These Parrot Rifles have nothing to do with tropical birds or the rifles soldiers carried. They were named after their designer, Robert Parker Parrott. A gun barrel is rifled when it has grooves (called rifling) cut into the inside of the barrel for longer range and more accurate firing.

These Parrot Rifles have nothing to do with tropical birds or the weapons soldiers carried. They were named after their designer, Robert Parker Parrott. A gun barrel (whether cannon or small arms) is rifled when it has grooves called rifling cut into the inside of the barrel for longer range and more accurate firing. (Library of Congress photo LC-B8156- 24)

After even a little research into your Civil War ancestor’s record, you start running into unfamiliar military terms such as abates, chevaux-de-frise, defilade and gabions.

Fortunately, you don’t have to find a 19th century military expert to help you understand what such terms mean. You can turn to the Civil War Trust’s Glossary of Civil War Terms. Not only does the glossary provide easy-to-understand definitions, many of the terms include links to images that let you see what they are.

Give it a try. You’ll become an expert on Civil War military terms in no time.

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