Feb 4, 2012

The Union’s ‘Newfangled Gimcracks’

(NYTimes) In late December 1861 Abraham Lincoln issued a directive that, had it been vigorously pursued, might have brought the Civil War to a rapid end: An order, via Gen. James Ripley, the Army’s ordnance chief, for 10,000 Spencer repeating rifles.
Because Ripley resisted the order for months and did nothing to help put the rifles into volume production, initial deliveries didn’t start until about a year and a half after Lincoln first tested the rifle.
Consequently, Union soldiers had to fight with less efficient weapons, handicapping them and greatly lengthening the bloody conflict. Continued

Photo: 1860 Civil War Henry Rifle No. 4771 by Hmaag, some rights reserved.