Difference Between Southern & Northern Civil War Bullets
- Historians classify Civil War bullets according to length, caliber and grooves. Most bullets had between one and seven circular grooves around the base.
- Grooves held grease, which made it easier to load the rifle and faster to shoot.
- The .58-caliber Minie ball was the most widely used bullet of the Civil War. Invented by Frenchman Claude-Etienne Minie, the U.S. military adopted the bullet in 1855. It featured three grooves and fired accurately up to 350 yards.
- Early in the war, most soldiers used smoothbore guns, like muskets, they acquired from home or from old stockpiles. They fired .69-caliber round shot. Firing accurately only 100 yards, soldiers upgraded as soon as possible.