35th Regiment, North Carolina Troops

Arms and Accouterments, 1862

The 35th NC initially received some flintlock muskets and rifles, but by the end of December 1861, the regiment was armed in accordance with prewar doctrine and the weapons available.  The two “flank” companies, A and B, received rifles while the other eight companies were issued muskets.

ORDNANCE ISSUES TO THE 35TH NC, DECEMBER 1861       

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

K

“altered muskets

80

80

86

83

103

70

71

“Fl.& St. muskets”

78

“Miss. rifles”

71

90

“Fl.& St. muskets” are “flint and steel,” or flintlock, muskets; “Miss. rifles” are M1841 “Mississippi” rifles. The “altered muskets” and the flintlock muskets are most probably the various types of M1816 muskets, part of the State’s prewar stockpile of militia weapons. North Carolina gunsmiths reworked many of these to percussion muskets, although some unaltered flintlock muskets were issued.  Perhaps some of the percussion conversion M1816 muskets came from the stock of weapons confiscated at Fayetteville Arsenal, but this is unlikely as the bulk of these weapons had been issued earlier. Company G’s muskets were listed as “bronze” (browned).  The State owned a mix of standard M1841 rifles and “long range” M1841 rifles, the improved version of this type introduced in the late1850’s, fitted with adjustable sights, a saber bayonet, and bored out to .58 caliber.  The State sent quantities of these “Mississippi Rifles” to arm Virginia regiments and other Confederate units in 1861.  The Mississippi rifles seen in an image of North Carolina soldiers appear to be the standard M1841 rifle.  However, since Company B reported that it had “sword bayonets” for its rifles in January 1862, it must have received the later model “long range” M1841 rifle.

Full sets of accouterments were issued with each weapon, with the exception of Company H, which received only 87 sets for the 103 weapons issued.  A set consisted of a cartridge box, shoulder belt, waist belt, cap pouch, bayonet scabbard, and a “gun sling”.  Each company received a limited numbers of “spare cones”, “screw drivers”, “wipers” and “ball screws”.  Company C reported five “non-commissioned officers swords” on a January 1862 ordnance return, but none of the other companies report having any.

By May 1862, three of the companies of the 35th NC were armed with “Enfield rifles”. Lt. Col. Oliver C. Petway wrote to Walter Clark on May 18:  “We have five rifle companies three Enfield & two Miss Rifle companies.” He did not specify which companies were armed with the Enfield rifles or when they received them.

There is no information on the types of weapons the regiment carried through the Maryland Campaign.  The CS Ordnance Department  rearmed some ANV regiments having substandard arms with weapons captured during the Seven Days Battles. The 35th NC may or may not have received “improved” arms in the form of captured weapons.  However, it is unlikely that Companies A and B, or the three other “rifle” companies would have exchanged weapons as they had M1841 and Enfield rifles, both considered “first-class” weapons at the time. 

Sources

Appearance of the the Soldiers