Weapons Issued to the 21st Michigan 

The 21st Michigan was originally issued Austrian .54 caliber rifled muskets. The Austrian rifle-musket was commonly known as the Lorenz rifle-musket after its designer, Lieutenant Joseph Lorenz of the Austrian army. Mr. Joe Bilby has produced a short history of the Lorenz and its use during the Civil War. A list of replacement arms is provided below.

The following is from " The Small Arms used by Michigan Troops in the Civil War" pages 36 and 37.

TWRNTY-FIRST MICHIGAN INFANTRY REGIMENT

Like many Michigan regiments, the Twenty-first Michigan Infantry was recruited from a Congressional district. This regiment was from the Fourth Congressional District, which included such counties as Kent, Muskegon, Mackinac, Delta, and Cheboygan. Its muster date was September 4, 1862, and it served for nearly three years before being mustered out on June 8, 1865, at Washington.

Also, like many other Michigan infantry regiments, the Twenty-first, early in 1863, received an order of Austrian Rifle Muskets, caliber .54 and .55, equipped with quadrangular bayonets.

The men of the regiment must have been proud of themselves as marksmen, for in matches with men from Wisconsin and Illinois regiments at Murfreesboro, Tennessee, in late May, 1863, they won the right to get Colt Revolving Rifles. However, these rifles were. not immediately forthcoming, for in 1863 the regiment received Springfield Rifle Muskets, Models 1855, 1861, and 1863, caliber .58, and more Austrian Rifle Muskets, quadrangular bayonet, caliber .54 and .55. These guns had leaf and block sights. The Twenty-first also received some Enfields, caliber .577 and .58; plus two musician swords and some non-commissioned officer swords.

Two arms that were received by the Twenty-first do not follow the conventional pattern. During the fourth quarter of 1863, it received the Henry Breech-loading Rifle (a 12-shot repeater) caliber .44, as well as the United States Model 1841 Rifle, caliber .54.

A typical period of arms deliveries was the year 1864: Springfields, Austrian, and Enflelds (all of the types previously described for this regiment) continued to flow to the regiment.

(This booklet was published by the Michigan Civil War Centennial Observance Commission in 1966.)

Throughout the course of the war replacement arms were issued to the 21st Michigan Companies according to this schedule.

Weapons Issued by Company and Date 
COMPANY: A B C D E F G H I K STORES TOTAL
December 31, 1862
Austrian .54 27 - - - - 37 44 25 25 - 0 158
March 31, 1863
Austrian .54 27 - 31 - 27 37 - 25 25 19 3 194
June 30, 1863
Austrian .54 2 - 33 32 26 37 41 33 25 30 0 265
M 1859 Sharps
Rifle W- T. Bay.
22 18 - - - - - - - - 0 40
Enfield Rifle-Musket 1 12 - - - - - - - - 0 13
M 1855, 61 & 63
U.S. Rifle-Musket
- 1 - 1 1 - - - - 1 4 8
September 31, 1863
Austrian .54 - - 9 24 22 20 30 25 16 20 0 166
M 1855, 61 & 63
U.S. Rifle-Musket
- - 1 1 1 - - 1 - - 0 4
Enfield Rifle-Musket 1 - - - - - - - - - 0 1
Colt Rev. Rifle 13 - - - - - - - - - 0 13
December 31, 1863
Austrian .54 - 6 8 24 22 14 24 1 16 20 0 135
M 1855, 61 & 63
U.S. Rifle-Musket
- 1 2 - - 1 - - - - 0 4
Enfield Rifle-Musket 1 1 8 - - - - 4 1 - 0 15
Colt Revolving Rifle 13 18 1 1 1 - 6 15 - - 0 55
March 31, 1864
Austrian .54 - 6 8 17 21 14 19 19 13 20 0 137
Enfield Rifle-Musket 24 53 47 7 35 39 46 38 21 36 0 346
Colt Revolving Rifle 13 18 1 2 1 - - - - - 0 35
M 1855, 61 & 63
U.S. Rifle-Musket
- 3 2 - - 1 - 5 - - 0 11
June 30, 1864
Enfield Rifle-Musket 31 52 46 40 36 - 52 1 25 43 0 326
Austrian .58 - - - - - - 5 41 - - 0 46
M 1855, 61 & 63
U.S. Rifle-Musket
- 3 2 - - - - 5 - - 0 10
Colt Rev. Rifle - 1 1 - 1 - 1 1 - - 0 5
September 30, 1864
Enfield Rifle-Musket - 52 46 - 36 - 31 - - - 7 172
M 1855, 61 & 63
U.S. Rifle-Musket
- 3 2 - - - - - - - 0 5
Colt Revolving Rifle - - - - 1 - - - - - 0 1
Austrian .58 - - - - - - - 41 - - 0 41
December 31, 1864
Enfield Rifle-Musket - 43 33 51 36 39 52 41 32 - 9 336
M 1855, 61 & 63
U.S. Rifle-Musket
56 3 3 - - 1 - 5 - - 0 68
Austrian .54 - - - - - - 5 - - - 0 5

Colt Revolving Rifle
(.56 & .44)

- 1 1 - - - 1 1 - - 0 4

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Last modified date and time: 01/18/2010 13:31