were armed with rifles or carbines.
Later, all cavalry regiments were supplied with single-shot carbines, the decreased length and weight of the shorter arm being a decided advantage to a soldier on horseback.
One volunteer regiment, the Sixth Pennsylvania Cavalry (Rush
's Lancers), was armed with the lance in addition to the pistol, twelve carbines being afterwards added to the equipment of each troop for picket and scouting duty.
But in May, 1863, all the lances were discarded for carbines as being unsuited for the heavily wooded battle-grounds of Virginia
The carbines issued were of various pattern — the Sharp
's carbine being succeeded by the Spencer, which fired seven rounds with more or less rapidity but which was difficult to reload quickly.
In the later years of the war, certain regiments were armed with the Henry
rifle, an improved weapon firing sixteen shots with great accuracy.
's rifle, firing six rounds, and a light, simple carbine called the Howard
, were also in evidence among cavalry regiments at the close of the war. Previous to, and during the first year of the war, the Burnside
was favorably thought of by the Federal
This carbine was the invention of General Ambrose E. Burnside
, and was manufactured in Bristol, Rhode Island
Its chief value lay in its strength and the waterproof cartridges used.
But its chief objection also lay in the high cost and the difficulty in obtaining this cartridge, which was manufactured of sheet brass, an expensive metal at that time.
Another arm, similar to Burnside
's and made with a tapering steel barrel, was the Maynard, which was manufactured by the Maynard
's Arms Company, Washington, District of Columbia
At the beginning, the sabers issued were of the long, straight, Prussian pattern, but these were afterwards replaced by a light cavalry saber with curved blade.
Many of these were fitted with attachments so as to be fastened to the end of the carbines in the form of a bayonet.
There also was an ordinary saber handle which allowed of their being carried at the