Army of the Potomac Ordnance at the Battle of Fredericksburg

by Brett Schulte on February 20, 2010 · 0 comments

I was browsing the web for Quarterly Ordnance Returns (i.e. the type and number of weapons each unit had at a given time) for the Army of the Potomac. I found a gem at the Fredericksburg National Battlefield site. Historian Eric Mink apparently transcribed the Ordnance returns for the Army of the Potomac for the quarter ending December 31, 1862. An excerpt from the article gives you an idea of the work Eric Mink has done:

The attached document contains a breakdown by regiment of the type and number of weapons carried by companies, regiments, and batteries in the hands of the Army of the Potomac around the time of the Battle of Fredericksburg. This information is based on returns submitted to the Ordnance Department for the final quarter of 1862, ending December 31, 1862. The returns show that for the infantry regiments, the most common weapons carried were the Springfield Rifled Muskets, model 1855, 1861, National Armory and contract. Imported weapons made up 39% of the infantry’s armament, while only 11% of the guns were of the older smoothbore variety. Among cavalrymen, the Sharps rifled carbine was the most prevalent, while among artillerymen the Napoleon proved most common.

The link to the 158(!) page PDF file is a bit hard to see at the top of the page, so I’ve included a link to the December 31, 1862 AotP Quarterly Ordnance Return file here as well.  Great job guys!  This is a terrific resource for wargamers and researchers alike.

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