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U.S. Civil War small arms.

Article about: mr. dirt thanks very much for your kind is a very interesting collecting period....lots of interesting history...not just of Militaria. You have had the good fortune of having bee

  1. #21

    Default Re: U.S. Civil War small arms.


    Thank you very much for your post above....great stuff.

    The history of that period takes on its own special meaning with some of the personal commentary you have related.


  2. #22

    Default Re: U.S. Civil War small arms.

    Yes, when you are 6 years old and a 72 year old skinny lady is waving a Cavarly Saber in one hand and a Navy colt in the other...they just don't teach history that way any more! 8=)

    My people were Crenshaws, Edgertons and Rileys.

    I spent a summer riding a bicycle down the Shenandoah Valley starting at Manassas (Bull Run to the Yankees) and ending up at Roanoke (known as Spencer Shops in 1860's). Using modern USGS maps and a series of reproduced period maps I was able to travel the route of Lee's March and Retreat. This was before the reenactor movement (nothing wrong with them, personally I don't
    "do" history as a weekend sport-it runs deeper in my veins).
    I am presently "deconstructing" an 1870's Cold Storage structure at the Brooklyn, NY waterfront and we discovered the remains of an older 1850's building inside of the 1870 building. so I get to do a little "prospecting" tomorrow before work and may find a few things.

    The thing about history is the fun of rediscovering never gets old.

  3. #23

    Default Re: U.S. Civil War small arms.

    Very well said mr.dirt....good luck with the hunt.

    Civil War Musicians Were Very Important During the Civil War.

    Two Model 1840 musicians’ swords with an 1861 dated fife and a well marked liquor flask and collapsible drinking cup with japanned finished storage container.....the boys liked to have a "wee drink" every now and then.

    Ames marked 1864.

    Roby marked 1863.

    The non-musical duties of bandsmen were primarily medical. Before battles, bandsmen
    gathered wood for splints and helped set up field hospitals. During and after the fighting, they carried the wounded to hospitals, helped surgeons perform amputations, and discarded limbs.

    Each regiment had a band which consisted of drummers and fife players. They inspired the men on the march and entertained in camp. There were also specific cadences, or drum beats, which directed troops to march in a specific order. In a few cases, regiment bands were quite large and lavish when well-to-do officers endowed them with financial support. The government tried to stifle such excess but the soldiers still found ways around the regulations. Christmas and cultural holidays were often met with parties, balls and formal dinners. If the camp location was secure, the soldier’s wives and families could attend. The bands were then employed to entertain while many of the soldiers often sang in groups.

    Army regulations of 1863 allowed the superintendent of recruiting depots to enlist, as field musicians, boys of twelve years of age and upward who had a natural talent for music. After enlisting, field musicians of the Regular Army could be sent to the School of Practice on Governor's Island, New York. They were billeted opposite from Brooklyn, at the Old South Battery.

    In addition to the bands of the Regular Army and the volunteer militias, there were field musicians. Field musicians, comprising of drummers and buglers, sounded camp calls and battlefield signals. They were not part of the band, and few could read music. Field musicians learned by rote the calls sounded at specific times in camp or upon command in battle.

    Army bandsmen's pay was substantially higher during the Civil War than previous years. The chief musician received $45.00 per month, one-fourth of the bandsmen received $35.00, another fourth received $20.00, and the remaining half received $17.00. The drum major also received $17.00. Fifers, drummers, and buglers were paid $12.00 per month. Musicians were by no means overpaid when their high casualty rate is taken into account. A reference to the record of the 125th Ohio Regimental Band (known as the Tiger Band) shows that only 10 of the original 36 members of this organization could still be accounted for at the end of the war in 1865.

    Some musicians and some soldiers having a "wee drink."

    George Armstrong Custer is seen in the second to last photo lying next to his dog.

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  4. #24

    Default Re: U.S. Civil War small arms.

    Quote by mr.dirt View Post
    Yes, when you are 6 years old and a 72 year old skinny lady is waving a Cavarly Saber in one hand and a Navy colt in the other...they just don't teach history that way any more! 8=)

    My people were Crenshaws, Edgertons and Rileys.

    I envy your close interaction and direct links to CW history. To see something dug is to me the ultimate thrill. Bones yet.

    I'm a mut, with most of the US family out of Barbados, then NY, and then FLa. I grew up in cali, but finished high school in Atlanta (norcross). For some reason I always felt like the south was where I belonged. Just like the taste of them preaches, I reckon.

    I remember my dad trying to take me to some CW battle site, or reenactment, or whatnot, and me being too busy with girls and the like to gave any darn. Too bad youth has to be wasted on the young, eh? Or, to bad I did not have a teacher like yours so I could have appreciated it.

    I did some work in Savanna GA, which IIRC was also spared Sherman's wrath. Love that place, cept for the humidity. ;0


  5. #25

    Default Re: U.S. Civil War small arms.

    Now you have to go and flash that Ames mark. You know its my krptonite. And a '63 vintage to boot, kudos.

    Thanks for the interesting info. Explains why there are so many musician swords around. I do not care for the style (with limited means I have to be selective), but could never understand why a musician needed a sword...

    I thought some of those pics looked familiar and was beginning to think it was deja-vu when at first you indicated "originals". Spooky!

    I was surprised by the way the calv saber was hung. Got to try and find some details on that, and would love to have a set of hangers-something I don't ever recall seeing for sale. Yes, I want to bring by saber to the stable and rent a horse. Why not? Can you imagine taking some swats at bushes (or melons as per gunny) while at a full gallop? You'll be coming home knowing why its called a wrist breaker. (technically only heavy, I know, but seems the light version really weren't)

    Any more pics of your m1850 artillery officers? Looks stunning, and I want one. I also want a m1832. Any of those to make us Jones over?

  6. #26

    Default Re: U.S. Civil War small arms.


    Here of some more photos of the Model 1850 Foot Officers sword
    you requested.

    W.H. Horstmann was the importer of this sword; the manufacturer “might” have been Gebruder Weyersberg, in Germany.

    The right ricasso marking is;
    & SONS

    W.H. Horstmann & Sons, NY and Philadelphia
    William H. Horstmann was a German immigrant arriving in Philadelphia in 1816. He established a military goods business in the mid 1820s and with his two sons William J. and Sigmund H. the Horstmann conducted business in Philadelphia and New York under a number of corporate names.
    Horstmann was more of a reseller (importer) (assembler) rather than a manufacturer. Many versions of the Horstmann mark have been seen, most on a variety of officer’s sabers. They carried a range of sword varieties rivalled only by the Ames Company. Most standard issue models were sold, as well as a huge variety of related military equipment. Most, if not all, blades were imported from Germany, and some still carry marks from their German makers. Horstmann held government contracts for 1043 cavalry sabers, 1143 NCO swords, 270 musician swords, and 87 light artillery sabers, and is the only known maker of the M1840 Marine sword.

    On April 9, 1850, the War Department abandoned the pattern of distinction swords for each service and adopted this sword as a standard for all foot officers of the Infantry, Artillery, and Riflemen. Company grade officers wore this sword, i.e., those through the rank of Captain, while Major and above wore the Staff and Field Officer's Sword. This new foot officer's sword was based on a model used by the French Army and was later replaced by the Model 1860 Staff and Field Officer's Sword in 1872.
    Its overall length is 37 inches from blade tip to pommel head. The 32 inch long blade is slightly curved, with a single edge, and a false edge extending 8 inches from the point. The width of the blade is 1 1/8 inches at the hilt. It has a sharp edge with no nicks or dings. The blade is has a dusky gray finish with etched floral designs and military motifs such as stands of flags and stands of arms. The grip is leather (over wood) with brass wire wrap which is tight and intact. The pommel is the Phrygian helmet style with decorative border. The knuckle bow is decorative with all design details fully intact. It is not bent, dinged, or scratched. All metal parts have been lightly cleaned in the past but that does not detract from its attractive appearance.
    The scabbard's length is 31-¼ inches long and is composed of black leather and brass.(There are no markings on the scabbard) The drag is made of brass, is 6-3/8 inches long, attached to the leather scabbard with a single screw, and has a few nicks and dings. The throat is also made of brass, is 3-¼ inches long and has an attached carrying ring. The middle band with carrying ring is also made of brass, is 2-¼ inches long. The scabbard's leather is black and has some crackling but no holes or serious bends.


    A photo tip from a guy that writes the books on Civil War swords.

    (I don’t own enough swords to have developed a skill at photographing sword blades.)

    The best way to photograph a sword is out of doors. You need a neutral background--I use a 1/4 inch white Styrofoam core board (available at art supply or craft stores $3 to $5.00). If you hold the sword about a foot or so from the background in mild shade or in bright sunlight (the sun should be on the sword but not necessarily on the back board) the shadow will usually fall outside of the picture frame. A close up lens is useful but not necessary. Someone to hold the sword is also helpful; just remember to keep their shadow and the sword shadow from falling within the photo frame.


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  7. #27

    Default Re: U.S. Civil War small arms.

    Thanks David. A real beauty. I will try that outdoor potog tip. My issue is not so much a shadow but depth of field, or lack of. With or w/o macro I cannot get a long shot of the blade, even on a bayo. Perhaps the flash is buggering it up.

    Regards and thanks again. Let me know if you need an adoptive home for it someday.

  8. #28

    Default Re: U.S. Civil War small arms.

    This post shows a miscellaneous mix of stuff, some CW, some Indian War, and a Springfield Trapdoor rifle that is post Indian War.

    Some CW bullets and some cartridges and gun tools from the CW and Indian War period.

    A Civil War carbine cartridge box that was modified after the Civil War to accomodate metallic cartridges.

    J. DAVEY & CO
    NEWARK NJ (Faint marking on front flap)

    Sharps carbine .50-70 cartridges and Spencer cartridges.

    The Sharps and Spencer carbines.

    A Colt bullet mould for the .31 caliber Colt Model 1849 pocket revolver.

    Model 1855 socket bayonets for Civil War rifled muskets.

    Mod.1884 ----this particular model of 1884
    was also known as “Model 1888 US
    Trapdoor Rifle” or “Ramrod bayonet model” or Model1889
    This was the last model of the Springfield Trapdoor long arms. Mfg’d between 1889-1893 serial numbers ran from 500,000 to
    565,000- total 65000 manufactured. This
    particular rifle was manufactured in 1893.

    Sn. 561529 very close to the end of the production run for this model.

    Sling U.S. M1887, marked with "Rock Island Arsenal" and inspection stamp "E.H.S." for E.H.Schmitten Leather Goods, Rock Island.


  9. #29

    Default Re: U.S. Civil War small arms.

    David, those weapons are in just super condition and I always enjoy seeing them.
    Musicians were used as litter bearers during battles and I would imagine the sword was not only an ornamental item but probably an easy to carry side arm while handling the litter or other hospital duties. Ray

  10. #30

    Default Re: U.S. Civil War small arms.


    The first photo might suggest what musicians did...although these men carrying the litter do not look like musicians.

    Notice the drum on the ground.
    The soldiers in uniform may well be musicians.


    I found three photos of you with variations of your sword.
    You even have a choise of two horses.

    (the second photo looks like the trooper is carrying a Model 1860 sabre.)

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