Contrary to popular beliefs, reenactments, the Gods & Generals video, and assorted other war stories, the "Universal Yankee Killer" for Confederate troops in 1861/1862 was the M1822 .69 caliber musket, usually a flintlock. Tennessee had 8,761 of these .69 caliber smoothbores, all but 280 of which were flintlocks, and 700 M1855 rifle-muskets. The situation improved only slowly; Tennessee regiments were still packing .69 smoothbores in the trenches in front of Atlanta in 1864.
With the exception of a little less than 10,000 M1855s and M1841 rifles and rifle-muskets, .58 caliber weapons donít start appearing in Confederate hands in appreciable numbers until the shipments of P1853 and P1858 Enfields begin to trickle through the blockade in late November, 1861. These weapons went first to Sidney Johnston's troops (Cleburne's Brigade in Hardee's Division) near Bowling Green, KY, and were still being issued up until they marched for Shiloh. W.J. McMurry of the 20th Tennessee wrote on the eve of Shiloh: "Our entire regiment received new Enfield rifles in exchange for our old flintlocks that we had packed around for nearly a year."
The Wretched Mess