• Rifle Regiment arriving at Belle Point, 1817. Artwork by Michael Haynes

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

There are park alerts in effect.
show Alerts »
  • Road Construction I-540

    Traveling West on I-40? To avoid construction delays, do not take Exit 7 (I-540 S). Stay on I-40 west and take Exit 1 Dora. Stay on Hwy 64D for 6 miles and follow signs to Fort Smith. After crossing over the river, turn right on 4th ST & right on Garland. More »

1853 British Enfield

1853 British Enfield
NPS Photo
 

1853 British Enfield

Caliber .58

Barrel length: 39"

During the Civil War both the Union and Confederate Armies were in desperate need of good weapons to arm its men. The Springfield Armory was making good rifled muskets at this time but was not able to keep up with the demand. Therefore, the two governments had to look to other countries to obtain more weapons. The British Enfield was an excellent choice and the north and south utilized them throughout the conflict. This weapon used a percussion cap for ignition so it was similar to previous percussion rifles. However, the weapon could be loaded as fast as the earlier smoothbore muskets and more accuracy than earlier rifles due the invention of the minnie ball.

Back to Weapons of Fort Smith

Did You Know?

Trail of Tears Routes

The Choctaw, Chickasaw, Cherokee, (Muscogee) Creek and Seminole Indian tribes were forcibly moved to Indian Territory on what became known as the Trail of Tears. The Arkansas River served as a water route to Fort Smith where they received supplies before crossing the river into Indian Territory.