The Henry Rifle was one of the best rifles created during the Civil War. 14,000 rifles were made between 1860 and 1866.
The rifle was designed to fire a .44 cartridge; the power to inflict a serious, fatal and deadly wound was at hand. Northern soldiers primarily used the rifle although never in large quantities. It was a repeater able to hold 16 rounds in its magazine, and able to shoot up to 28 rounds per minute.
The Confederates only used this weapon in very small numbers because they could not replicate the ammunition since they had very little copper in order to create the casings for the bullets. Confederate troops complained that the Union troops could load this gun on Sunday and fire all week.
Although the rifle only saw limited action during the war, wherever it went it brought massive amounts of firepower down upon the enemy. It truly was a weapon a bit ahead of its time. Union leadership did not see the potential this weapon had. They only thought about the immense amount of ammunition needed to keep troops supplied. They therefore decided to stick with the older muzzle loading single shot rifles.
Since this weapon was not issued to troops, soldiers who wanted one would have to purchase it at their own expense.