Over the past few posts we have taken a look at the three American companies that manufactured pinfire cartridges for use in the American Civil War. Between Allen & Wheelock, Christian Sharps et C.D. Leet they manufactured a total of 1,572,000 pinfire cartridges.
However there is no known documentation on which manufacturers we imported additional cartridges from. We know that the Union Army purchased at least 200,000 cartridges with the large order of Lefaucheux revolvers from France. We know some of the smaller purchases also came with cartridges. We also know that the Confederate States Army had pinfire cartridges stored in their arsenals and used pinfire revolvers.
So I figured the only way to answer this question was to acquire the actual cartridges they used. And that is exactly what this article is going to focus on.
On August 13, 1864 an arsenal inspection of the Selma Arsenal showed that the Confederate States Army had 52,800 pinfire cartridges in stock. Various inspection reports also list cartridges in Union arsenals as well as pinfire revolvers in use by various Union and Confederate units.