City of Alexandria, VA
Page updated Dec 6, 2010 4:04 PM
Tools of the Soldiers’ Trade
This display of firearms and related equipment used by the Civil War artilleryman traces the evolution of nineteenth-century firearms technology. From the obsolete smoothbore musket and the standard Springfield rifled musket, to Sharps Rifles and repeating carbines, Civil War soldiers were progressively equipped with more accurate, longer-range and more lethal guns. Improvements in firearm technology also meant that more specialized uses – such as firing while on horseback – could adapt small weapons to soldiers’ needs. Gun tools from the Fort Ward collection complement the firearms and show the everyday items Civil War soldiers used to clean and repair their weapons.