This is a Model 1816 Springfield musket converted from flint to percussion. It was a common firearm in the first half of the American Civil War. The stock inspector cartouche is still visible.
While American women today serve in front-line duties in the armed forces, this wasn’t a common or accepted practice in the past. This article tells the stories of Deborah Sampson of the American Revolution and Kady Brownell in the U.S. Civil War. Click the link to read more about these American military heroes.
At the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum, we now have the Springfield rifle carried by African American, Isaac J. Winters, of Company F 43rd U.S. Colored Troops during the American Civil War. He fought heroically in — and survived despite being wounded — some of the War’s most horrific combat.
This is East Greenwich resident Thomas W. Chace’s certificate of appreciation for his service in the United Train of Artillery militia as he took command of the 4th Brigade of the Rhode Island Militia in September 1872. The intricacy and workmanship is amazing! This item is on display at the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum.
Amazingly, a second tintype of Lyman Aylesworth (1st Rhode Island Cavalry in the US Civil War) has been found; this time on horseback in the field with his saber drawn. This is a fantastic image even without the ID of Aylesworth. The frame is identical to the other tintype in our possession. A dealer had […]
The Varnum Memorial Armory Museum exhibit that features the battle-scarred Bible and other artifacts belonging to Rhode Island Civil War soldier Private Alfred G. Gardner (Battery B First Rhode Island Light Artillery) tells a story of sacrifice and devotion to a higher cause. The Bible served as Gardner’s private journal, in which he made observations […]
In August 2015, we shared the story of the first North Kingstowner to fall in combat in the American Civil War during the March 14, 1862 Battle of New Bern (also spelled as New Berne) in North Carolina. With the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum’s recent acquisition of artifacts relating to that battle, it seems like […]
Until the 19th century was well along, handguns were limited to single-shot weapons. In 1836, a 22-year old Hartford, Connecticut man, Samuel Colt, came up with a concept for controlled rotation of a firearm that would allow multiple rounds to be fired without reloading. Colt, the son of a textile manufacturer, developed a fascination for […]
At the Varnum Memorial Armory Museum, we have a U.S. Civil War field desk used by Colonel John Talbot Pittman of the 9th and 11th Rhode Island Volunteers while manning the defenses of Washington DC.
Our Varnum Memorial Armory Curator, Patrick Donovan, was reading a first-hand account of the 4th Rhode Island Volunteers at the Battle of New Bern in the U.S. Civil War, and came across the names of the ship captains who made up the naval force accompanying the expeditionary force. He faintly recognized one of the names: […]