to turn over surplus ordnance & stores to William Carpenter
abstract of expenditures, 2nd quarter 1865, company G: expended 1060 .58 elongated ball cartridges and 1060 percussion caps in Battle of Five Forks (no other ammunition expended in 2nd quarter 1865)
s.o.26, HQ 91st PA, 1 May 65: William Letourneau to command co.A and receipt to John L Graham for all ordnance, stores, and other propert
s.o.27, HQ 91st PA, 27 May 65: qm Archibald Nimmo authorized to receive & issue ordnance and ordnance stores
s.o.32, HQ 91st PA, 1 June 65: Wm Beaver assigned to command co.A and ordered to receipt to Wm Letourneau for all property
s.o.33, HQ 91st PA, 8 Jun 65: Joseph Gilbert (C) to receipt to Joseph Everhart for all ordnance, ordnance stores, clothing, camp and garrison equippage
s.o.34, HQ 91st PA, 13 June 65: John Bell assigned to command co.A, and to receipt to James Beaver for all ordnance, ord.stores, & other property
s.o.40, HQ 91st PA, 6 July 65: William Chandler relieved as acting reg't qm & also authorized to receive & issue ordnance & ordnance stores
in May or June 1865, Joseph Baker lost one Springfield rifle musket and a bayonet
in May or June 1864, Colando Jones [?] lost a Springfield rifle musket and accoutrements

Training in weapons

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revised 25 Dec 14
contact Harry Ide at [email protected] with comments or questions