There are accounts that members of Co. K , 1st Michigan Sharpshooters , carved clan symbols such as turtles into the stocks of their rifles . Co. K was nearly 100% Native American .One thing you can be sure of - those are personal markings and they were added "outside of military service."
In the late 1950s, my father had a jeep on the farm, painted yellow.
Standard military issue jeep.
But yellow. Like NELLYBELLE, the yellow jeep in the Roy Rogers 1950s TV series, which was driven by Roy's TV sidekick.
I don't know if my Dad painted it or got it already painted.
I am sure that it was not painted yellow while in the military service.
I am sure those carvings were NOT made while your nice musket was in the military service.
A bit more digging not only showed fouled anchors, but also an old Roman army symbol with a snake or dolphin wrapped around an anchor,, that meant haste slowly,,, it was called "Festina lente",,There are accounts that members of Co. K , 1st Michigan Sharpshooters , carved clan symbols such as turtles into the stocks of their rifles . Co. K was nearly 100% Native American .
Well, there we go, there are few clear rules without an exception or two. It is also true that sharpshooters likely considered themselves special and therefore an exception to rules that applied to other soldiers, eh?There are accounts that members of Co. K , 1st Michigan Sharpshooters , carved clan symbols such as turtles into the stocks of their rifles . Co. K was nearly 100% Native American .
Perhaps . The regiment was largely used as regular infantry but the Co. K members often tried to obscure their appearance with vegetation and by rubbing dirt into their uniforms before a battle . I guess the officers let them do things that an ordinary soldier wouldn't be allowed to . They suffered heavily at The Crater and Confederates mentioned their carved captured rifles .Well, there we go, there are few clear rules without an exception or two. It is also true that sharpshooters likely considered themselves special and therefore an exception to rules that applied to other soldiers, eh?
The possibility exists that the carvings are meant to display that the owner was a Jewish Navy Veteran or a current Jewish military person when the carvings were made. Strange things have happened under the midnight sun, but the strangest i ever did see was the night i cremated Sam Mcgehee. Quote from Robert W. Service Author of The Cremation of Sam Mcgehee and other stories of the far north. Seriously, I have studied the American Civil War for 65 years and have come to the decision that we today will never know or understand the strange things that came out of that period in history. We can only speculate on events like this one. One of the strangest things I have come across in my years of collecting Civil War artifacts was a Albumen Photo of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. I had determined that it was Authentic , but wanted an Expert,s opinion. I located a Artifact dealer named Hendershott in Little Rock , Arkansas who was reputedly an expert on such matters .Turns out he was no expert at all. So, I took the photo to Memphis Tenn and consulted with an attorney who was an expert by the name of Montague, and had originally purchased the Saber owned and used extensively by Gen. Forrest and of which he dispatched several Union Soldiers with. Montague had purchased the saber from Mary Forrest Bradley, Forrest,s Grand Daughter. Montague owned many actual personal items which were the property of Gen Forrest and therefore was an actual expert on Forrest,s life. Montague offered me $50.000.00 for the photo and I declined the offer. This was back in 1995 and I still have that photo in my possession. I have not checked in to finding out its value since Montague made his offer in 1995 but it has increased in value I am sure of that. At one point in time I decided that I would take the offer of $50.000.00 and attempted to contact Montague and found that he had died. So, I will have to assume that it will be with me until I am dead. Hopefully someone will be able to help you determine the origin of the carvings on your firearm. Research and getting to the right person who really knows and is an expert is the only way you will be able to determine what may be the reality of the history of the item.I am sure someone will be around to help you soon. Just my guess, I would say the one looks like the Naval chain and anchor while the other looks like a modified version of a Star of David. @ucvrelics may have a better idea. Good luck on your quest and it looks like an amazing piece. Congrats.
I remember reading somewhere that some soldiers carved the name of their sweetheart on the stock just where it would touch their cheek when they were aiming and firing, so as to remind them of better times and home at the most trying of times.