Lead: One hundred and fifty years ago the Republic was facing its greatest crisis. This continuing series examines the American Civil War. It is A House Divided.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: On March 6, 1860, young Christopher M. Spencer, was issued his first patent for a breech loading, repeating rifle. This weapon would become one of the most trusted, popular and perhaps decisive of the war between the States.  Prior to the Civil War, the basic infantry weapon used in battle was the muzzle loading smooth bore musket, which fired a single shot, was accurate up to 100 yards. Even by a good shooter loading, shooting, and re-loading was pretty slow.

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