In 1861, with very few resources, the Confederacy attempted to arm itself. Several armories and factories were created in the South to help meet these needs.
Established by Lt. Col. James H. Burton at the request of the Confederate Chief of Ordnance, the private manufacturing firm of Spiller & Burr set out to manufacture 15,000 revolvers over two and one half years for the Confederate cavalry. The contract called for a .36 caliber Navy revolver, Colt's model. Colt's Navy revolver had been adopted by the Confederate government as a standard revolver, but Burton felt another type of revolver was superior to Colt's. Burton selected the Whitney revolver, Second Model, First Type as a model arm for Spiller & Burr. Burton based his decision on the merits of the arm's performance, stability, design, and ease of construction. The company encountered difficulty producing the revolver in quantity due to a shortage of labor and problems with raw materials. And Sherman's march through Georgia imposed even more problems.
The factory ceased production at war's end with slightly more than 1,500 revolvers fabricated, fulfilling only one tenth the number called for in the original contract.
This beautiful re-production is made by F.LLI Pietta.