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

    Fort Smith

    National Historic Site AR,OK

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1860 Henry


1860 Henry

Caliber: .44 Henry rimfire

Barrel length: 24 ½"

The Henry rifle was an improvement over the volcanic repeater of the 1850s. The Henry could hold 15 metallic cartridges in a tube under the barrel. It was fired by moving the lever, which cocked the hammer, ejected the spent cartridge case, and loaded a new one. After levering the gun, the trigger was pulled to fire the gun. It was a great improvement over the muzzle loading muskets of the period and dubbed by the Confederates as "that damned Yankee rifle that they load on Sunday and shoot all week." Though not issued by the army, a soldier could buy one of these rifles if they saved their money. Cartridges spend by Henry rifles can be found in battlefield throughout Arkansas.

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Did You Know?

Entrance to Visitor Center on south end of building

Fort Smith National Historic Site completed a major renovation of their Visitor Center in the summer of 2000.