Confederate & Southern Agent Marked Shotguns


Russ Pritchard

Pritchard has been fascinated by all aspects of the American Civil War since he was given an ambrotype of an ancestor, Captain Caleb Baker Jones, Company I, 13th Tennessee Infantry, in 1948 by his grandmother. An aunt took him to the National Park at Shiloh in 1952. He attended a meeting of the Memphis Gun Club in 1956 where he met John Ashworth. They became friends due to their similar interests in all things Confederate.

After going to prep school in Connecticut, 1954-1958, and becoming well acquainted with the gun store of Francis Bannerman & Co. in New York City, Pritchard spent four years as Washington & Lee University. During that time he spent considerable time visiting nearby battlefields. After graduation and two years active duty in the US Army he settled in Philadelphia. He became Executive Director of the Civil War Library and Museum in January 1976, a position he held until retirement in June 1995.

Pritchard’s first published writing appeared in The Quarterly Journal of the Company of Military Historians in 1960. Subsequent articles were published in The Monthly Bugle. the newsletter of the Pennsylvania Antique Gun Collectors Association. He also wrote auction reviews that were printed in the Maine Antique Digest. Over the years he has authored or co-authored a number of articles for North South Trader’s Civil War, and has several articles awaiting publication.

While at the museum in Philadelphia, Pritchard also acted as Technical Advisor for a number of heavily illustrated large format publications of Salamander Books, Ltd., London. In this capacity he selected items for photography and wrote captions for images included in the publications. Volumes produced included three Civil War titles, Commanders of the Civil War, 1989, Fighting Men of the Civil War, 1991, and Battlefields of the Civil War, 1991. These books were followed by The American Frontier, 1992, D-Day, Operation Overlord, 1993, and The War in the Pacific, 2000.

During this same period he was a contributor of a number of Confederate related entries to Encyclopedia of the Civil War published by Harper & Row in 1986. Pritchard supplied a number of Confederate longarms, handguns, edged weapons and accouterments from his personal collection for photography and wrote captions for Arms and Equipment of the Confederacy, part of the Echoes of Glory series published in 1991 by Time-Life. He also was an Editorial Advisor for Simon & Schuster, Inc. for the Encyclopedia of the Confederacy that appeared in 1993. He wrote a number of the entries dealing with ordnance topics for this four volume work and supplied examples from his personal collection for illustrations.

After retiring to Mississippi, Pritchard authored Civil War Weapons and Equipment, 2003, The Irish Brigade. A Pictorial History, 2004 and Raiders of the Civil War, 2005. For twenty years Pritchard and close friend, Cleveland Adger Huey of Columbia, South Carolina, researched and co-authored a major reference book, The English Connection. That book meticulously documented arms and equipment imported by the Confederacy from Great Britain during the Civil War was released in 2014. It was during this research that Pritchard and Ashworth became aware of the heretofore unrealized importance of shotguns in operations of the Confederate Ordnance Department.  The result of the Pritchard – Ashworth collaboration is Confederate and Southern Agent Marked Shotguns, the first publication to explore this aspect of Confederate Ordnance activities.


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