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History Channel: Civil War - Secret Missions

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History Channel Civil War: Secret Missions
CWSM cover.jpg
Official Global Box Art
Release Date: 2008
Developer: Cauldron Ltd
Publisher: Activision Value
Series: History Channel
Platforms: Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 2
PlayStation 3
Xbox 360
Genre: First-person shooter

History Channel Civil War: Secret Missions is the sequel to History Channel: Civil War - A Nation Divided, it introduces a few new weapons, but shorter missions. In this game you can only carry two weapons at a time as opposed to all of them.

The PS2 version is notably missing weapons, such as all of the sidearms.

The following weapons appear in the video game History Channel: Civil War - Secret Missions:


Allen & Thurber Pepperbox

The Allen & Thurber Pepperbox was the precursor to the common day revolver, instead of one cylinder with multiple chambers, it has a cluster of barrels with multiple caps and loads. It was very dangerous, as it had a defect similar to the Colt 1855 Revolving rifle, where firing one barrel could cause a chain reaction and cook off every barrel at once. It is a new weapon in the game, known as "Pepperbox revolver", and is not very common. It is shown as being reloaded by inaccurately pulling the barrel of and swapping it with a new preloaded barrel one. Like all the guns in the series, the percussion caps are never replaced. While correctly depicted as double-action, the hammer does not move while firing.

Allen & Thurber Pepperbox revolver.
Holding an Allen & Thurber Pepperbox.
"Aiming" the Pepperbox, not that it has any sights.
Reloading the Pepperbox begins by yanking out the used cluster of barrels...
...and slapping a new one in place.

Colt Army Model 1860

The Colt Army Model 1860 returns from the first game as the "Colt revolver" and is virtually unchanged. Unlike the first game, however, the player character no longer fans the hammer with his off-hand while hipfiring, instead cocking the hammer with his thumb when not using the iron sights.

Colt 1860 Army - .44 caliber
Holding a Colt Army Model 1860.
Aiming the Model 1860 shows that the sights are misaligned, with only the front sight used while the rear sight located on the hammer is ignored.
Reloading the Colt 1860 involves pouring gunpowder into the chambers and then feeding in .44 caliber balls (without using the loading lever to seat them) quickly enough to make Arthur Morgan jealous. The player character appears to only load two or three chambers regardless of the amount of rounds fired.
Cocking the hammer.

Remington Model 1858

The Remington Model 1858 is the same as it was in the first game no changes, referred to as simply "Remington revolver".

Remington 1858 - .44 caliber
A Confederate private holds a Remington Model 1858.
Aiming the Remington Model 1858 at a nearby farmhouse and questioning it about the whereabouts of the damn Yankees.
Taking a cue from Preacher, the Model 1858 is reloaded by removing the entire cylinder and swapping it for a pre-loaded one.
Slotting a fresh cylinder in place.


Percussion Shotgun

The Percussion Shotgun appears in the game as the "Double-barrel shotgun". When fired, only the right hammer moves and shortly after cocks on its own accord.

Double Barreled Percussion Shotgun - 10 Gauge
Holding a Percussion Shotgun. Like other the percussion long guns, it completely lacks percussion caps on its model.
Aiming the front bead at the local watering hole.
Reloading begins by inserting two paper cartridges into the barrels...
...and giving them a quick tamping with the ramrod without bothering to re-cock the hammers.


Colt Model 1855

The Colt Model 1855 Revolving Rifle returns and is basically the same as it was in the first game, though it is more accurate this time. Appears as "Colt rifle". Thankfully, the in-game Model 1855 does not run the risk of chain-firing that precluded widespread use of the real rifle.

Colt 1855 Revolving Rifle - 44 caliber
Holding a Colt Model 1855.
Aiming at the path ahead.
Working the hammer after thanking the Lord above, it did not chain-fire as well.
Reloading the Colt Model 1855 reuses the animation from the first game, where the old cylinder is swapped and replaced for a new one.

Henry 1860

The Henry 1860 returns once again as the "Henry rifle" much the same as the first game. When loading, it uses the same animation of loading three rounds into the rifle no matter how many rounds were actually fired.

Henry 1860 brass-frame - .44 Rimfire (RF)
Holding a Henry 1860.
Aiming reveals small and tight iron sights, perfect for unleashing some 1860s rapid fire firepower.
Working the lever of the Henry.
Loading three rounds into the Henry.

Sharps 1859

Both the scoped Sharps 1859 sniper model and irons and bayonet-equipped field model return from the first game. The infantry variant is referred to as the "Sharps field rifle".

Sharps 1859 rifle - .54 caliber
Holding a Sharps 1859.
Aiming with the help of the rear ladder sight.
Sliding in a new paper cartridge into the breech.
Pulling back the hammer.

Sharps 1859 with Malcolm scope

The scoped Sharps gets the designation of "Sharps sniper rifle".

Sharps 1859 rifle equipped with early Malcolm scope - .54 caliber
Holding a scoped Sharps 1859.
Aiming using a simple duplex reticle.
Reloading the scoped Sharps is an identical process to its un-scoped brother.

Spencer 1860 Carbine

The Spencer 1860 Carbine returns from the first game, incorrectly named the "Spencer rifle" when it is the shorter carbine variant.

Spencer 1860 Carbine - .56-56 RF
A Confederate raider acquaints himself with the original assault rifle.
Aiming the Spencer 1860 also uses a ladder sight.
Cycling the rifle. The lever is worked first and then the player character cocks the hammer.
Reloading the Spencer through the use of a Blakeslee tube.

Springfield M1861

A Springfield 1861 appears as a hidden weapon in the game. It can first be seen in the mission "Doctor Gatling's Secret Weapon", located in some bushes near the wagon just outside the farm where the Gatling Gun is stationed. It uses the same reload animations as the Whitworth Sniper Rifle, and has a bayonet attached which can be used for melee. It is referred to as "Springfield musket", a rather nebulous designation.

Springfield M1861 - .58 caliber MiniƩ ball
Holding the Springfield M1861.
Aiming at some threatening bushes.
As expected, reloading involves some customary muzzleloading...
...followed up by some ramrod'ing.

Whitworth Rifle

The Whitworth Rifle appears in the game as the "Whitworth sniper rifle". The Whitworth Rifle was one of the more popular and more accurate sniper rifles during the American Civil War, and like all other guns in the game, it is reloaded without placing a percussion cap.

Reproduction Whitworth military rifle - .451 percussion
A Confederate marksman scans the battlefield with his Whitworth.
Aiming shows off the same simple duplex as the scoped Sharps rifle.
As mentioned above, the reloading animation is shared with the Springfield 1861.
Seating a fresh cartridge.


Excelsior 1862 Grenade

The Excelsior 1862 Grenade is the Union Army's hand grenade of choice.

Excelsior 1862 Grenade
Excelsior 1862 Grenade in game.

Ketchum Grenade

The Ketchum Grenade is used in Confederate missions. As in the first game, it does not actually need to land flat on its plunger to detonate and is simply lobbed like a conventional grenade.

Ketchum Grenade
Ketchum Grenade in game.

Mounted weapons

9 lb. Howitzer

The 9 lb. howitzer is the main artillery piece of the game and can be manned by the player in various levels. The gun can be fired, reloaded, and fired again very quickly by only one person when in reality, a whole crew would be needed. It does not have a reload animation.

The 9 lb. Howitzer in-game.
The 9 lb. Howitzer in-game.
Using a howitzer to bombard an unfortunate house.

Coffee Mill Gun

A Union "Coffee Mill Gun" appears during the mission "Captain Blazer's Scouts." It fires an infinite number of rounds, however it is governed by the typical video game "overheat" mechanic if too many rounds are rapidly fired, making it briefly unusable.

Coffee Mill Gun
A Union infantryman comes across a different kind of coffee grinder.
Using the Coffee Mill/Agar Gun. Luckily, it is much more reliable in this game than it ever was in real-life.

Gatling Gun

The Gatling Gun was the world's first practical machine gun and saw great usage during the Civil War. It has a rather slow firing rate and infinite ammunition. Unlike the Coffee Mill, it does not overheat.

Colt 1865 Gatling Gun - .44 Rimfire.
A Reb comes examines a newfangled Gatling Gun.
It appears to use a 40-round cartridge hopper.
Blasting away and thinking Dr. Gatling may have been on to something.

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