Engraved “control number 1121” on P53 rifle musket butt tang.

Craig L Barry

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#21
I am ankle deep in research at the moment for a follow up to "Supplier to the Confederacy: S Isaac Campbell & Co" on the English gun trade. A couple things. Sling is British, post-November 1871. Loose leather thong tied at the base are post-bellum. British slings from the Civil War-era were buckle fastened. Bannerman's stuck a lot of these thong tied slings on Enfields back in the day. Most of the 24 bore (.58) were US purchases to match the Springfield standard. In general at least most CS contracts specified 25 bore (.577). Most of the CS purchases in 1861 were from London firms such as Barnett and LA Co.Confederates did have Birmingham made weapons but we are speaking in general terms and going by pictures. By far the majority of Birmingham made Enfields from 1861 went North.

So if I had to guess, a Birmingham gun dated 1861, in .58, very good condition like this one. US purchase. Rack # on tang.Massachusetts marked theirs with rack numbers on the butt plate tang. Francis Crowninshield and McFarland--who had helped set up LA Co's gun making machinery--came over to England on the "Persia" with Caleb Huse (unbeknownst to any of them). McFarland got to LA Co ahead of Huse but did not could not come up with the funds and Huse made a large order through Sinclair, Hamilton & Co (Archibald Hamilton was Supt of LA Co) that tied up most of the London gun makers for the foreseeable future. So McFarland and Crowninshield went to John Goodman of BSAT and came away with something like 15,000 or 20,000 Enfields, 'handmade, grade two.' Bet this is one of those. Maybe assigned to state militia or rear guard troops where it didn't get very hard use.

Period terminology was different as far as how infantry arms were referenced. In modern terms,"rifled musket" means a smoothbore that was later rifled and sighted. Rifle-musket means a "long rifle" like a P53 or a US 1861. At the time Enfields were called "rifles." Or "long rifles" or "long arms" or "small arms" or in the case of shipping manifests on blockade runners, "cases of hardware." Claud E Fuller is using "period" terminology instead of modern historian/collector speak. The Gun Show crowd would sell AR-15s as Civil War weapons with "likely CS provenance" if they thought the trade would fly. Why not, "they'd have used them if they had them."

This is a very nice specimen of a likely Union early war purchase P53 Enfield, though.
 

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#22
Bill Adams, who has been working on a book about Civil War Enfields for what seems like a 100 years now, wrote the following in relation to the engraved numbers.

“Contrary to popular opinion, engraved numbers on P53’s are not serial numbers, nor are they a positive indicator of Confederate usage. When the British government weapons reached their issue point, all arms except those set aside for temporary issue had the top tangs of the butt plate engraved with a regimental designation and/or a ‘serial’ number….”


He continues that a matching number is also often found on the ramrod, bayonet, and bayonet scabbard. He ends his brochure with the following, in ALL CAPITOL LETTERS.

“DON’T BE FOOLED BY ‘OBVIOUS’ CIVIL WAR ASSOCIATION MARKINGS. DOZENS OF OTHER COUNTRIES MARKED ENFIELDS WITH WHAT APPEAR TO BE AMERICAN MILITARY OR STATE MILITIA MARKINGS. THAT ‘TEXAS’ ENFIELD COULD EASILY HAVE COME FROM TASMANIA!”

Best,

John Gross
 

drm2m

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#23
Jobe Holiday,

Thanks for your comments.
There is definitely a difference in the style of engraving as you have pointed out.

The stock on my P53 is in pretty good shape and I don’t see any signs of markings (JS/Anchor etc) that might fall into the CS description of what one might expect to see if it was a CS inspected gun.

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Craig,

Interesting research that you are doing…..good luck with it.

I really appreciate your historical comments regarding the P53 Enfield “import story” back in 1861 relative to U.S. and C.S. guns.

Thanks also for your explanation of “rifled-musket” and rifle muskets”.
I have seen these terms used in many different instances…..and was confused.

The sling I got from the same dealer that I got the P53 from…he had a supply of them at the time.
I usually try and get the correct leather for pieces I collect….this was not one of those times.


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Sorry for digressing from the theme of this thread.

I still do not own a correct CW sling for any of my pieces….but I think I found one for a Model 1884 Trapdoor rifle…inspected in 1893 at the end of that model serial number range.

(Hard to find well marked leather from that period in decent condition.)

(U.S. M1887, marked with "Rock Island Arsenal" and inspection stamp "E.H.S." for E.H.Schmitten Leather Goods, Rock Island.
Also inspector marked "AEA”,)

David


(Click twice on thumbnail photo to enlarge the image.)











 

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drm2m

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#24
John Gross,

The comments below came from Joe Bilby and Bill Adams.
Joe sent my photos to Bill and his comments are shown below.

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I went through a very interesting exercise some years ago when I was trying to find out more about this Enfield musket with two very “savvy” experts on this subject.
These guys write the books on this stuff.

I had no idea what a “control number” was….I just thought it was perhaps a rack number.

These are excerpts from those emails.

I had been discussing another gun at that time and this subject came up.

The reason I have posted this thread was to see if anyone else has gone through a similar exercise and might have done some research on this subject.

NOTE;

In the references below” I “does not refer to me…and “my friend” does not refer to me.

------------------------------------

The "24" on the barrel indicates the guns bore size, which is .58 caliber rather than the standard "25 bore" or British .577. This is one indication that the gun may be a Union import.

I think the early Confederate orders might have been 24 bore. My friend, who is an expert in these matters, says he is almost positive it is Confederate, with the number on the buttplate and the 24 bore marking.

You still got 90% to go before you can call it Confederate definitively -- but you got a good possibility. :smile:

He also advises that some Enfield’s made for the US, in 24 bore, in the early part of the war, were actually bought by the Rebels, and that might explain the bore size.

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Enfield P53 Musket.
Some comments from an expert on Civil War Enfield’s.

While it's difficult to positively ID anything and to determine legitimacy from a photo, the piece seems to be a CS central government purchase. 1121 is the "control number." If the ramrod is original to the piece, it will also have 1121 engraved on it near the jag head. There should have been a large serif letter in front of the butt plate tang, but the stock seems to have been scraped. On the bottom of the stock behind the trigger guard, there should be two commission broker's stamps and a JS anchor stamp. The stampings behind the trigger guards were often light. Lacking the anchor stamp, there should be either a G or an SC on the lock side of the butt stock for this particular number range.

Some of the numbered arms can be traced to the vessel and the jobber, but - this is the big hole in the argument presented by the high-rolling dealers - there are only existent records for 2,000 arms that were brought into Savannah. Most CS dealers like to lead the buyer to believe that there are records for 30,000 numbered arms.


Brit regulations specified that all arms were to have a number not to exceed four digits engraved "and in no instance stamped or punched" on the butt plate, the ramrod, the bayonet socket, the bayonet scabbard stud, and the waist belt. In short, each stand of arms had all of the components numbered together.

The Confederates followed the same practice at first, but then realized that it was a waste of time. The Confederates also used a few other numbering methods, and several states also had their own numbering systems. Many Army of Tennessee arms had an additional mark applied.

The piece is not a Brit issue as it lacks the army proof house markings - even arms bought commercially for Brit service were normally reproofed at an army proof house.

The piece in the photo you sent is a Grade 2 handmade arm with filed flat-headed mount screws.
---------------------

David
 

Craig L Barry

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#25
I was "guessing" the second set of comments was from Bill Adams. He was a tremendous help on
"The Civil War Musket" and what he says is going to be the best information you are likely to get. Period. He has both the hardware and the knowledge. When he does do a book on the Enfields, he will bring both
into the light. Everyone is waiting on what Adams will have to say on the Civil War Enfield. The Pritchards
and Corky Huey are coming out with their $100 book on the Enfield in about six months, last time I heard. If Adams thinks this is a CS Central Govt piece, than that's most likely what it is. He would know. The condition seems a little too good though. It is certainly possible.

The thrust of what I have been researching is the Gun Trade in England, how the Civil War Enfields were
made which is very different than you might imagine, and info on the gun making firms. It's confusing...
 

drm2m

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#26
Thanks Craig,

Part of what Bill Adams said in one email…..transmitted by Joe Bilby.

NOTE; This email dates back to March 2006...new info may have emerged since then?

“If I ever get my book done, I will attempt to uncloud some of the mystery. Brit regulations specified that all arms were to have a number not to exceed four digits engraved "and in no instance stamped or punched" on the butt plate, the ramrod, the bayonet socket, the bayonet scabbard stud, and the waist belt. In short, each stand of arms had all of the components numbered together.”

Joe Bilby…. stated based on Bills comments.

As my buddy advises, you still got 90% to go before you can call it Confederate definitively -- but you got a good possibility. :smile:

He also advises that some Enfield’s made for the US, in 24 bore, in the early part of the war, were actually bought by the Rebels, and that might explain the bore size.


NOTE: None of the other C.S. markings that Bill referred to are seen on the stock of this gun

I really appreciated the very helpful input from these two very knowledgeable fellows regarding this Enfield musket….it was greatly informative.

Great thanks to you as well Craig for your input.

Bottom line for me….I suspect this gun might have been imported for the U.S.

David
 

Craig L Barry

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#27
Of course I thought it was a US import. Another possibility...the British Volunteer movement was in full vigor during this time period. Enfields that seem to be in very good conditon that have not seen hard field use are sometimes the self purchased weapons used on parade by the members of the Volunteer companies. The only thing that suggests against a Volunteer heritage is the initials crudely carved in the stock. No reason for a volunteer to carve up his own privately purchased weapon like it was government property or something.

Those Volunteer purchased P53s don't usually have export stamps because they weren't exported. I think there were about 120,000 men at arms in the Volunteer light infantry companies. LA Co sold quite a few to them, or at least they advertised them for sale to Volunteers. Which is funny, because historians tell us LA Co was sending every gun they made to the CS...To quote W. Greener (Bham gunmaker) "How could such a state of affairs be true?"
 

drm2m

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#28
Craig,

I have no knowledge about the historical background regarding this stuff….what was it?

“The British Volunteer movement was in full vigor during this time period.

Those Volunteer purchased P53s don't usually have export stamps because they weren't exported. I think there were about 120,000 men at arms in the Volunteer light infantry companies.”

I am always curious how and why U.S. & C.S. CW guns ended up in Canada.
I am aware that many C.S. sympathizers’ came North after the war.
I know about the British exporting activities to both sides.

What was the “British Volunteer Movement”?

Thanks,

David
 

Craig L Barry

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#29
Oh, good story. There were two Italian revolutionaries that attempted to assassinate Napoleon III of France in 1858 with a bomb. The plot failed but parts of the bomb were traced to England and the two would be assassins were armed with two "Adams pattern" revolvers purchased in England from British Gunmaker Hollis & Sheath (one of the founders of the Birmingham Small Arms Trade). France started making noise about invading "Perfidious Albion" and massing troops on the coast across the channel from England. The British Army was spread pretty thin after the Crimean War and the Sepoy Rebellion and public outcry resulted in the 2nd Volunteer movement in 1858. These were self-outfitted civilian troops used for defense within England. The movement first began fifty years earlier during the Napoleonic Wars but they were never needed and eventually disbanded when their uniforms wore out. Cooler heads prevailed the 2nd time around as well, which was fortunate for the militarily disaster prone French.

We take for granted our rights to "keep and bear arms" but it is worth mention that this is not a universal privilege and monarchies in particular don't like the notion of a well armed civilian population. The British civilians really took to the notion and formed companies, elected officers, drilled after work and so on. They bought their own uniforms, and of course bought a great many Enfield rifles. And most of those rifles were never used for anything but drill, maybe some target practice. Unlike the first time, the Volunteers did not immediately disband once the threat went away. They liked the idea of owning arms. These units stayed active during the 1860s. There are identified Volunteer kits (accoutrements) with CS provenance as commercial military supply contractors like S. Isaac, Campbell & Co brokered equipment sales to both Volunteer units domestically and the Confederacy. No pesky government inspection required. Both Saul and Samuel Isaac were "commanders" of Volunteer companies.

The War Dept did not supply either the Volunteers or the CS, but they did supply Canada. And as far as England's Colony in Canada, the British Army was there to guard their interests. See the London Times Illustrated from December 9, 1861 where the War Dept sent an additional 25,000 regulars to Canada in case the North invaded as they had the Confederacy. This was part of the tension from the Trent Affair a month earlier. Of course, the Union never did invade Canada and England never went to war with the US, but there were quite a few P53 Enfields that did garrison detail in Canada during the 1860s. In fact, gun makers reported having to work "around the clock" to fill all the orders. And there were Canadian troops issued Enfields during the US Civil War-era. We like to think that America was the only customer for Enfields in the early 1860s. The Enfield was the apex infantry arm of the mid-19th century, they were used all over the world, and a huge number were made in Belgium as well as England. Hundreds of thousands. The 1860s was a period of political turbulence all over the globe. Images from the War of the Triple Alliance in South America show Brazilian soldiers with P53 Enfields and British buckle slings. Point being, plenty of Enfields from the time period have no US Civil War provenance.
 

drm2m

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#30
Interesting story Craig….this is becoming an interesting history lesson!

Here is a bit more stuff.

Apparently 50,000 Canadians were combatants during the U.S. Civil War….on both sides.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canada_and_the_American_Civil_War


http://www.bifhsgo.ca/special_projects/CivilWar/civilWar.htm

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Later the Fenian Raids into Canada from the U.S. is another story. (1866 and 1870)
Joe Bilby and I communicated regarding a Smith carbine that I own that “may have been used” during that period.


This carbine shown below has the markings "C.H. Duba”, on three areas of the stock. Years ago, I engaged the research people at "The Horse Soldier" in Gettysburg to look into the question.

It is on record that Smith Carbines were issued to the 12th Illinois cavalry, and the results of the research shows a John Duba was mustered into "E" Co. Il. 12th Cavalry 1/24/1862, and mustered out on 12/31/1865.

Duba, is an unusual name,... but C.H Duba is not John Duba.
I guess,.. Close is good in horse shoes,,,,but no cigar here????
However,.... it does allow one's imagination to wander???


As I had been communicating with Joe Bilby on some other stuff I asked him if he had seen these types of markings on other guns of that period.

This is how the story played out.

In your experience, have you seen these types of stamps before on other guns?
As a matter of fact, yes - Fenians had a tendency, if two of the conversion muskets are an indication, to mark guns like this. One that a friend of mine owns has "Sgt. Noonan" stamped into the wood.


The 1866 Fenians were armed with rifle muskets and Smith carbines -- some of the Canadians had Spencers, and the Canadian government bought more Spencers in the wake of the "invasion." Unless they were personal weapons, the Fenians never used Spencers. I mention this in passing in my new book on the Spencer and Henry. The Fenians of 1870 were armed with the Needham conversion of the Model 1863 rifle musket. The story is mentioned in Flayderman's "Guide" the guns were converted in Trenton by Trenton Arms Company, and a Fenian leader was a silent partner in the company.

Joe

By 1870, the vets had better things to do, and the Fenian force that crossed into Canada with weird looking conversions of CW muskets (designed by a Brit and made in a factory in Trenton NJ by a firm that had a Fenian leader as secret partner) were a lot of unemployed kids swept up off the streets of NYC -- of course the Canadians had no way of knowing that.

Joe

The Fenian Raid and Battle of Ridgeway June 1-3, 1866

http://www.acsu.buffalo.edu/~dbertuca/g/FenianRaid.html

Was this Smith carbine used by the Fenians....I have no idea?

The carbine has a clear "JM" inspector's acceptance cartouche on the left stock wrist...for John Maggs.
John Maggs, was active in 1862, during the American Civil War, and accepted firearms and accessories on behalf of the Federal Army.

One of the C.H.DUBA stamps...overstamps the second U.S. inspector's acceptance stamp.
I guess there is a story somewhere?.....That I will never know!






 

drm2m

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#31
A further digression from the theme of this thread….but on a more personal note.

My great great grandfather was involved in the Battle of Eccles Hill against the invading Fenian Irish American forces on May 25th 1870.

David


Following the Fenian Raid of 1866 a well-to-do farmer Asa Westover, called a meeting of his immediate neighbours and they agreed to form a Home Guard Unit (The Red Sashes). Asa Westover and my mother’s great grandfather James G. Pell, both excellent marksmen, were authorized to purchase arms for the Home Guard, and traveled to Massachusetts to visit various arms makers. They ended up purchasing 40 Ballard Rifles, which were used against a force of 400 Fenians on May 24 1870 at the Battle of Eccles Hill which is located in the Eastern Townships of Quebec just across the Northern Vermont border.
James Pell supposedly fired the first shot in that battle according to a newspaper article that I have, along with a photo of the Home Guard posing for a photo. There is also a photo of members of the Home Guard around a captured Fenian cannon.

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MY EMAILS WITH JOE BILBY. (12/03/ 2006)

Having written a book on the Irish Brigade, and being of Irish American heritage myself, I am very familiar with the Fenians, as well as the perpetual bungling that characterized their efforts. :smile:

The 1866 invasion was actually tactically successful, if I recall, but the victorious Fenians suffered the usual leadership lapse after the Battle of Ridgeway. At that point most Fenian troops were CW vets.

By 1870, the vets had better things to do, and the Fenian force that crossed into Canada with weird looking conversions of CW muskets (designed by a Brit and made in a factory in Trenton NJ by a firm that had a Fenian leader as secret partner) were a lot of unemployed kids swept up off the streets of NYC -- of course the Canadians had no way of knowing that. Am familiar with the Ballard story -- they chose wisely -- very accurate long range guns, and the long range fire from the Ballards, if I recall, made the Fenians decide they had business elsewhere. :smile:

I like the personal relationship to the Ballard story.

Joe (Bilby)


My great great grandfather "dressed in white" by the cannon and in the second group photo--second row--right.


NOTE:

This is a chapter of Canadian and American history that is not generally known about…or understood.

It stems from the Irish resentment of the British influence in Ireland…and Canada was substantially British back in 1866 and 1870.

My understanding is that the Fenians wanted to try and pressure England by invading Canada to try and rid Ireland of British dominance.










An example of the Ballard rifle they used.


 

drm2m

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#32
Some more photos of the Eccles Hill event in 1870…together with some links to more info on the Fenian raids into Canada…..” perhaps more than you may want…or need…. to know.”

David.

http://www.canadianmilitary.page.tl/Fenian-Raids.htm

http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Troublous_Times_in_Canada:_A_History_of_the_Fenian_Raids_of_1866_and_1870

http://www.doyle.com.au/fenian_raids.htm




The sashes shown over the shoulders of the two fellows in front were worn by "The Red Sashes Home Guard."

This photo shows the captured Fenian cannon. A Ballard rifle is held by the fellow on the right standing on the cannon.




Here's one picture of two Canadian Militia officers and a corporal with a dead Fenian raider, following the "Battle of Eccles Hill –

The Canadians in this photograph are actually armed with .577 Snider-Enfield breechloading conversion rifles,which had just been adopted by Britain in 1866, but were not yet available when the Feniuan troubles arose. 30,000 Sniders were acquired by Canada, with the first of them arriving in mid-1867. By 1870, all Canadian troops had been issued Sniders, and the Peabodies and Spencers had been withdrawn.





 

drm2m

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#34
Thanks Craig.

This article “The Ballard Of The Red Sashes” was written by Charles J. Purdon in 1993,
which appeared in the Lower Canada Arms Collectors Association journal.

This article talks more about the Ballard rifle that Asa Westover and my great great grandfather James G. Pell purchased for the Red Sashes.


At one time our family had my great great grandfather’s Ballard rifle.
I regret we don’t have it now.
It might be sitting in a collection somewhere…the current owner may not be aware of the historical significance of this Ballard rifle.

The first fatal shot at the Battle of Eccles Hill against the Fenian invaders….May 25th 1870…. the last Fenian invasion of Canada.

David










 
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#35
Posted May 22 2014.

This thread dates back to 2010.
In Jan 2014 I had further communication with Bill Adams regarding this subject.

Once again the dialogue was regarding this P53.



A comment from Bill;
The sling on the P53 is a later pattern sling. The correct sling would have an adjusting buckle and would not be fastened with a thong. Correct P53 slings are quite rare.



A comment from Bill;
The bayonet pictured on the Enfield is a P58 interchangeable bayonet from Enfield and would not have been used on a Civil War Enfield. It is likely a Snider bayonet.










This JS/Anchor is NOT seen on the stock of this P53.


This is all that remains on the stock of my gun.



There is no 'G' for Georgia marking on the stock of my P53.





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This was the content of the dialogue.

From Bill Adams in 2014

Are there engraved numbers on this particular P53 in the photos? I can't quite make out the stamping in the stock - is it SHC? I think that I can see a letter S. Isn't this in fact the P53 with control #1121?
Yes, there are numbered Enfields without the JS Anchor stamp; a number did not have JS Anchor stamps because they were state purchases. Most of the stamps were light and scraped away when refinished. Here's the caveat: since Steve Knott's book came out last summer, there are far more SC, Georgia and Louisiana Enfields on the market than were observed over the last 50 years.

The "defarbing" stamps sold by some sutlers for reenactors include JS Anchor stamps as well as other broker's stamps and maker's roundels. The stamps were used to enhance original arms (US inspector's stamps are also offered for use on Springfields, etc.). Freshly stamped and aged Enfields have also been engraved with CS control numbers. The engraving was quite crude on the first examples and most of the numbers consisted of straight lines like 1411, but the fakers have gotten better and can now do 9's and an occasional 0. At least six fake S.C P53's with various (incorrect) sizes of letter stamps have been marketed recently.

The stock was scraped - the supplier's letter code is missing as well as the JS Anchor stamp (if it ever had one). I do not immediately have access to all of the crate shipping records (few survived). Crate #56 shipped aboard the Fingal contained P53's #1101 to 1120. There is then a gap to crate 62 which contained P53's 1221-1240. Those P53's were all supplied by C. W. James and originally had a letter J in front of the butt plate tang and had a letter G stamped on the lock side of the butt stock. 1121 would have been in crate #57 and if I have a listing for it, it is somewhere in the files, but was likely a James supplied piece. Interestingly, there was also a P56 rifle with control #1121 as the bayonet survived.

A LATER REPLY;

I found my listings of the crates that were missing from the London manifests. All of the crates are there except for #57, which seems very strange. #58 had P53's #1141-1160; #59 had 1161-1180, etc. Crates 1-7 and 58-62 came from arms merchant Wm. Grazebrook on May 1st 1861 and were marked with the G cypher. With crate #56 having been marked for Gov. Brown of Georgia and #58 having been marked G for Georgia, chances seem good that crate #57 that contained 1121 was also destined for Georgia.

The transaction is quite complicated, but there was an overlap of Georgia state funds and CS government funds in one of Maj. Anderson's large purchases. Anderson was the CS ordnance officer that was Caleb Huse's immediate supervisor, but he was also working for Gov. Brown of Georgia. Fortunately, Anderson kept a diary and he also recorded the first 2,000 of the Georgia purchases. Crate #57 having somehow been left off of the Georgia charts. Interestingly, there are two #58 crates, one listed as short rifles and the other listed as long Enfields, so there is a distinct possibility that the crate that should have been #57 was listed incorrectly. Crates #51-56 and #62-129 are on Anderson's main Georgia listing and crates 1-7 and 58-62 are on a supplemental list (these latter lists have not been published).

A drawing of the Fingal that transported the Enfields to Savannagh.



Does the stuff below look correct Bill?

The five main suppliers who sold Enfields through Archibald Hamilton to Confederate buyers Caleb Huse and Major Alexander were Bond "B", James "J", Scott & Son "S", Kerr "K", and Freed & Co. "F".

Archibald Hamilton was both the Superintendent of the London Armoury Co. and secured quantities of Enfields by private contractors for the Confederates in London and Birmingham . Hamilton was so effective, in tying up Enfield production for the Confederates, that the "US Consul in London, F.H. Morse, was highly distressed to report in Oct. 1861 that "of Enfield rifles they (Confederates) have thousands now ready for shipment, and have all the armories here at work for them. With these ( London makers) and what they are getting at Birmingham they must be receiving not far from 1500 per week."

The passage in your email seems to be from Wiley Sword and the information is both dated and was partially incorrect when written. I do not know where Sword came up with the F code standing for Freed & Co. The single Confederate shipping manifest that lists guns by number, supplier and crate is for only Georgia Enfields. Field & Sons was one of the suppliers. The letter G in the photo you sent is a Georgia G. They are faked a lot. JS stands for John Southgate, Major Edward Anderson (Caleb Huse's "boss") recorded in his dairy that Southgate had been retained as an inspector. Those of us that read Anderson's papers kept that quiet. Steve Knott wrote an article for North-South Trader that explained the background behind the anchor and the letters. That information is also in Steve's book. Since the book came out with photos of various CS markings, the fakers have duplicated the markings and generated quite a few fakes. Any SC, Georgia or Louisiana Enfields must be viewed with suspicion.

Tim's explanation of the numbering system is correct, but while it addresses the numbers stamped into the wood on iron mounted rifles, it fails to mention the stamped numerals used on the brass butt plates of arms purchased by some states. There are also some duplications of numbers. 1121 was ready for shipment from London in August 1861 and was in the number series initially purchased by Georgia.

From the photos, it appears that 1121 was cleaned and the stock was scraped at some point. Given the number and the Birmingham proofs, it was probably made by C. W. James. One must be very careful when using numbers as a CS identifier because the British government also used numbers as did organizations and companies, so the fact that an Enfield has a number on the butt plate does not automatically make it Confederate (although some dealers have sold British numbered items as Confederate). Perhaps 40-50% of the "Confederate" Enfields that have entered the market in the last six months are not what they are represented to be. Fake JS anchor stamps are available and someone in Tennessee has engraved a lot of butt plates.

Yes, G is for Georgia. There are many variants of the G stamp that have been applied to Enfields in recent times. The large size G stamp often was light to begin with and cleaning, scraping, and sanding over the years removes the traces of the letter.

As I mentioned in a previous email, crate 57 with Enfields #1121-1140 is missing from the manifest of arms ready to be shipped from London. Note that Tim's description contains "probabilities" and suppositions. 1121 mayhave been on the Fingal as 7520 Enfields were aboard the Fingal when it arrived in Savannah.

The Georgia arms aboard the Fingal did not go to Georgia; they were sent to the Army of Tennessee. I may have records that list crate #57, but I don't have time to look for them at present. Attached is a copy of the Ordnance Dept. letter relevant to the Fingal's cargo. There are tens of thousands of CS records in the National Archives and digging through them and making copies is time consuming and headache-generating. I once got an email from a collector who stated the number on his Enfield then asked if I could tell him what vessel the Enfield arrived on, what port it arrived at, and the name of the captain of the blockade runner. Only so many records are available, yet there is still a wealth of information in surviving documents.

24 bore is .58 calibre, typical of many Enfields made for the American market. The Confederates did not stipulate that .577 was the regulation calibre until 1862. The federals stuck with .58. Ramrods, butt plates, bayonets, and bayonet frogs were all numbered together as a "stand" of arms. That followed British regulation. The bayonets and ramrods were not readily interchangeable and therefore all of the components were numbered together.





There are lots of persons involved in digging up information and sharing it, but there are others that skew the context a bit. Be particularly wary of statements to the effect that only 5, 7, 9, or 16 of a particular arm are known to exist. Have you noticed that none of the persons making those statements has explained how that information was compiled? "A well known authority has been compiling a list of Confederate numbers for decades..." Can anyone make a definitive statement that he positively knows that only a specific number of a certain weapon still survives? A clique of collectors and dealers have set themselves up as the source of information pertaining to Confederate arms in general, but they do not contact many collectors that have examples of the arms. One dealer constantly mentions a "database" of Confederate Enfields, but fails to consider that there may be other listings of Confederate purchased arms that he and his source have never seen. All of the information in the various postings is in Steve Knott's book, but Steve did not have an agenda other than sharing information. He is not a dealer or an investor for profit and doesn't have a need to polish his ego or reputation. The Official Records of the War of the Rebellion, aka the OR's, are available on line for free through several sources. The fellows that make the marvelous discoveries that they then post fail to realize that researchers found the same material in hard copy long ago. Much of the Enfield story can be gleaned from several British studies that are not readily available.

Papers containing some Enfield material are available from English sources on microfilm for anyone that has $1600 to spend on the films. The James H. Burton papers are at YaleUniversity and can be copied for a fee. There's plenty of information available, including the McRae papers - all is takes is money. In the meanwhile, there is still plenty of free information, but some of that is not reliable unless it comes directly from the OR's or other reputable sources. Many CS Enfields were captured and went into federal service. Some of those numbers are available to researchers that physically go to the National Archives. Are those Enfields Confederate? It's a complicated field of study.

Your theories about numbers, etc. are close to the mark, but miss a few details. The reason that I think that 1121 was a G purchase is because the stock has been scraped down enough for the G to have been removed along with the contractor's name that was originally on the belly of the stock and the supplier's code or the CH1 stamp that would have been in front of the butt plate tang. Even if there was no G present on the stock, the other markings would have been there and were scraped away. There would also have been two other stamps in the wood indicating a commission broker and/or inspector or other information. None of the stamps are present on your stock. Both SC and Georgia also had stamped numbers on the butt plates of some Enfields in certain number ranges. Some arms were state marked, but did not have state numbers; some arms were state marked with government numbers; many arms that went to states and the central government were not numbered. The lock dates must agree with certain numbers and stock markings. This isn't anything that can be easily condensed into a few pages or a ten minute study. States other than GA and SC used numbers. You will save a lot of time by getting one of Steve's books that will give an overview of the whole process. Going on the internet and gathering opinions and theories will not necessarily produce valid information and the pieces pictured on the internet are not necessarily legitimate examples. Not only are there many spuriously engraved and stamped pieces on web sites; there are also Enfields that have excavated butt plates affixed or butt plates that were brought up from ship wrecks. One advanced collector has done a scientific study of the engraving styles in various number series and has hundreds of magnified photos of both real and fake butt plate engraving.

I have removed checkering from stocks and they looked normal afterwards. The secret is using a cabinet scraper or glass and not sandpaper. The supplier's stamps on the combs were often quite deep and yet many have been completely scraped away. I recently purchased an S.C and JS Anchor marked P53 that I first looked at 20+ years ago. The owner did not know that the mark was important and sometime in the last 6 years he decided to scrape the stock down and wire wheel the metal. Only the S. remains in the stock and all other marks are gone. Very few correct slings for the P53 turn up. I have seen several on DC diamond Canadian Snider conversions. Apparently the original slings were kept with them. Collectors in the US have been duped into believing that the Martini & Lee-Enfield & SMLE slings were P53 slings.

David
 
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