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State Military Works

Name Street Town State From To
State Military Works Green Avenue Greenville South Carolina 1863 1864

Patent Date Remarks

Contract for
  1.000 "Morse carbines", forerunner of centerfire metallic cartridge were made for the state of South Carolina

Also called the Greenville Armory, made and repaired weapons for South Carolina. Supervised by inventor George W. Morse, son of telegraph inventor Samuel Morse, designed the center-cartridge rifle. The plant made about 200 inside-lock muskets and 1,000 breech-loading carbines. These "Morse carbines" were produced for South Carolina state troops, not for regular Confederate forces.

Because raw materials, fuel and skilled labor were scarce, the State Military Works closed in late 1864. Although it made only about 1,200 weapons, the plant was significant. First, it was the state's only effort to produce badly-needed weapons during the war. Second, the Morse carbine, a breech loader, was one of the few technologically advanced weapons produced in the South.

.50 caliber, 20" round barrel, over-all length 39", slender brass frame, buttplate & nose cap. Fixed & notched iron rear sight. Front sight is small iron oblong block inlet into barrel with small brass block with blade sight inlet into iron block. Cleaning rod threads into round grooved brass tip & is locked into place as it contacts a stud affixed to bottom of the muzzle end of the barrel. A brass cleaning stud or jag is placed in the rear of the brass buttplate.

Sometimes the number of "Morse carbines" is stated as 7.000 perhaps an error.