Gettysburg is the 1993 war drama that depicts the events of the pivotal 1863 Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. For the massive battle scenes, the production employed Civil War reenactors who provided their own kit, allowing the shooting of the scenes on a relatively modest budget, and making the uniforms and weapons seen remarkably accurate for the period. First airing as a two night event on the TNT network, Gettysburg was subsequently released on video as a four hour feature length film. Several characters from this film would return in the 2003 feature film prequel, Gods and Generals. Gettysburg is based on the novel The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara (whose son Jeff wrote the Gods and Generals novel).
The following weapons were used in the film Gettysburg:
The most commonly seen weapon in the film is the Enfield Pattern 1853, carried by Union and Confederate troops, often in the same unit as Springfields. Although this was common in the Confederate Army, the Union attempted to issue Enfields and Springfields separately to simplify logistics. Despite this, 36% of Union regiments at Gettysburg were armed with two or more types of weapons. For example, the 20th Maine had a mixture of Springfields, Enfields, and Austrian Lorenz rifles. In fact, at the time (and even more so after Gettysburg), the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia was more efficient in standardizing specific weapon calibers on a regimental level than the Union Army of the Potomac.
Springfield Model 1842
Several soldiers in the 20th and Armistead's Brigade are seen with Springfield Model 1842 muskets. Although this was a outdated weapon by 1863, several regiments at Gettysburg were still carrying Model 1842 muskets, most notably the 12th New Jersey and the Irish Brigade.
Springfield Model 1861
Both Union and Confederate soldiers use Springfield Model 1861 rifles throughout the film.
Remington 1863 Zouave Rifle
At least one Confederate soldier can be seen armed with a Remington 1863 Zouave rifle. This is historically inaccurate: though 20,000 Remington Zouave rifles were produced, none were ever issued. They simply sat in storage until reenacting caught on, in the days before reproductions were widely available and affordable.
Sharps 1859 Carbine
Buford's Union cavalry use Sharps 1859 carbines along with Springfields (used by extras in infantry uniforms, suggesting not enough cavalry reenactors were available). Other than that, the Sharps is never seen in the movie again.
Berdan Sharps 1859 Rifle
A detachment from the 1st US Sharpshooters, attached to the 20th Maine, can be seen carrying their distinctive Berdan model Sharps Rifles.
A Confederate sniper uses a scoped Whitworth Rifle to kill Union General Reynolds during the battle. The British-made Whitworth was considered the most accurate muzzle-loader available during the Civil War and prized by Confederate sharpshooters.
M1841 Mississippi Musket
A least one Confederate soldier is seen with a M1841 Mississippi Musket before Pickett's Charge.
Colt 1860 Army
Several Union officers use Colt 1860 Army revolvers. Joshua Chamberlain (Jeff Daniels) uses a Colt 1860 most notably at the Battle of Little Round Top. Joshua is seen reloading his Colt while waiting for the Confederates to charge again. Several other Union officers are seen using Colt 1860 Armys.
The Confederate Captain who almost shoots Joshua Chamberlain carries a British Kerr revolver, small numbers of which were imported by the Confederacy. Though this incident did occur, Chamberlain specifically stated in his memoirs that the Confederate carried a Navy revolver. Chamberlain has this to say about the incident in his memoirs:
"...I remember that, as we struck the enemy's onrushing lines, I was confronted by an officer, also in front of his line, who fired one shot of his revolver at my head within six feet of me. When, in an instant, the point of my sabre was at his throat, he quickly presented me with both his pistol and his sword, which I have preserved as memorials of my narrow escape... "
A Union officer is seen firing a Remington 1858 New Army revolver immediately prior to the Little Round Top battle.
Colt Single Action Army
Captain Thomas J. Goree (Ivan Kane) is briefly seen with a white handled revolver that appears to be an anachronistic Colt Single Action Army. While certainly anachronistic for 1863, the fact it is never drawn, let alone fired, and appears only briefly may indicate it is simply a "holster stuffer" chosen because of its resemblance to more period-correct revolvers.
Cannons are used in every battle scene, taking out several soldiers with each shot.