Archive for the ‘Civil War’ Category

The late Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer is in the news again, for June 25 was the anniversary of 1876’s Last Stand.¬†We know what his soldiers were carrying (apart from a variety of pistols, .45-caliber, single-shot Springfield rifles), but what is less certain is the Indians’ armament. At the time it was suspected that the […]


On May 11, 1861, some two months before the First Battle of Bull Run,¬†Scientific American published a fascinating time-capsule of an article on “Rifles and Shooting.” At the time, target practice in the army had languished for decades, with a concordant diminution on the part of many troops to hit anything. Before the mid-1850s, target […]