Tell me more! Enfield 1853 - Confederate / American Civil War Indicators

Pgapro112

Cadet
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
This is my first posting but I've been a long time reader/learner on the forum... thanks for all of your collective knowledge!

I'm looking at a 3rd pattern 1853 Enfield (1863 dated Tower) and I'm looking ways to determine whether it could have been confederate, or ACW in general, used. It has the British crown stamp on the lock with no "VR" and Birmingham barrel proof marks. Other than the Anchor/S stock stamp are there any other signs that would indicate either it was used by the confederacy or signs that would eliminate the possibility of ACW use?

If it does not have the Anchor/S stamp does that eliminate the possibility of ACW use or is that simply just a possible indicator?

Thanks again!
 

Lanyard Puller

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Location
South Carolina
The "anchor/S" is a Confederate inspection mark used after the "JS/anchor" and is correct as indicated by the 1863 dated lock.
Other marks could be on the belly of the stock behind the trigger guard assembly, and on the left flat of the stock opposite the lockplate.

Some photos would be helpful.

The "go-to" reference on CS Enfields is The English Connection. I'm ot able to post some photos as I'm away from my computer at the moment.
 

johan_steele

Regimental Armorer
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
South of the North 40
If it has the broad arrow or arrow under crown it was British military and was never exported to the US or CS. Those are the first indicator and a lot of those came out of India/Nepal/Afghanistan in the last twenty years. Some unscrupulous sorts would parts those out and rebuild them into ACW P53's trying to sell a $200 weapon into a $4500 one.

A lot of faking has been done of the JS Anchor stamp over the years. Your best bet is to take pictures and let someone like Lanyard Puller, Craig Barry, or UCV Relics take a look... if they have any hesitation or suspicion walk away. Don't ask someone like me as I will automatically consider it spurious. I go so far as to consider it more often than not to reduce the legitimate value because so many have been faked.
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
From your post, you are telling us that the Enfield rifle musket you are considering buying is an 1863 dated Model 1853 rifle-musket that
  • does not have a JS /over/ Anchor marking
  • does not have an Anchor /over/ S marking
  • does not have any British military markings (such as the Broad Arrow mark)
  • Is dated 1863
  • Has the usual Birmingham proof house markings on the barrel
Nothing wrong with that. If it had any British military markings, likely not imported to the US
The fact that it is dated 1863, has the usual Birmingham proof-marks, and no British military markings is a good indicator that it was shipped for use in our War, and with this date of 1863, likely not to the Union since the North had ramped up Springfield production to the point where contracts to buy Enfields were cancelled. It could also have been shipped to many other countries around the world - the British Model 1853 was the equivalent of the AK-47 of today - used around the world.
 
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Pgapro112

Cadet
Joined
Aug 4, 2020
Thanks Jeff (and everybody else)... your answer was exactly what I was looking for and your understanding of the rifle I'm considering is spot on!

Thanks!
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2018
There were several Birmingham manufacturers that were known to have been the primary suppliers to the Confederate states. If you see any names/initials stamped on the stock, the inside of the lockplate, the underside of the barrel, these may add further weight to whether or not yours was a Confederate purchase. I say "add further weight" because it is not considered definitive proof like the JS Anchor or the markings of the various Confederate states onto the stock. So, if you see any markings, please post the photos.
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
I neglected to say that the Crown symbol on the lockplate and the word TOWER on the lockplate are not British military marks. The makers hoped buyers would assume this was a sign of official or Royal approval of quality, but it was not.
 

1860man

Private
Joined
Jan 10, 2020
I neglected to say that the Crown symbol on the lockplate and the word TOWER on the lockplate are not British military marks. The makers hoped buyers would assume this was a sign of official or Royal approval of quality, but it was not.
What does it mean? I have a Lorenz lock that was stamped like that, seems old thanks
 

poorjack

Corporal
Joined
Jul 17, 2015
Location
NC
Just to toss a couple flies in the ointment, be darn careful if you're considering a purchase, especially if the item is presented as "Confederate". There are tons of fakes out there and lots of old reenactor gear that look the part. There are reenactors who want their muskets "defarbed" that is to closely resemble an original right down to proof marks, cartouches, weight, etc. A very very good "defarb" is almost indistinguishable from an original without actual disassembly, checking screw pitches, or metallurgy. So some are intentional fakes and others not so much, but of the original ACW things being faked, most are "Confederate". Be careful.
 

Cap'n Dan

Private
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
California
My Grandfather traded his old rifle (musket) for a Confederate "Spring Band" Enfield Rifle on 3 July 1863. Guess where he was.
Here's what he wrote: "We put in the rest of the third in getting the wounded to a hospital and gathering up guns. We gathered up a stack almost as large as a house. I exchanged an Enfield rifle there with a dead rebel and got a spring band Enfield; a light gun easy kept clean. I carried this gun on to the end of my time and turned it over to a recruit in our company the morning we left for home." He was a proud member of Company A, 7th Indiana Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 1st Corps, Army of the Potomac. The 7th was an original 3 month unit and later, the "Bull Dogs" as a 3 year unit.
 

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