Union and Confederate Cavalry Weapons

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Union and Confederate Cavalry Weapons
Cavalrymen and their Horses

Photographic History of Civil War Cavalry
Man and Mount

Union and Confederate Cavalry Weapons
Union and Confederate Cavalry Weapons.jpg
Weapons carried by many Union cavalrymen

Union and Confederate Cavalrymen and their Steeds

Widely acclaimed for its Civil War application, the tintype photograph was popularized from North and South, and East to West, as both Union and Confederate soldiers eagerly donned their finest uniforms, displayed their telling war faces, and presented their array of lethal weapons, from sabers to rifles to revolvers.
A tintype, also known as a melainotype or ferrotype, is a photograph made by creating a direct positive on a thin sheet of iron coated with a dark lacquer or enamel and used as the support for the photographic emulsion. Tintypes enjoyed their widest use during the 1860s and 1870s, but lesser use of the medium persisted into the early 20th century and it has been revived as a novelty in the 21st.
Tintype portraits were at first usually made in a formal photographic studio, like daguerreotypes and other early types of photographs, but later they were most commonly made by photographers working in booths or the open air at fairs and carnivals, as well as by itinerant sidewalk photographers. Because the lacquered iron support (there is no actual tin used) was resilient and did not need drying, a tintype could be developed and fixed and handed to the customer only a few minutes after the picture had been taken.
The tintype's immediate predecessor, the ambrotype, was the same process using a sheet of glass as the support. The glass was either of a dark color or provided with a black backing so that, as with a tintype, the underexposed negative image in the emulsion appeared as a positive. Tintypes were sturdy and did not require mounting in a protective hard case like ambrotypes and daguerreotypes.
The following tintypes are from the Library of Congress and National Archives, and represent Union and Confederate cavalry and their various uniforms and weapons, known as accoutrements, as well as the conflict's horses.

About the Collection

Civil War Cavalry and their Horses
Civil War Cavalry Weapons Types.jpg
Union Cavalryman with three Remington revolvers, two Bowie knives, and a Springfield rifle musket

More than 1,000 special portrait photographs, called ambrotypes and tintypes, represent both Union and Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War (1861-1865). The photographs often show weapons, hats, canteens, musical instruments, painted backdrops, and other details that enhance the research value of the collection. Among the most rare images are sailors, African Americans in uniform, Lincoln campaign buttons, and portraits of soldiers with their families and friends.
(Right) Union cavalryman armed to the teeth. Union solider posing with issued uniform, three Remington revolvers, two Bowie knives, and a Springfield rifle musket. Knives were usually discarded later in the war, and replaced with additional revolvers. Only posing. Because of the placement of the knives, and the fact that this trooper is carrying three revolvers, it indicates that, although dated ca. 1861-1865, this photo was most likely taken ca. 1863-'65. This seasoned cavalryman also carried his Union issued Springfield, which remained popular with many troopers during the war. Courtesy Library of Congress, Liljenquist Collection.
Tom Liljenquist and his sons Jason, Brandon, and Christian built this collection in memory of President Abraham Lincoln and the 620,000 Union and Confederate servicemen who died in the American Civil War. For many, these photographs are the last known record we have of who they were and what they looked like. See "From the Donor's Perspective--The Last Full Measure" for the full story.
The Liljenquist Family began donating their collection to the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division in 2010 and continues to add to it. In addition to the ambrotypes and tintypes, the collection also includes several manuscripts, patriotic envelopes, photographs on paper, and artifacts related to the Civil War. Liljenquist Family Collection contains more than 700 rare ambrotype and tintype photographs highlight Civil War soldiers and their families, both North and South.
Since 1985, the Liljenquist family of McLean, Va., sought out high-quality images to represent the impact of the war, especially images of young enlisted men. The photographs often show firearms, hats, canteens, musical instruments and other details that enhance the research value of the collection significantly.
Liljenquist and his three sons -- Jason, 19; Brandon, 17; and Christian, 13 -- became interested in Civil War history after finding bullets and other signs of an encampment near their home in Virginia. As they began to investigate other artifacts from the war, they were especially attracted to the images captured in the photographic formats called ambrotypes (on glass) and tintypes (on metal), which were often placed in special frames and decorated cases. Among the rarest images are African Americans in uniform, sailors, a Lincoln campaign button, and portraits of soldiers with their wives and children. A few personal stories survive in notes pinned to the photo cases, but most of the people and photographers are unidentified.

The works in the Liljenquist Family Collection complement the Library's already extensive holdings of Civil War images. Since the early 1900s, the Library has actively acquired visual materials documenting as many aspects of the war as possible. Examples include eyewitness drawings by Alfred Waud and William Waud and other artists working for illustrated newspapers; historical prints showing battles, camps, hospitals and military leaders; and glass-plate negatives, stereographs (3-D views) and large-format albumen prints associated with master photographers Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, Sullivan and Andrew J. Russell.
Unless otherwise indicated, all photos are courtesy Library of Congress, or Library of Congress: Liljenquist Collection.

Union Cavalry soldier atop steed
Union Cavalry soldier atop steed.jpg
Union cavalryman mounted with saber, in front of encampment with winter chimneys

Civil War Colt pistol, Remington, & cavalry saber
Colt Pistol, Remington and Saber.jpg
Union Cavalryman with stocked Colt pistol, Remington, and cavalry saber

Union Cavalry Soldier and Colt Dragoon revolvers
Civil War Colt Dragoon revolvers.jpg
Union Cavalryman with Colt Dragoon revolvers and sword

African American Civil War Cavalry soldier
African American Civil War Cavalry soldier.jpg
African American Union Cavalry soldier with sword

Civil War Cavalry soldier with saber and tack
Civil War Cavalry soldier with saber.jpg
Union Cavalry soldier mounted with cavalry weapons

Confederate Cavalryman and Enfield rifle
Confederate Cavalryman with Enfield rifle.jpg
Confederate Cavalryman with Enfield rifle

Private, Co. F, 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment
Cavalry soldier with pistol and sword,.jpg
Cavalry soldier with pistol and sword, on horseback

Holcombe Legion South Carolina Cavalry Battalion
Civil War musket and two pistols.jpg
South Carolina Cavalryman with musket and two pistols

Union Trooper with Burnside carbine
Union Cavalryman with Burnside carbine.jpg
Union Horseman with Burnside carbine, revolver, and sword

Civil War Adams Revolver
Civil War Adams Revolver.jpg
Confederate Cavalryman with sword belt plate, Adams revolver, and cavalry sword

Union soldier mounted on steed
Union soldier mounted on steed.jpg
Union sergeant with sword while seated on a horse

Civil War 1st model Maynard carbine
Maynard carbine.jpg
Confederate Cavalry soldier with wishbone frame buckle and 1st model Maynard carbine

Union soldier with two revolvers and saber
Union soldier with two revolvers and saber.jpg
Union Cavalryman with two revolvers and a saber

Confederate horseman
Confederate Cavalryman.jpg
Confederate Cavalryman with C.S. oval belt plate with rifle

Civil War cavalryman
Civil War cavalryman.jpg
First lieutenant with red sash, leather gauntlets, and spurs with cavalry sword

Union Cavalryman Civil War Sharps carbine
Beech Sharps Carbine.jpg
Cavalry corporal with 1852 Slant Breech Sharps carbine and cavalry saber

Trooper with U.S. Model 1860 cavalry saber
 U.S. Model 1860 cavalry saber.jpg
Union corporal with slouch cap and U.S. Model 1860 cavalry saber

Union cavalryman with dual revolvers
Union cavalryman with dual revolvers.jpg
Union trooper with Hardee hat, cavalry saber, and dual revolvers

Sign reading Jeff Davis and the South!
Colt navy revolver.jpg
Confederate trooper with Colt navy revolver, book, tin drum canteen

Civil War Sharps rifles and Colt revolvers
Sharps rifles and Colt revolvers.jpg
Union Cavalry with Sharps rifles and Colt revolvers

Union Cavalryman with musical instruments
Union Cavalryman with musical instruments.jpg
Union Cavalryman with banjo, sword, and pipe

Confederate sword and pistol
Confederate sword and pistol.jpg
Maryland Confederate cavalryman with sword and pistol

Confederate Bowie knife
Confederate Bowie knife.jpg
Confederate Cavalryman with Bowie knife

Civil War Colt revolvers and cavalry sword
Civil War Colt revolvers and cavalry sword.jpg
Union trooper with two Colt revolvers and cavalry sword in front of painted backdrop

Confederate Sword
Confederate Sword.jpg
Virginia Cavalry Regiment soldier with sword

Colt Dragoon revolver and sword
Colt Dragoon revolver and sword.jpg
Union Cavalry soldier with Colt Dragoon revolver and sword

Mississippi Cavalry soldier with weapons
Confederate trooper with sword and revolver.jpg
Confederate trooper with sword and revolver

See also:

Union Cavalryman and weapons
Union Cavalry and weapons.jpg
Union Cavalryman atop horse, with saber, revolver, and cap box

Union Cavalry soldier armed to the teeth...
Civil War revolvers.jpg
Union Cavalryman with shell jacket, bummer cap, three Remington revolvers, and sword

Union Cavalry Weapons
Union Cavalry Weapons.jpg
Union Cavalryman with saber, single shot pistol carbine, and Colt Navy revolver

Civil War D-guard Bowie knife
Civil War D-guard Bowie knife.jpg
Confederate Cavalryman with D-guard Bowie knife

Union Cavalry first lieutenant with saber
Union Cavalry first lieutenant with saber.jpg
Union Cavalry first lieutenant atop horse, with kepi and cavalry saber

Union Cavalryman with Hardee hat and frock coat
Model 1860 Light Cavalry saber Colt revolver .jpg
Union trooper with Model 1860 Light Cavalry saber and Colt Army Model 1860 revolver

Union Cavalryman mounted and blowing bugle
Union Cavalryman mounted and blowing bugle.jpg
Union Cavalryman on horse blowing bugle while unsheathing sword

Confederate trooper with musket
Confederate trooper with musket.jpg
Confederate trooper with musket and Bowie knife

Civil War Saber
Civil War Saber.jpg
Confederate Cavalryman with saber

Two Civil War Revolvers
Two Civil War Revolvers.jpg
Confederate Cavalryman, snake belt buckle, with two revolvers

Dismounted Union soldier
Dismounted Union soldier.jpg
Union soldier dismounted, with saber and horse

Confederate slant breech sharps carbine
Confederate slant breech sharps carbine.jpg
Confederate Cavalryman with slant breech sharps carbine, two knives, and two revolvers

Union Cavalry soldier with Hardee hat
Union Cavalry soldier with French revolver.jpg
Union cavalry soldier, Hardee hat, European saber, and French LeFaucheux pinfire revolver

Civil War Cavalry weapons
Civil War Cavalry Carbine and Saber.jpg
Union Cavalry soldier with Stocked Colt pistol, Remington, and cavalry saber

Civil War cavalry sword and revolver
Civil War cavalry sword and revolver.jpg
Confederate Cavalryman with cavalry sword and revolver

Illinois Cavalry Regiment trooper
Lefaucheux revolver.jpg
Union soldier with single shot percussion pistol, Lefaucheux revolver, and sword

Confederate Cavalry officer
Confederate Cavalry officer.jpg
Captain George Riggs Gaither, K Company, 1st Virginia Cavalry

Civil War Cavalry Pistol Carbine
Civil War Cavalry Pistol Carbine.jpg
Union Cavalry soldier with percussion cap pistol carbine, attached stock, and cavalry saber

Civil War Sheathed Cavalry Sword
Civil War Sheathed Cavalry Sword.jpg
Confederate Cavalry second lieutenant with sheathed cavalry sword

Union Trooper holding cavalry saber
Union Cavalryman holding cavalry saber.jpg
Union Cavalryman holding cavalry saber

Civil War Cavalrymen
Civil War Cavalrymen.jpg
Union cavalry, with sword, share a drink in front of painted backdrop

Civil War double barrel shotgun
Civil War double barrel shotgun.jpg
Confederate Cavalryman with double barrel shotgun

Union Cavalryman with Model 1855 pistol-carbine
Model 1855 pistol-carbine.jpg
U.S. Cavalryman with sword and U.S. Model 1855 pistol-carbine

Civil War saber and revolver
Civil War saber and revolver.jpg
Confederate Cavalryman holding saber and revolver

Confederate Cavalryman with Berdan Sharps rifle
Berdan Sharps rifle.jpg
Texas Cavalryman with Berdan Sharps rifle

Sharps carbine, pistol, and knife
Sharps carbine, pistol, and knife.jpg
Confederate Cavalry soldier with Sharps carbine, pistol, and knife

U.S. Civil War Savage revolver and sword
U.S. Civil War Savage revolver and sword.jpg
Union cavalry soldier with Savage revolver and sword

Union musician with cavalry sword
Union musician with cavalry sword.jpg
Union musician with two belts with cavalry saber

Credits: Library of Congress and National Archives.


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