SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP)- A rare collection of rifles and revolvers used by soldiers on both sides of the Civil War is on display at the Illinois State Military Museum in Springfield.

Curator Bill Lear says the new exhibit offers visitors “a closer look at the lives of the Americans on both sides of the battle lines.”

Among the items is a Colt revolving rifle. The U.S. government had bought hundreds of them before the war, but most were shipped to southern locations and ended up in the hands of Confederate soldiers.

Also on display is an Allen & Wheelock revolver. Though it was one of the most advanced handguns of the 1860s, only 1,000 pistols were made because of a patent infringement case between the Allen & Wheelock and Smith & Wesson companies.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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