Thank you for the excellent story about John Pisano’s Springfield Civil War rifle. I grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts where the country’s first armory was located and where the rifle was designed and first manufactured. George Washington approved the building of the armory and it provided the rifles and cannons to fight the Revolutionary War.
During Shay’s Rebellion, Daniel Shay lead his men in an attack on the armory but was repelled. This incident led our Founding Fathers to drop the Articles of Confederation and adopt our current Constitution. Many historians credit the Springfield rifle for the Union’s success in the Civil War because of its quick reloading design, easily changeable parts, and accelerated mass production.
What struck me most about the article is not only Mr. Pisano’s deep appreciation of history but his empathy for what the rifle represents. When he describes finding four notches on the rifle which probably represented four soldiers killed and a still loaded barrel that may have meant this soldier was felled before it could have been discharged it brings to life the horror and senselessness that is war. Mr. Pisano is very respectful of this human cost and speaks with reverence.
I am not a proponent of guns and I am deeply troubled to see so called “Patriots” roaming our streets and state capitals wearing armaments. You can be sure the soldier who last loaded this rifle knew the gravity of that moment. Mr. Pisano is correct. Artifacts can bring clarity to our past.