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Welcome to our Civil War Antique web catalog.

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Dave Taylor
P.O. Box 87
Sylvania, OH 43560

 

12-08-01 - US Marine Corps Eagle Drum: Yup… the real deal. This drum dates circa 1875 while the Marine Corps was still a tiny force. Finding any 19th century Marine drum is an extremely rare event. The Civil War example in good condition recently displayed at a large antique arms show was priced like an automobile, and I have seen more Civil War Marine drums (three or four in my life), than I have seen of the 1875 period. This cool old relic stands at about 10" high and 16" in diameter. The patriotic eagle holds a banner in its mouth and while quite worn, the legend "US MARINES" is still visible on the riband. No drum heads are present and it retains just one rim… but the restoration is easily accomplished with the addition of flesh hoops, heads, rope, tighteners, and a rim. I will be happy to supply the name of a good restorer to you if you wish to go that route. An incredibly rare US Military drum … priced “thoughtfully” … $1,200.00 SOLD

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12-08-02 - Very Scarce Early Pattern Gibbs Civil War Carbine: The government contracted for 10,000 of these, but only about a thousand were made before the factory went up in flames during the New York City draft riots of 1863.   It is, and always has been, one of the key collector carbines as it is truly “scarce” and very difficult to find.    The barrel tips up by lowering the combination trigger guard - lever to insert a .52 cal. cartridge into the breech.  It is quite a modern design for the period.  Condition is VG.  The sling ring is in place.  The wood is very good… in fact better than most as this one does not have the large crack that most Gibbs have in front of the breech lever. There is a miniscule stress line present, but no crack as we usually see.  There is a set of initials lightly carved on the inboard side and a cross carved on the outboard side of the butt stock.  The barrel is a smooth brown and the receiver brown mixed with gray.  The only two minor warts are a missing hammer screw, and an improper bolster cleanout screw … both can be easily replaced, I just don’t want to delay listing this gun while waiting for the gunsmith to find, purchase, and then replace the screws.   Front and rear sights are in place.  Bore is VG+++.  Mechanically perfect.  The lock is marked with the early marking of “Brooks / Manfd. New York” Stamped “US” on the butt plate.   Very few were made and all saw action.  Half the production went to the 10th Missouri Cavalry and the balance to the 13th and 16th New York.  All were made prior to July 1863.  This specimen turned up in Illinois so may be one of the 10th Missouri guns.  It is a very solid representative example of a very scarce Early War cavalry carbine.  Priced as friendly as I can make it at….  $3,650.00 SOLD

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12-08-03 - 1st Model Smith Early War Cavalry Carbine: These Smith carbines with the sling swivels mounted on the butt and band were once called “artillery models” before we knew better.  They are in fact the early war 1st pattern Smith designed to be used with a more conventional rifle sling rather than a carbine sling.  Only the first 11,000 carbines are this early first model with sling swivels, and they were made prior to August of 1863.   They are .50 caliber and break open like a modern shotgun by depressing the brass latch in front of the trigger.  Quite a few well known cavalry regiments were armed with these, the 1st CT Cav and the 17th Pa Cav to name just two.  If you are looking for a gun that really could have been in the early war cavalry engagements up through Gettysburg, here it is. The wood is very decent showing just normal wear from careful use during the Civil War.  It has the usual dents and dings we expect to see in real war time used guns.   The barrel is a lovely deep age brown patina, and smooth.  The receiver is a mottled gray showing hints of case color and some light cleaning.  Markings on left:  Address Poultney & Trimble Baltimore USA, Smith’s Patent June 23, 1857, and Manufactured by Mass Arms Co. Chicopee Falls. Overall NRA “Very Good” condition.  100% original, 100% complete, and mechanically perfect.  Bore is excellent, bright.  Serial number 8907.   This is a key arm in a Federal cavalry display and a more desirable than the more common 2nd models. (A). $1,650.00 SOLD

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12-08-04 - Very Affordable Civil War Sharps & Hankins Navy Carbine:  About 8,000 of these were made from 1862 to 1865. They were single shot breechloaders firing a .52 cal. metallic cartridge.  Lowering the combination trigger guard – lever,  slides the barrel forward to allow insertion of the cartridge. These saw hard use in adverse conditions on board ship in salt air and in arming landing parties.   As is frequently the case the original leather barrel covering is gone, as is the rear sight, but the front sight and barrel collar are there.  Replacing the leather barrel covering is relatively easy and I have seen numerous excellent restorations of that element.  The metal is a uniform antique brown patina.  The wood is good with just the expected wear and a small crack in the wrist to the right of the frame tang.  The brass butt plate is firmly in place as is the sling swivel (the navy slings ran from the swivel under the butt out to a loop around the barrel.) The markings are legible:  Sharps & Hankins Philada on the right side of the frame and Sharps Patent 1859 on the left.

Serial number is 6915.  Try and find another Civil War carbine priced at $675.00 SOLD

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12-08-05 - Sharps Carbine:  The quintessential Civil War firearm- New Model 1863 Sharps breech loading .52 cal. percussion carbine. On entering a collection room everyone recognizes a Sharps- one of the most famous early American firearms of all time. Prized by shooters and soldiers across the country during the 1800s and cherished by collectors of today. Used in every theatre of the war by numerous Union and Confederate cavalry units, the Sharps is arguably the most famous of all Civil War carbines. This one is very handsome… Nice even plum color barrel… Hammer and receiver a gray mixed with brown that blends well with the wood and barrel, some darkening along the outer edges of the lock plate. Wood is very good, just minor wear, with tight wood to metal fit. Very legible Lawrence 1859 patent and Sharps 1852 patent stamps on the right of the receiver. Serial #C5709 Barrel has the 1863 model legend and full firm name. Bore is excellent approaching mint condition. Strong cartouche under the sling-ring bar. A very respectable Sharps that is totally original and complete and mechanically perfect. $2,450.00 SOLD

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12-08-06 - Gallager Percussion Carbine: The brainchild of Mahlon Gallager of South Carolina in 1860, these guns were made by Richardson and Overman of Philadelphia during the war. The barrel slides forward and tips up to load or extract the cartridge. The company had several contracts totaling over 17,000 guns. This one bears serial #15822 with correct Gallager patent and maker marks on right side of frame. Sharp wood, just a few marks on the backside. Has even silver-gray tones to the metal. Sights, sling ring, patchbox all in place and nice. Many cavalry units carried these including the 3rd, 4th, and 6th Ohio, and 3rd West Virginia. Late in the war some were made to fire rimfire cartridges. This specimen is a nice early and midwar cavalry arm and would show off well in a cavalry or carbine display. $1,395.00 SOLD

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12-08-07 - Nice Honest Gwynn and Campbell Carbine: Sometimes called the “Grapevine” carbine from its serpentine loading lever. Also called a “Union” carbine of “Union Rifle” due to the frame markings. This is the Type II, about 4,000 made, .52 cal. Many units carried these guns: 7th Tennessee, 8th Ohio, 3rd Wisc., 5th Ill., and the list goes on. This is a sharp looking example, with steel grey metal surfaces showing evidence of light cleaning many years ago, … some graying here and there, grease still on it in some places, good legible 1862 patent markings behind the hammer, “Union Rifle” on the frame. Tight wood with good lines, just a few dings on the outboard side. This carbine shows every evidence of having actually been issued and used during the Civil War… Not like the hundreds of mint unissued examples of this model that abound. $1,595.00 SOLD

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12-08-08 - Fifth Model Burnside Carbine: This is the old “4th Model” or “Standard Model” now recognized as the 5th model because of the distinctive guide screw in the right side of the frame. It was the last improvement on the Burnside carbine, and unlike earlier models which carried serial numbers sequentially carried forward from previous models, this last model began again with serial number “1” through the end of its production. Consequently you can find 5th model guns with lower serial numbers than earlier models… and obviously 2 guns of differing models can have the same serial number. This model was first delivered in 1863 and were the most widely used version of the carbine. Developed by (later General) Ambrose Burnside these carbines were the first adopted by the US to use a metallic cartridge in 1856. A curved spring lever catch inside the trigger guard raises the breechblock for insertion of the specially shaped cartridge that has a paper-covered hole in the bottom for flame from the percussion cap to ignite. Used by many, many units is all theatres of the war: 1st Michigan, 1st NJ, 14th PA, a number of NY and Illinois regiments, etc. Barrel stamped “Cast Steel 1862” sn 17957. Frame bears 1856 patent legend. Overall VG condtion. 100% original 100% complete and mechanically perfect. One of the earlier 5th models on the market, and very solid. $1,395.00 SOLD

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12-08-09 - Triplett & Scott Repeating Carbine: These guns were an early venture in the arms trade by Charles Parker, who would later become world famous for his shotguns. These .50 caliber rimfire carbines have a seven shot magazine in the butt. The barrel swivels to the side to receive the new cartridge. Ingenious design. Marked on tang: Triplett & Scott / Patent Dec. 6, 1864, and on the left side of the receiver: Meriden Man’fg. Co./ Meriden, Conn. The state of Kentucky contracted for 5,000 of these guns, and this one actually has “Kentucky” stamped on the left of the receiver in very small letters. Serial number 5040. Overall very nice condition. Both sights and swivels in place. Close scrutiny shows the bottom swivel in the butt is a replacement of slightly smaller dimensions… no consequence, mentioned only for accuracy’s sake. The barrel is a pretty plum color with generous traces of factory blue,… the breech has quite a lot of blue… the receiver, hammer, barrel band, and butt plate show faint traces of case color and balance steel grey. Very minor salt and peppering under the left breech. Sharp markings. Minor handling dings to the wood and characteristic fine line crack next to magazine tube on the left wrist. NRA very good to near fine condition… all original and complete save for the replaced swivel mentioned above. Mechanically perfect. Excellent bore. $1,595.00 SOLD

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12-08-10 - English Over-Under Double Barrel Percussion Pistol:  A really exquisite medium size belt or coat pistol circa 1840. Barrels are approx’ 4 inches in length and 44 caliber in bore size. Each barrel bears London proof marks. Steel frame, trigger guard, and hammers are beautifully hand engraved. Frame also engraved “W. Bond / Lombard St. / London”. Hammers are engraved so the striking surfaces resemble fish with open mouths. Silver escutcheon plate is inlaid into the back of the grip. Butt cap is finely carved in a detailed clam shell motif with a tiny silver inlay at the center. Entire grip is finely checkered and near perfect. Condition is VG to near fine. A very attractive and high quality early percussion sidearm. $1,250.00 SOLD

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12-08-11 - English Officer’s or Gentleman’s Large Flintlock Holster Pistol:  Ca. 1825 is this great old flintlock signed Clarke on the lock.  Condition is overall VG and the piece is 100% original, complete, and mechanically fine.  Steel is handsome with pewter-like patina. Trigger guard and barrel tang are hand engraved.  Small silver diamond escutcheon inlaid just behind the tang with owner’s monogram engraved thereon.  Bag style grip is deeply checkered.  Captured steel ramrod is original and in place. It tightens and secures itself with a slight twist when the rod is seated.   Lock is secured by single screw.  A very handsome early weapon.  Far more interesting than common military revolvers but less expensive and “classier”…  $1,375.00 SOLD

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12-08-12 - Manhattan 36 caliber Navy Revolver: A “very good” example of the famed Manhattan Navy… 100% original & complete… mechanically perfect.  Fundamentally a copy of the 1849 and 1851 Colt revolvers, the Manhattan revolvers took advantage of Colt’s expiring patents and produced these fine revolvers despite a law suit by Colt.  Tens of thousands were sold during the Civil War years, all privately. Many soldiers and officers carried the Manhattan Navy.  Serial number 44553 all matched. 5 inch barrel. 5 shot cylinder w/ 12 cylinder stop slots.  Two line barrel legend with 1864 patent date.  A tight solid Civil War revolver. $750.00 SOLD

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12-08-13 - Bacon Mfg. Co. 31 Caliber Pocket Revolver: N.R.A. “very good” condition…  Bacon 31 caliber pocket revolver.  100% original, 100% complete, and mechanically perfect.  4 inch barrel.  5 shot half-fluted cylinder. Barrel marked “Bacon Mfg. Co. Norwich Conn”.  Serial number 247.  A very handsome and affordable Civil War sidearm.  $695.00 SOLD

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12-08-14 - Musket Bore Flintlock Pistol:  One of the classic early officer’s weapons of the 1812 era.  These giant bore pistols were produced large so that the officer in the field could use the 72 caliber musket ammunition already available to his infantrymen… thus no need for special smaller caliber balls for the pistols.    A very common sense weapon.  Lock marked “I. BRYAN”.  Damascus twist five inch barrel has marking on top partially legible “CO?????”. All furniture is engraved steel.  Classic English pineapple finial on trigger guard.  100% original*, 100% complete, and mechanically perfect.  Ramrod is turned wood… *cannot tell if it is original or a replacement.  Wrist of stock has silver inlaid escutcheon engraved with owner’s initials CJ or JC entwined.  Neat early gun… $1,250.00 SOLD 

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12-08-15 - Millard Contract Light Cavalry Saber 1862:  One of the scarcer Union Army cavalry sabers are those made by D.J. Millard of Clayville New York. He contracted in 1861 for 10,000 cavalry sabers and all known examples bear the date of 1862. This one was brought into my shop last week. It is in attic fine condition. Leather grip and twisted wire wrap are excellent. 3-branch brass guard likewise excellent with ultra attractive undisturbed deep bronze age patina. Blade is overall light brownish-tan age patina with evidence of sharpening long ago. Markings and date are clearly legible (“US CEW 1862” and “D.J. Millard Clayville NY”). Scabbard has a matching light brown age patina with a uniform delicate salt and pepper texture and a modest dent just above the lower ring mount. Very handsome, and very solid, and quite scarce with the 1862 date and Millard marking. $850.00 SOLD

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12-08-16 - Mansfield and Lamb US M1860 Cavalry Saber:  A tight and solid example of the standard issue Union Army cavalry saber. This one has one of the best condition leather grips I have owned. Near perfect with full twisted wire wrap. 3-branch brass guard is fine with a very slight bend in the outer branch. Blade is marked “Mansfield and Lamb Forrestdale R.I.” and also “US JM 1864”, plus a regimental numeral “2”. The blade is excellent with no edge nicks, and a little original factory polish still present. No rust or pitting. Scabbard is handsome with uncleaned brown age patina and neatly painted gold trim on the throat, rings, and ring mounts. Very handsome on display and reminiscent of the old GAR posts. A solid old saber as carried by Custer’s boys… $775.00 SOLD

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12-08-17 - 2nd Model Maynard Carbine: Ca. 1863 Model Maynard Carbine manufactured by the Massachussetts Arms Company of Chicopee Falls, Mass. Caliber .50 percussion. The stock has two nice Union inspector cartouches. Serial number is in the 20726. Overall VG to near fine condition. Has the Mass. Arms Co. markings on the right side and the Maynard Patent dates on the left side of the frame. Barrel has generous vestiges of factory blue which has turned uniformly plum color. Frame is mottled grey steel with hints of case color. Stock is fine+ with strong edges, and vivid cartouches. Bore is about average but may clean to much better. Used by cavalrymen in both US and CS armies… a very solid and representative example. 100% original & complete… mechanically perfect. $1,595.00 SOLD

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12-08-18 - Ohio Marked M-1842 US Springfield Musket:  A very eye appealing and solid example of the ’42 musket in .69 caliber. NRA very good condition … 100% original & complete… mechanically perfect. Gun has been lightly and nicely cleaned. I generally advise against cleaning gun metal, but whoever did this one did quite a decent job. The musket visually looks much as it did when issued. Best part is that the left side of the stock is deeply stamped “OHIO” showing clearly which state issued the gun. The arsenal in Columbus actually listed the brass stamp that made this mark on their inventory records at the end of the war. Lock bears the eagle, US, Springfield, and date of 1848. The proof marks on the barrel are mostly visible … clearly seen is the “V.P.” and you can still make out the top of the eagle’s head under the “P”. Date on tang no longer legible. On the wrist of the stock is another faint “OHIO” stamp. Here is a darn affordable Model 1842 with known Ohio usage. $1,350.00 SOLD

... if you want the matching CW production bayonet (type w/ round shoulders) that came with this gun you may have that for $150.

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12-08-19 - Model 1863 Type-2 Springfield Musket aka Model 1864:  The last percussion musket made by the National Armory at Springfield. These were the guns carried by Sherman’s men in the Atlanta campaign in Georgia and Grants men in Virginia at The Wilderness, Petersburg, and Spotsylvania. The specimen is NRA “fine+++” condition… extremely nice. The lock is deeply marked “US Springfield 1864” with an eagle. The barrel likewise retains all its crisp markings “V.P. 1864” and eagle’s head, as well as the spread-winged eagle on the bolster. All clearly visible. All the steel is bright and free from rust or pitting except for a patch of crusted scale on the bottom of the trigger guard, and a couple mottled age spots elsewhere. The stock is fine+++ condition with sharp edges and no significant bangs or bruises. Very fine wood. The proper “ESA” cartouche is visible on the left side of the stock but was hit so that the bottom of the cartouche is clearly legible but not the top. There are some dents and bruises in the cartouche area and between the lock screws on the left side. The sub inspector’s cartouche is obliterated with a mar in the wood. Balance of stock is blemish free. This has the band springs which differentiate the type1 from the type2 Model 1863 muskets. It also utilizes the type1 bands with clamping screws on the bottom. This is far superior in condition than 95% of all surviving specimens. Tight, solid, and 100% original & complete. $2,650.00 SOLD

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12-08-20 - Colt Model 1861 Special Musket, dated 1864: What a sharp gun this is! Very sharp edges on the wood, crisp VP/Eagle and “Steel” stamps on the barrel, Colt’s patent markings on the lockplate, sharp eagle on the bolster, and two beautiful cartouches opposite the lock that make you wish every Civil War gun looked as nice. Beautiful wood, just one small ding forward of the middle band on the outboard side. The original lines and edges of the stock are near perfect. Metal has the wonderful mellow patina of old men’s cigar smoke, nicotine, and dried grease that comes from sitting undisturbed for a hundred and forty some years. You could clean it off to reveal the bright steel, but that would be a crime. This gun is as pretty as you can find. Was a near mint example that was put away and not disturbed. This Special Model differs from the standard 1861 in hammer and lockplate configuration, use of screw bands without springs, etc. Designed and manufactured by Colt, the government soon adopted some of his innovations starting in 1863. NRA “excellent” (surpasses “fine”) condition … Swivels, ramrod, etc., all present original and correct. Forty years ago guns of this quality would show up regularly —some even found in the original packing crates — they don’t any more…. A top drawer example of the Colt musket… $2,850.00 SOLD

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12-08-21 - Merrill Cavalry Carbine:  One of the prettier Federal carbines is this brass mounted First Model Merrill. The brass patchbox, butt plate, triggerguard and barrel band, and the sleek breach configuration always set these apart. .54 caliber, single shot breechloader opening from the top with a lever. Serial #5954 marked behind hammer, Merrill patent information forward. Barrel and lock overall gray, very light salt-and-peppering to lock plate, clear markings. Wood is very good with rounding from handling but tight wood to metal fit. Rear sight is missing but otherwise the gun is 100% complete. Front sight, sling ring, and everything else is still in place. The government ordered significant quantities of these and there are a number of variations to keep the collector busy. I have even owned one carried by a Virginia Trooper in Ashby’s Cavalry. The 1st and 5th NY Cav., the 11th PA and 17th PA Cavalry, and various other units carried these. Total production was almost 15,000, but the second type omitted the patch box and is a nice, but less attractive gun. Here is one heck of a deal… if you have the rear sight for this gun you can make it worth two thousand dollars immediately. I bought it right and will flip it at… $1,295.00 SOLD

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12-08-22 - Percussion cap box by Metzger of Philadelphia: This a nice solid example of an accoutrement carried by just about every Civil War soldier, north and south, and used by every branch of service. Cap boxes are a collecting field in themselves, since there are so many variations and makers, and they are the basic building block in any Civil War collection. This one is in solid condition with just the expected crazing to the cover finish from flexing use and age. Solid belt loops and latch tab. Nice legible maker marks on the inner flap and the Federal inspector’s stamp as well by Hartzell, a US Ord. Dept. Sub-Inspector. Metzger had several wartime contracts, mostly starting in 1863. A nice example ready to display on its own or improve that belt rig… $165.00 SOLD

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12-08-23 - About the longest bowie knife you are likely to see, and in a yankee’s belt!: This Federal infantry private decided to take no chances in front of the camera. Wearing his forage cap tilted slightly back to show clearly his entire face, he holds a bayonetted musket at his side, and tucked into a waistbelt are a revolver to the viewer’s right and a bowie knife on the left. The revolver is a tad out of focus, but who cares- the knife is what everyone (including us) is looking at. This thing has a simple crossguard and handle, but has a clip-point blade that must be 14-16 inches long! Whether he borrowed it for the shot, brought it from home, or took it as a souvenir can’t be known, but we do know it is one heck of a side knife and meant as a visible threat. 6th plate tintype, complete with mat and glass in a leatherette case. Minor dark smudge to the emulsion on his left front skirt and off to the right and top left near the mat, not affecting the image. Also a narrow crazing line crossing his cuff and another off to the right. A simple backdrop suggests this was taken in a primitive studio or in the field. A good CW fighting man image and one for the knife collector as well…. $450.00 SOLD

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12-08-24 - Scarce Civil War Manual for Sword-Play!: Berriman’s “Militiaman’s Manual and Sword-Play without a Master. Rapier and Broad-Sword Exercises…” New York, 1864. 0000 Pages, including 0000 Plates. This is a compilation of drills exercises for militia men in various branches of service, which includes a section on sword play that obviously took the interest of officer in the Revenue Marines given the long tradition of swords being used in naval boarding actions. “Oliver P. Remick” is stenciled once and “O.P. Remick” written by hand. A longer inscription reads: : “Oliver P. Remick/ 2nd Asst. Engineer/ U.S.S. Wolcott.” This is Oliver Philbrick Remick, who came from a well known ship building family in Kittery, Maine, who were involved in the construction of numerous US warships over several generations. Oliver lived from 22 Sept. 1853 to 17 Mar 1913. After a competitive examination he was apprenticed by the Secretary of the Navy in 1872 as engineer in the navy yard at Kittery until 1876, when he was commissioned by Grant as a Lieutenant in the Engineer Corps of the US Revenue Marine. He served on the Revenue Cutter “Wolcott” from June 1876 until October 1879, and obviously acquired the manual at some point during this time. He saw service on the Pacific Coast, the Gulf of Mexico, Europe, the Boston station, North Carolina, and Maine before his retirement in 1895.

I am not adding value for the interesting history, simply pricing the manual based on the scarcity of the book itself. Very scarce in VG condition. $350.00 SOLD

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12-08-25 - Very scarce Percussion cap box by Tillson of Quincy, Illinois: This is a maker so scarce that Bazelon did not record him in the combined edition of American Military Goods Dealers and Makers. This is a standard form cap box in nice condition: one-piece front with belt loops in place, secured by stitching and rivets, no tears to the latch tab. Nice finish, very minor crackling to the outer flap, very clear markings on the inner flap. Flesh strip from fleece is still in place as is the vent pick. If you are filling out a collection or want one that “is not in the books,” this is for you. I’ve only seen a handful in the past forty years.  $250.00 SOLD

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12-08-26 - Virginia Confederate Officer’s Buckle:  Very nice non-dug Virginia two-piece interlocking belt plate. See Mullinax (1991) plate 366. The tongue and keeper fit perfectly and have been together from Day One. The tongue disc is sweat-soldered to the retaining bar. The central state seal disc is a nice thick die struck planchet and not one of the thin militia sash buckles we occasionally see. A nice matching patina on both tongue and wreath, showing a tad darker along the lower half on both, with some rubbing on the top area. Virtue stands triumphant, sword in one hand and spear in the other, one foot on the vanquished oppressor and her broken shackles on the ground in the foreground, Virginia motto Sic Semper Tyrannis – “Thus Always to Tyrants” in the outer band of the tongue, entwined leaves, berries and ribband on the wreath. These two-piece interlocking plates are among my favorite designs. And it is nice to find a nice non-dug example once in a while as opposed to the dug relics. I just bought it last Sunday … Priced very friendly at….. $2895.00 SOLD

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12-08-27 - Southern - Confederate Style Spurs:  A truly exceptional condition pair of Civil War spurs with beautiful age patina and classic Southern lines. Note how the side bars sweep gently upward into the strap guides as opposed to regulation Yankee varieties that abruptly meet a ninety degree angle at the strap guides. About perfect condition with perfect rowels. Great color… $245.00 SOLD

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12-08-28 - Standard Civil War Dog Tag / 15th New Hampshire Vols. / Port Hudson Louisiana Service: Obverse is standard spread-winged eagle surrounded by wording “ War of 1861 United States”. Reverse is stamped with soldier’s personal data “N.A.Kendall – Co. H – 15th Reg. – NHV – Rockingham VT.” He was Newall A. Kendall a 31 year old private who enlisted in 1862 and served with the unit for its entire term of service until the regiment was mustered out in August 1863. The 15th NHV saw much combat service during the Port Hudson campaign of 1863 and took numerous casualties.

It was armed with the Enfield Rifle Musket in January 1863. Following is an excerpt written by a member of the regiment relating to the fighting at Port Hudson in May and June 1863 … “ The Fifteenth Regiment from its last position advanced into the edge of the belt of wood, … lying between us and the enemy, a part of the regiment being still further advanced as pickets and supports for the First Vermont Battery. At midnight (May 26th) Companies A, D, E, and K were advanced to the front and right as sharpshooters, and remained thus detached from the regiment during the assault of the next day. They… were within rifle range of the enemy and were hotly engaged until the close of the battle at nightfall of the 27th; the remaining six companies were engaged in the assault. Advancing through the woods on the morning of the 27th, and peering out at the other edge, the enemy's parapet could be seen across an open field some eighty rods away. Toward noon the regiment moved by the left flank some distance to the left and then advanced into the open, at a point where a narrow tongue of wood concealed them from the enemy. Halting here the line was dressed and volunteers called for to join the Sixth Michigan and lead the extreme front. All that were required immediately stepped forth. The regiment, thus depleted by the detail of Companies A, D, E, and K, and these volunteers, then moved back to the position in the woods which it had just previously left. But on its return, instead of keeping in the shelter of the woods, it advanced directly across the open field by the right flank in column of fours. During this return, it was subjected to a terrific cannonading of shot and shell. Soon after noon the assault was made. The Fifteenth Regiment was third in column of attack, being led by the Sixth Michigan and the Twenty-sixth Connecticut, and followed by the One Hundred and Twenty-eighth New York. The assault was unsuccessful, but it is not our purpose here to describe battles. From this time on till the surrender, on July 9, the regiment was always at the front and constantly under fire…” I guess that gives you a feel for where this dog tag was… $795.00 SOLD

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12-08-29 - Identified and Inscribed Horstmann Model 1840 Cavalry Officer’s Carried by an Officer Mortally Wounded at Grand Gulf, Louisiana in 1862!: “We learned of the death of De Kay with great sorrow. Poor De Kay; that so much worth should be lost to his country and his friends!

Brig. Gen. Thomas Williams 7/16/62”

Cavalry officers’ sabers are scarce and Horstmann examples, having a number of variations, are particularly sought after.

Here is a very nice example and one carried by a truly heroic mounted staff officer who was mortally wounded in action. Truly historical.  The hilt is a standard Horstmann configuration with acanthus leaf decoration, a sharkskin grip (showing just minor wear,) and complete wire wrap. The blade is flat-backed with very narrow fuller beginning and ending part way down, bright mixed with gray and a few dark spots, but clearly showing the elaborate etching not only on the sides but down the spine as well.  Correct plain steel scabbard, dark gray with smooth finish and both carrying rings in place, no pitting, dents or damage.  The firm name etching is very clear above the ricasso: “W.H./ Horstmann /& Sons/ Philadelphia.” On the ricassso itself is the knights head mark of Weyersberg, one of the better known Solingen suppliers to Horstmann, and the scabbard drag shows the typical German scalloped edge.  A striking period professional engraving on the reverse of the guard reads: “Lt. G.C. Dekay” in Old English over “1861” in a plainer font, absolutely dead-real and of the period.  This saber and another DeKay family sword surfaced at estate auction in eastern Ohio attended by a friend of mine.  He sold me the better sword, so I am the second owner outside of the family itself.   George C. Dekay was from one of New York’s old aristocratic families, the son and namesake Commodore George C. DeKay who was something of an adventurer and gained his title from commanding the Argentine Navy in the 1820s and 1830s in its war with Brazil!  At home he had enough political influence with Congress in 1847 to get two US warships temporarily transferred to civilian service, including the USS Macedonian, manned with a volunteer crew under his command, to sail to Ireland on a mercy mission to deliver a cargo of food during the potato famine. It was probably family connections that enabled two of his sons to receive staff appointments during the Civil War. One, Drake DeKay, served on Gen. Mansfield’s staff and became famous for his large and florid signature on military passes issued in Washington in 1861.  Most collectors have seen Drake’s autograph.  The other, our sword’s owner, was offered and declined a lieutenant’s commission in the First Rhode Island Light Artillery and instead secured an appointment on the staff of Gen. Thomas Williams, who was on Burnside’s Coastal Expedition and then commanded a brigade under Butler at New Orleans.

After New Orleans fell at the beginning of May, 1862, Butler sent Williams up river to take Baton Rouge and Vicksburg. He occupied Baton Rouge, but decided an attempt on Vicksburg was impractical.  While dropping back down river on May 26, his ships were fired on by Confederate artillery at Grand Gulf. One of these guns was reported abandoned under return fire and De Kay, an aide-de-camp, volunteered to accompany a four-company expedition to the site.  He may have done so out of sibling rivalry: Drake DeKay had “distinguished himself in several daring adventures, sometime undertaken with the object of getting information of the enemy.”  In fact, though, the Confederates were just in the last stages of departure when the Federals arrived and De Kay, in front of the advance guard, was hit by seven buckshot in the arm and another five in the side and back in the skirmish that followed.  He was paralyzed in the lower limbs, but bore his misfortune “manfully” in Williams’ words, and despite hopes for recovery, died of his wounds about a month later.  DeKay had been well regarded and “much loved by all that knew him,” and was considered the first officer killed in the Department.  During his funeral procession through New Orleans a certain Mrs. Philips, who had earlier been caught teaching her children to spit on Federal troops, stood on the balcony of her house, “laughing and mocking at his remains.” When Gen. Butler inquired if it were so, she “contemptuously replied, ‘I was in good spirits that day.’  Butler had had enough with women of the city who insulted Federal troops and decided to go one better than even his famous Order No. 28, which allowed such a woman to be regarded as “a woman of the town plying her avocation.”  He therefore ordered that she be not “’regarded and treated as a common woman,’ of whom no officer or soldier is bound to take notice, but as an uncommon, bad, and dangerous woman, stirring up strife and inciting to riot; and that therefore she be confined at Ship Island, in the State of Mississippi, with proper limits until further orders…’”  He also took great pleasure in publishing the fact that another prisoner destined for two-years’ hard labor on Ship Island and permitted to communicate with no one there but Mrs. Philips requested in writing to have that part of his sentence changed so as not to be associated with “that woman,” a request to which Butler graciously agreed.  This is a wonderful inscribed sword with as interesting a history as I have found in recent years.  Seldom do we find a tangible piece of antiquity that yields such exciting history.  The research on this one has proved truly heart stopping.  $3,950.00 SOLD

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12-08-30 - Early War Stud Back US Buckle: The most desirable of the CW buckles are these early pattern plates with two so-called “puppy paw” studs and a prong in the back of the plate.  By 1863 most of the buckles were being made with two arrow shaped hooks and a prong.  This buckle likely worn by a Michigan or Illinois soldier as I found it in a box of GAR material and CDV photos pertaining to those two states.  Excellent condition with attractive undisturbed age patina on the brass face.  The lead-solder filled back shows a pattern of scrapes apparently done intentionally by someone …  out of boredom I suppose.  Very handsome early war buckle. $295.00

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12-08-31 - Boxed Delegate GAR Medal Detroit National Encampment 1914 - Ladies of the GAR Medal: To be honest I do not know much about the value of these Ladies delegate’s badges… but do know that any of the boxes for medals are darn collectible. This medal is in near mint condition and was given to a Lady Delegate at the National Encampment in Detroit in 1914. Still pinned inside the original factory labeled box. I suppose I would sell it for $65.00 SOLD

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12-08-32 - 21st Indiana Battery Patriotic Cover (Envelope): Here is one heck of a neat philatelic collectible and Civil War relic. An excellent condition postal envelope artistically printed with an image of an artillery battery riding into action in the upper left corner and wording “21st Indiana Battery”. Addressed to A.P. Andrew Jr. in LaPorte, Indiana with a 3 cent stamp and what appears to be a Nashville cancellation. The battery was commanded by Captain A. Piatt Andrew, so I assume this is a cover sent by him to his son and namesake. The 21st Battery saw battle in Tennessee and Georgia including Chickamauga, Chatanooga, and Nashville. Excellent condition. $85.00 SOLD

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