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The Civil War Weapons Quiz
by Staff
The American Civil War is often called the first "modern war," pitting high-powered weapons versus archaic battlefield tactics. How much do you know about weapons of the Civil War?

At the outset of the war, the arsenals of both armies were stocked mostly with which weapon?

  • Longswords
  • Colt revolvers
  • smooth-bore muskets

How were some Civil War gun barrels innovative?

  • They were replaceable.
  • They were rifled.
  • They were made of a lighter metal alloy.

What was the mostly commonly used firearm in the Civil War?

  • Sharps rifle
  • Springfield 1861 rifle
  • Colt Army Model 1860

About how many rounds per minute could trained troops fire using the Springfield rifle?

  • two
  • three
  • six

How did the Union army deploy hot air balloons?

  • as surveillance tools
  • as early bombers
  • as machine gun nests

What was the weight of the Parrott Rifle?

  • 18 pounds
  • 180 pounds
  • 1,800 pounds

How were the first Civil War ironclad ships powered?

  • diesel engine
  • steam engine
  • sail

Due to an insufficient number of firearms, in 1862 Georgia's governor ordered the creation of what weapon?

  • pikes
  • grenades
  • broadswords

What was the maximum range of the Napoleon cannon?

  • 1 mile
  • 2 miles
  • 3 miles

Which weapon caused only about 5% of Civil War casualties?

  • land mines
  • pistol
  • artillery

Which gun was the most widely used weapon in the Confederate army?

  • Lorenz rifle
  • Enfield rifle
  • Springfield rifle

How were wounds caused by the conical Minie ball different than those inflicted by round musket balls?

  • They were less destructive.
  • They tended to cut a path straight through the body.
  • They mushroomed when they struck flesh.

Why were casualty rates so high during Civil War battles?

  • poor battlefield medicine
  • many land mines
  • machine guns

The 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry was first armed with what weapon?

  • Lances
  • Colt root
  • Volcanic pistol

How were calcium lights used during some attacks during the Civil War?

  • used to set fire to enemy fortifications
  • used to illuminate targets
  • used to coordinate signals from afar

What special feature was included on the Sharps military carbine?

  • a grain grinder
  • a compartment made to hold tobacco
  • a fishing hook

Which weapon was responsible for about 90% of all Civil War casualties?

  • artillery
  • rifles
  • bayonet

For the siege of Petersburg, Union commanders personally purchased what kind of new weapon?

  • Gatling guns
  • land mines
  • grenades

Why were government officials reluctant to invest in new arms technology at the beginning of the war?

  • The war was supposed to be over in six months.
  • They were confident in their stockpile of older weapons.
  • They were sure that there would be a political resolution.

At which battle did the Spencer rifle make a powerful impression?

  • Battle of Shiloh
  • Battle of Gettysburg
  • Battle of Chickamauga

Why were Ketchum grenades hard to use?

  • They had to land on the nose in order to detonate.
  • The timing of the fuses was too long, giving foes a chance to lob the grenades back at attackers.
  • They were too heavy.

Which weapon did Confederate soldiers commonly use to kill Union artillery crews?

  • volcanic carbine
  • Whitworth rifle
  • Joslyn rifle

How many side-by-side barrels did the Billinghurst Requa Battery feature?

  • 25
  • 13
  • eight

During the Civil War, land mines were commonly called what?

  • dirt bombs
  • torpedoes
  • foot traps

Why did Civil War cavalry men carry multiple pistols?

  • It was easier than reloading a weapon that had been fired.
  • Their missions tended to be longer because they were on horseback.
  • You can never have enough guns.

What was the range of the Hale rocket launcher?

  • 2,000 yards
  • 200 yards
  • about 100 yards

How many shots could the Henry rifle fire before it had to be reloaded?

  • seven
  • 12
  • 17

Union Gen. William Sherman called which weapon, "not warfare, but murder?"

  • land mines
  • machine guns
  • bayonets

How many rounds per minute could a Gatling gun fire?

  • about 150 rounds
  • about 350 rounds
  • about 750 rounds

How many miles of telegraph line were installed only for the purpose of military communications?

  • more than 1,000 miles
  • more than 1,600 miles
  • more than 15,000 miles