The Civil War Relicman,
Harry Ridgeway

Winchester, Virginia, USA.
Civil War (pre 1898) weapons.

Ridgeway Reference Archive, Civil War weapons.
Model 1855 muskets, Harpers Ferry.

This is the "Ridgeway Reference Archive", a research tool for educational purposes only, and is provided at no cost to the reader.   Some of the relics listed are retained in the author's collection, most reside in other collections and are not owned by the author.  None of the items listed in this section are for sale, please refer to sales listings for items offered for sale.  This is a work in progress, I list items as I get to them, there are many patterns that are not listed yet, this list will be regularly updated as I get pictures and descriptions for more items.  I will also correct mistakes, so if you see any please tell me.  All  items listed are believed to be authentic to the Civil War or as otherwise described.   Any excavated relics have been recovered from private property with owners permission.    This information is available for research purposes, pictures may be used by permission only.

All weapons listed on this webpage are strictly manufactured before 1898, and are considered unsafe for actual use.  These are antique collectible weapons of the Civil War (most are pre 1865, unless I state otherwise) and actual firing of these weapons is not recommended for any purpose whatsoever!  Because these are all "pre 1898" weapons, no licenses are required for ownership, but common sense and good judgment should be applied.

Rifled percussion rifle, Model 1855 Harpers Ferry, 1858, .54 cal.

This early production of the model 1855 was produced for the .54 caliber minie and it employed the new Maynard paper priming system.  The Model 1855 long-arm manufactured with two bands was referred to as a "percussion rifle", while the more or less same weapon but with three bands was a "percussion rifle - musket", both are muzzle loading "muskets" and by 1861, nearly all were three band and are often referred to simply as "muskets".   The addition of the new Maynard feed system was thought to be an improvement over the earlier percussion nipple system in which caps had to be hand placed, however caps could still be manually placed, and as a practical matter the paper feed system did not work out, was simply abandoned, and by the time the next model was introduced in 1861, the Maynard system was eliminated entirely.  Single shot .54 cal. rifled muzzleloader, brass buttplate, brass patchbox cover, patchbox drilled with two slots (unique to Harpers Ferry), "C" shaped  hammer, bolster with clean out screw, early versions employed the long range site, brass trigger guard, two brass barrel bands are flat and held in place with springs, two strap hooks, nose cap is brass, lug placed on right side of barrel for a saber bayonet, ramrod is tulip head with bulge, end is threaded.   Lock is marked "1858" behind the hammer, with eagle on the Maynard flap and "US / HARPERS FERRY"  in front, manufactured by Harpers Ferry Armory, Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia).   Barrel is marked "VP" over eagle head, and "1858".  Buttplate is marked "US".   Two bands each marked "U", strap hook on top band and trigger guard.  Barrel length 33in.  
Ref:  Flayderman 9A-309.

W1220     Rifled percussion rifle, Model 1855 Harpers Ferry, 1858, .54 cal.

Ref:  Flayderman 9A-309.