Will: Thanks for your kind comments on The Civil War in Arizona; the Story of the California Volunteers (and say hey to John for me). You've obviously done your homework on the dragoons and have got me questioning how I know what I thoght I knew regarding the re-issue of regular arms and equipage to the volunteers. Benecia and Office of the Chief of Ordnance correspondence (RG 156, NARA) confirm that horse equipments were being turned in, repaired and re-issued. It's also clear that Sharps ("old pattern") carbines were being hurriedly repaired and issued and (according to Coates and McAulay) a number of these had been issued to the First Dragoons and had originally been used by Kansas Free Staters and others captured at Harpers Ferry with John Brown. Having said this, I really don't know with certainty that the dragoons turned in their Sharps'. We do know that nearly 1000 old pattern Sharps' were repaired and issued to the California Volunteers in late 1861, along with about 100 New Model 1859 carbines. Maj. McAllister was concerned that the paper cartridges for the former were too long for the latter (evidently there is a difference in the length of the chamber). Another officer was concerned that there was a slight difference in the bore (but I wonder if he meant chamber). In any event, is it possible that the dragoons DID turn in their well-used 1853 carbines (leaving them for the volunteers) and drew most of the New Model 1859s on hand at Benecia before boarding ship and bugging out? Let me know what you think.
PS How do you know the CV had any 1855s? I suspect they did, but the only evidence I've found is an excavated specimen found in Southern Arizona (and pictured in my book).
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