Civil War Pistols were multi shot weapons that were used primarily by officers and cavalrymen.
U.S Army Model 1860 revolver was the standard issue pistol for Union troops.
For the Confederates the 36 caliber Navy revolver was their mainstay.
Although using these pistols was nice because of the multiple shots. They had some drawbacks.
They were difficult and slow to reload making them somewhat of a burden to even use.
These pistols did not have fully encased bullets. They were simply nothing more than powder,paper and a bullet rammed into place with a ram rod which was stored under the barrel.
They were loaded the same way as the rifled musket. Except you had to do the process five or six times instead of just once.
Now that can get a little tedious.
Not to mention their range was not very far at all compared to a rifle.
The ordinary infantryman could carry and use one but he would have to buy it with his own money, because they were not standard issue weapons in either army.
However after being in the army for a little while most regular soldiers decided to ditch their pistols and stick with just their rifles instead of the hard to maintain pistols. It was also one less thing they had to lug around.