Civil War poster from 1863 showing prices of uniforms, garrison equipment, weapons and more!

This is a really unique poster detailing the price of each part of a firearm issued to men in the American Civil War. It measures 20 inches by 24 inches and was printed by the Adjutant General’s Office led by Lorenzo Thomas. It was likely provided to the regimental quartermasters in charge of accounting for ordnance stores.

There are 16 tables printed on this Civil War poster representing uniforms, garrison equipment, weapons and more. I think it likely served a couple purposes. The most obvious use was a quick reference guide to the prices of equipment to deduct from officer’s payrolls due to unaccountable losses. Most of these tables are also printed in the document, Instructions for Making Quarterly Returns of Ordnance and Ordnance Stores: As Prescribed by the General Regulations of the Army; Including Directions Respecting The Evidence Required In Settling The Ordnance Property Accounts Of Officers Leaving The Service. Prepared At The Ordnance Bureau, For The Use Of Officers Accountable For Such Property.

This document gives clear instructions on how to make quarterly ordnance returns to account for ordnance stores. It also gives examples of how to account for lost, damaged, bought or transferred arms and equipment. In the Appendix are the same tables (plus more) as the poster has for the cost of the firearms and equipment. It details the price of every single part that makes up each firearm from tiny springs or pins that cost less than a penny up to barrels and stocks. The following long guns are detailed: Generic Muskets and Rifles, Sharpe’s Carbine and Rifle, Breech-Loading Carbines, Colt’s Rifle (Caliber .56) and Merrill’s Carbine and Rifle.

The following revolver pistols are listed; Colt’s Pattern, Lefaucheux, Savages’s Army and Navy Size and Remington’s Army and Navy Size.

The Lefaucheux revolver is broken down into 36 parts as follows:

Names of Parts.Prices.
Barrel $       3.46
Base pin $       0.08
Cap and top strap, combined $       0.67
Cap and do. screws $       0.07
Cleaner $       0.24
Cleaner spring, attached to cleaner $       0.08
Cleaner screw $       0.04
Cartridge cover $       0.25
Cartridge do. spring $       0.11
Cartridge do. do. screw $       0.02
Cartridge do. do. joint pin $     0.005
Connecting screw $       0.04
Cylinder $       2.00
Cylinder check $       0.12
Escutcheon $       0.10
Frame $       2.55
Friction roll $       0.04
Friction do. pin $     0.005
Friction spring, attached to base pin $       0.08
Names of Parts.Prices.
Guard strap and bow, combined $       1.00
Guard do. and screws $       0.08
Hammer $       0.40
Hammer screw $     0.025
Main spring $       0.20
Main-spring screw $       0.04
Revolver arm $       0.20
Revolver do. spring $       0.04
Sear $       0.18
Sear screw $       0.04
Sear spring $       0.12
Sear do. screw $       0.04
Sight, front $       0.10
Stock $       0.40
Swivel ring $       0.05
Swivel stud $       0.10
Swivel do. pin $     0.025
Total cost of arm $     13.00
Lefaucheux m1854
Example of the Lefaucheux Model 1854 Revolver used in the American Civil War with a modified hammer.

Here is a cropped section of the poster showing the Lefaucheux section:

cropped section of the poster showing the Lefaucheux section
cropped section of the poster showing the Lefaucheux section

The Ordnance memorandum gives details on how to charge missing ordnance to officers by deducting from the payroll when they muster out. It also specifically mentions that enlisted men are not issued ordnance or accountable to this practice but rather their commanding officer is held accountable to the Treasury. And the insisted men are responsible to their commanding officer for ordnance stores in their possession.

The other thing this poster has that is not in the Ordnance memorandum is the cost of uniforms as well as a table showing the money value of clothing allotted to enlisted men and officers. This was likely used for the quartermaster to make higher level plans for allotting and requesting money as needed and to better account for what they have on hand.