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Colt M1860 Army Percussion Revolver, 1861

The Union armed its troops with Colt M1860 revolvers. A gun like this one would be used as a sidearm. A sidearm is a weapon that is kept close to the body for easy access. Soldiers usually used these guns as back-ups for their rifles. They were expensive and highly-valued weapons at the time. John C. Breckinridge, the Confederate Secretary of War, carried this gun.