Mystery at the Museum: CS Richmond Musket one of mysteries of the museum

Peter Griffith

There are many items we have here at the museum pertaining to the American Civil War.  But what I have chose to highlight is the one that when I pick it up it speaks volumes to me.  That is the CS Richmond Musket.   The CS Richmond was a musket made in the City of Richmond State of Virginia under control of the Confederate government during the War.  The CS Richmond was made from machinery that was captured from Harpers Ferry Virginia.

The machinery was set up to make the 1855 musket but the confederates disposed of the Maynard Priming systems and the patch box.  Around 1862 another modification was made in cutting down the high hump that housed the Maynard system thus giving us two types of muskets.   It is said that around 1,000 black stocks were also taken at Harpers Ferry on the trip south to Richmond.

The rifles were made at Tredegar Iron Works. The only works in the south able to make cannons and other martial items as the war broke out.  The overall appearance of the rifle was not as smooth and beautiful as was made at Harpers Ferry.

In the south there was not time to deal with beauty over function.  Now to note the early model 1862 did have a patch box and high hump lock plate but when 62 rolled around the low hump was in production.  Jackson also brought back many 2nd grade stocks which had splits and cracks.  After the grade one stocks wore out there was no new black walnut to go to.  So the old stocks were used and a second type of rifle was made.  The two banded rifle.

Stocks damaged were cut down and a little over 400 of these where made.  Next came even a shorter version which was the CS Richmond Carbine for the cavalry.  It sported a short carbine style barrel.

Many types of metals can be found in the later CS Richmond’s but ours is  good quality and must have been made from good stocks.  In a couple of months we will display this wonderful piece of history.  If only it could tell us where it has been.  So with that said I now will get back to work and I hope you enjoyed our column.  See us again real soon for our next item in our collection.

Peter Griffith is the Museum of Culpeper History’s curator of military collections.