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Springfield Armory "1864"

Discussion in 'Civil War Weapons and Ammunition' started by HistoryChef, Apr 15, 2010.

  1. HistoryChef

    HistoryChef Cadet

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    Does anyone know how to research a "1864 Springfield Armory" .58 cal. musket? Is it possible to determine if it was ever used in battle; where, etc.? Since it has no serial number, I suspect not. However, it would be fascinating to learn. My father purchased it from an old gentleman in his neighborhood in the 1930s for fifty-cents. This old fellow had an assortment of antique arms. Several flintlocks, and other "muskets." My Dad could only scrape together the half a buck. His pal bought the flintlocks. I used to fire caps (toy.) on it as a kid.
    What would one expect to pay for a Springfield Armory 1864 musket in probably only "fair" condition? I think it has been insured for many years for a thousand dollars.
    Any input would be interesting.Thank you.
    I'm a new member here, my computer has been down since February. This seems to be a great place to "hang out."
     

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  3. Union_Buff

    Union_Buff Captain Forum Host

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  4. johan_steele

    johan_steele Lt. Colonel Retired Moderator

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    Wall hangers garner $750 and fully functional shootable in the $1-2k range. There are a variety of ways to look at what you have. Go to your library and request Fuller, Claude The Rifled Musket. for further reading and detyailed info on the development of the M1861/63 series arms.
     
  5. Craig L Barry

    Craig L Barry First Sergeant

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    I think $1000 is plenty of insurance for a late war US Model rifle-musket. The earlier the
    date on the lock, the greater the chance that the weapon saw action, which increases its value to
    collectors. Johan's recommendation of Fuller's "The Rifled Musket" is an excellent suggestion. I sleep
    with a copy under my pillow. Fuller had an amazing collection of US Model military arms,
    which was concentrated around Civil War infantry weapons but went well beyond that. It can
    be seen at the museum at Chickamauga/Chattanooga battlefield park. Fuller was a masonry engineer and
    had a patent on the type of brick that was used to make all those NYC brownstones. He made
    enough on that stroke of fortune to retire early and indulge his passion for collecting US military arms,
    which he generously donated to CHCH battlefield park in the late 1950s.

    The 1864, or 1863 type II--let's call it the last muzzleloading US Model rifle-musket--was
    not issued in the same kind of great numbers as the earlier US 1861. The superiority of the Colt
    Special Model of 1861, which was itself essentially an P53 Enfield clone, necessitated the design
    changes to the last US rifle-musket models. They lack the distinctive US 1861 "r" shaped hammer,
    which was itself a design holdover from the US 1855s. Some can still be found in essentially
    unissued condition, with the case colors still in evidence on the lock. Ordnance did not make the
    same distinctions when issuing arms that collectors make today. You will not see records that
    indicate anything like the 69th San Francisco Zouaves got US model 1863 type II while their
    counterparts in the YMCA Home Guard got US 1863 type ones. The ORs normally read that
    "US model rifle-muskets" were issued to so and so, and that is about it. Often it was a mix of
    arms. One might expect some contractor made US 1861s (which were still made into 1865), as
    well as the later US models. The type and model distinctions came later.

    Point being that the specific Civil War provenance of any arm is difficult to prove, as well
    as which army might have had it. Various CS inspection stamps are often added post-bellum
    to imported arms to suggest Confederate heritage. The fact is that most CS-used small
    arms (except sidearms which officers could retain) were of course, confiscated and sold off as
    surplus to reduce the war debt. CS soldiers did not get the option of retaining their arms
    as Union soldiers did. There is a lot of fraud in collecting...no need to name names. There is
    no serial number, and no way to know if and when a particular arm was used unless it was
    noted in the discharge papers are purchased by the Union soldier upon his post-bellum discharge.
     
  6. Old Hickory

    Old Hickory First Sergeant

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    Like said before, $1000.00 sounds like good insurance on a "fair" condition 1864. Unless there's a known personal "lineage" to the musket it's all but impossible to know any of it's history. It's even difficult to track carbines with sr#s to any specfic unit, or sometimes even group of units with information readily at hand. We might look at a particular Smith carbine and find a group of them within that range were sent to say, the 17th Pa. Cav. That doesn't mean that the carbine in question was just because it's 4 didgets above, and 17 didgets below 2 known carbines issued to the 17th Pa.

    I once had in my collection a Special Model 1861 Colt musket, (dated 1862) with the initials "P K" and Corpral cheverons carved into the wrist of the stock. I often wondered how many Corprals with the initials, "P K" served in units issued Colt Special Model 1861s...
     

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