The Missouri in the Civil War Message Board

Enfield cavalry carbines used by Price's men

Has anyone happened to have come across documentation that any of the Missouri regiments (or Arkansas regiments) serving under Price during his Missouri expedition in the fall of 1864 were armed, at least in part, with the Enfield cavalry carbine?

I have come across a couple of reports in the OR indicating that some of Price's men were apparently armed with Enfields, but have not yet determined specifically if Enfield cavalry carbines were among the many small arms they carried.

Brig. Gen. M. Jeff. Thompson, C. S. Army, commanding Shelby's brigade -- Thompson in one of his official reports talks of the difficulty of loading Enfield rifles while on horseback during action on Oct. 24, 1864.
Col. Colton Greene Third Missouri Cavalry, commanding Marmaduke's brigade -- Greene requests to learn from Marmaduke when he may expect Enfield ammunition which is needed in correspondence of June 1864

Also Luttrell's account of the Second Battle of Independence on Oct. 22, 1864 references that at least part of the 10th MO Cavalry was armed with "Enfields" at this time (although it is unclear as to whether these were Enfield rifle muskets, rifles or carbines).

The reason I ask this is that I recently acquired a Pattern 1856 Enfield cavalry carbine with accepted Confederate markings which also has a faint inscription on its stock (which appears to be authentic) referring to the fact that the carbine was "Captured Oct. 21 (or 22) by _____ at ______". I do not yet have the piece acquired at auction, and am basing this on a digital photo only at the present time.

As research indicates that this particular type of small arm was not imported by the Confederacy until 1863, this would tend to limit the potential actions during which the carbine may have been captured to the years 1863 and 1864. A cursory review of cavalry actions on Oct. 21 or Oct. 22 in 1863 or 1864 seems to point to the likelihood that this carbine may have been involved in one of the engagements such as Little Blue, Big Blue or Byram's Ford, etc. (I could find no record of a cavalry engagement on these dates in 1863.)

If anyone by chance may have come across documentation that some of Price's men were armed with Enfield cavalry carbines during his Missouri expedition in the fall of 1864, I would certainly appreciate hearing back from you.


Mike Bailey