I caught the nether end of a movie on TCM yesterday with Gary Cooper and I couldn't figure out what the name of it was. It's been a long time since I saw a Cooper movie. He was thrown in jail for murder and being a spy for the South by U. S. Army Colonel Hudson (I don't know the actor playing Hudson). But as the movie unfolded, Cooper, playing Major Kearney, was actually a spy for the North trying to find a Southern spy, who turned out to be Colonel Hudson. And Hudson and his rebel troops, one of whom was Fess Parker playing Sergeant Jim Randolph, were stealing a herd of horses to give to the Rebels,. A group of loyal Northern enlisted men got Cooper out of jail and they broke into a warehouse and took a cache of Springfield Rifles before Hudson could get his hands on them.
The name of the movie should have dawned on me right then, but it's been a long time. Anyway, Cooper and his troops were joined by the Lieutenant sent by Hudson to capture him and return him to jail, but finding out he was Major Lex Kearney the troops joined Kearney to prevent the horses from being driven to the South. After a skirmish in a valley, the Rebels were smoked out with fire and Cooper/Kearney caught the escaping Colonel Hudson alive after a horse and foot chase.
Of course Springfield Rifle was the name of the movie and in this skirmish the rifle proved itself and was to be adopted for service as the U. S. Army rifle of choice. It provided more fire-power with its quick ejection of the empty shell and easy reload.
Lon Chaney, Phyllis Thaxter (who didn't appear in what I saw, except for a short sequence at the end), and Philip Carey were also in the movie which was released in 1952..