Essay on Civil War Weapons

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,

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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 Confederates could have their own country,

and the United States may not of been what it is today.

One of these weapons that did not get enough credit is Samuel Colt’s revolvers and

himself. Sam created and patented the idea and design of a gun that could shoot more than

one round without having to be reloaded. Charles Martin said in his book Thunder and Rain

“They say God made man, but Samuel Colt made them equal.” ( An

unknown general during the Civil War once said that “Sam’s revolvers had the accuracy of a

rifle at 100 yards, and that of a musket at twice that distance.” (America’s Premier

Gunmakers: Colt by K.D. Kirkland) This gave the wielder of any of his revolvers a significant

advantage over his musket-armed enemy. Of Colt’s many firearms, two stood out from the

rest during this time period. These were the Colt Dragoon (1848) and the Colt 1860. The

Dragoon was a six-shot, .44 caliber, cap and ball, single action revolver. This weapon was

used by the Union and it came with either a seven-and a-half o…


causing more death. The revolver brought the speed and accuracy of a rifle in a pocket, plus

five more rounds. The Minie Ball revolutionized the rifle by making an easy to reload, fast,

powerful round. The Brass cartridge decreased reloading time dramatically, and increased

accuracy, speed, and ease of use along the way. The Gatling Gun changed modern warfare

by introducing the first machine gun to the world. The Henry Rifle and Colt Repeating Carbine

introduced rifles shooting more than one round without having to be reloaded. These weapons

were the blueprint for modern weapons we have today. Without all of the arms I have talked

about, our modern warfare might of been much more primitive. I hope that you have enjoyed

this short research paper and that you now know more about the American Civil War and

some of its finest accomplishments.


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