Rifled, percussion cap muskets were a large part of the arsenals of both sides of the American Civil War (1861-1865), these guns largely succeeding original flintlock, smoothbore types popular for some two centuries prior. The "Fayetteville Rifle" was one such weapon originating from the arsenals of the Confederacy during the conflict and made possible by the capture of machinery and tooling from Harpers Ferry (secured during the famous Confederate raid of April 1861). The equipment was arranged at Confederate locations in both Richmond (Virginia) and Fayetteville (North Carolina) which provided the South with some means of generating a viable arms industry when compared to the North.
As such, the guns originating from Fayetteville emerged as "Fayetteville Rifles" and these featured a wooden stock, double-banding and chambering for the .57 ball. Actuation of the primer was by percussion cap and the internal length of the barrel was rifled for ranged accuracy. Beyond these then-modern qualities, the guns were nevertheless loaded at the muzzle in true musket fashion. They retained a single-shot capability. Sighting was through an iron arrangement that included an adjustable rear and bladed front.
At its core, the Fayetteville was completed to the form and function of the Springfield Model 1855 percussion rifle standard of the United States Army. These weapons had been in circulation since 1856 and built in the tens of thousands prior to the war - so exposure by many to this rifle was obvious. The Fayetteville version could reach out to targets at 800 yards and held accuracy to within 500 yards.
Production numbered 31,762 units from the span of 1862 until the end of the war in 1865. While the original Model 1855 of the Army, and its corresponding equipment at Harpers Ferry, was set up to produce the rifles with the Maynard Tape Primer system, much of the Confederate stock did without this feature to help ease production. This left the rifles with a distinctive physical "hump" at the lock work but with no obvious value to it.
The Fayetteville Rifle appeared in two major marks: the "Type I" following the original U.S. Army form and the "Type II" which reduced the rise of the hump.