A well-equipped Granite Stater on the move
Union Private Albert H. Davis of Company K, 6th New Hampshire Infantry Regiment in uniform complete with shoulder scales and Model 1858 Dress Hat (“Hardee hat”) with a Model 1841 percussion Mississippi rifle, the impressive 27-inch-long M1855 sword bayonet mounted, a tarred U.S. Model 1855 double bag knapsack with bedroll, canteen and haversack.
Civil War soldiers carried between 30 and 40 pounds of supplies on their backs when in marching order as shown above and could pull down 16 miles on average per day. As for Davis’ rifle, it was common in Civil War-era regiments formed in the beginning of the conflict to equip two of their 10 companies as flank units with rifles rather than more traditional muskets, for skirmishing. As the war wound on, all companies would typically be equipped with .58 caliber minie ball-firing Model 1855/61/63/64 US Sprinfield rifles with 21-inch triangular socket bayonets, replacing both earlier smoothbores and the .54-caliber Mississippi, though a large number of foreign pieces were utilized as well.
Organized in Keene, New Hampshire, the 6th NH mustered in for a three-year enlistment on 27 November 1861 (156 years ago today!) and fought in the Army of the Potomac and Army of Tennessee, seeing the elephant at such places as Antietam, Vicksburg, Fredricksburg, the Wilderness, Cold Harbor and the Battle of the Crater, losing 418 men in the process.