Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Confederate Fayetteville Armory M-1855 Rifle-Musket

The Confederate Model 1855 type rifles were manufactured at the Fayetteville Arsenal in Fayetteville, North Carolina. This is the standard late production "Type IV" rifle. These rifles feature a low profile lock plate, brass buttplate, trigger guard, barrel bands and forearm cap. The lock plate is dated "1864" behind the hammer and marked with an eagle over "C.S.A." followed by "FAYETTEVILLE" ahead of the hammer. The buttplate tang is stamped "CSA" ahead on the top screw.The Fayetteville Arsenal was built in 1838 because during the War of 1812, the US government realized that the existing distribution of weapons and ammunition factories was not adequate for the defense of the country.
When North Carolina seceded from the Union, Governor Ellis ordered General Walker Draughon, then in command of the North Carolina Militia, to take possession of the Arsenal at Fayetteville.

Arms-making machinery, from Harpers Ferry, was 
relocated to new workshops at the Fayetteville Arsenal in October 1861 and the arsenal became a major supplier of small arms to the Confederate troops. The principal armament was known as the Fayetteville Rifle. At its peak, the arsenal produced 500 rifles per month. Over one hundred workmen from the Harpers Ferry Arsenal had relocated with their families to Fayetteville. In the middle years of the war, young ladies of the area were employed in the making of cartridges and as clerks.

On March 11. 1865, the Arsenal fell to the Carolinas Campaign of Union General William T. Sherman. Resistance was given but the battered and weary Confederate forces were overwhelmed by the tremendous numbers and firepower of the invaders. Continuing his scorched earth policy, Sherman ordered the Arsenal razed to the ground. His soldiers used railroad rails as battering rams to knock the building down then set the remains on fire. As the fire raged, some remaining artillery shells exploded and completed the devastation.