A battered Civil War battlefield relic up close (VIDEO)

Author John Banks stopped by the Springfield Armory National Historic Site and got a sneak peek into the museum’s extensive collection of artifacts, including a rifle that saw hell.

Banks, who has penned a number of books on the Civil War to include Connecticut Yankees at Antietam and the Hidden History of Connecticut Union Soldiers, talks with curator Alex MacKenzie about one very special British Enfield P53 rifle.

Likely carried by one R.H. Weakley — whose name is carved in the stock — the rifle has significant battle damage to include a Minie ball still embedded in the trigger guard. Weakley, killed at the battle of Franklin, may have been holding the rifle when he drew his last.

Banks has more photos and information over at his Civil War blog including one of John Brown’s pikes and Jeff Davis’ peculiar .74-caliber Devisme rifle.

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