Grant's firearm

Robert Gray

First Sergeant
Joined
Jul 24, 2012
General Grant with his horse, Cincinnati. Notice the saddle holster.
05111.02.0430p1[8x10].jpg
 

diane

Retired User
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
Notice especially there is virtually NO wear, indicating it was likely NEVER carried, much less fired.

I think the same could be said for Stonewall Jackson's pistol. He had a Belgian pinfire revolver, I believe - LeF...something! His troops gave it to him, or he would have had nothing. As it was, the sword he did have was rusted to its scabbard!

Grant's pistols were much like Sherman's - not much occasion to use them!
 

rhp6033

Sergeant Major
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Location
Everett, Washington
Lee (and Grant) likely carried handguns in the Mexican-American war as young officers. Lee was sent on a couple of rather dangerous scouting missions, I don't recall him using a weapon but it might have been a good idea to have one. Also, once Lee was transfered from the Engineers to the "line" (Cavalry) and assigned to help chase down Appachies and Mexican bandits, he probably kept one at his side for personal protection. I also don't recall there being any reference to him actually using a handgun.

(Note: When Lee left Texas during the "secessation crisis" of 1860, he was still a Federal office in a blue uniform, and was concerned that he might be arrested and held prisoner. Militia units had already seized the armory. Lee simply acted as though he had every right to be there, and proceeded with his departure as if he had every right to be there, yet another example of dignity and presence in the midst of adversity).
 

James N.

Colonel
Forum Host
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Location
East Texas
I think the same could be said for Stonewall Jackson's pistol. He had a Belgian pinfire revolver, I believe - LeF...something! His troops gave it to him, or he would have had nothing. As it was, the sword he did have was rusted to its scabbard!

Grant's pistols were much like Sherman's - not much occasion to use them!

Diane,

That's Lefaucheux for the pistol. As far as the story about Jackson's sword being "rusted to its scabbard", that's actually VERY unlikely due to the way they're made: the blade fits into the scabbard through a relatively wide-mouthed, usually BRASS "throat" and is held in place away from the steel sides of the scabbard itself. It undoubtedly WAS rusty, but that by itself shouldn'tve been the problem. SOMETIMES there are long, thin wooden shim-like inserts in place that keep a sword from rattling. My guess is that these were present and SWOLLEN from recent rain or excessive humidity at Cedar Mountain making it difficult for him to draw the sword.
 

diane

Retired User
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
Diane,

That's Lefaucheux for the pistol. As far as the story about Jackson's sword being "rusted to its scabbard", that's actually VERY unlikely due to the way they're made: the blade fits into the scabbard through a relatively wide-mouthed, usually BRASS "throat" and is held in place away from the steel sides of the scabbard itself. It undoubtedly WAS rusty, but that by itself shouldn'tve been the problem. SOMETIMES there are long, thin wooden shim-like inserts in place that keep a sword from rattling. My guess is that these were present and SWOLLEN from recent rain or excessive humidity at Cedar Mountain making it difficult for him to draw the sword.

That sounds more like it! Jackson wasn't much for taking care of his arms, that's for sure. Good information on this board. For a long time I thought Forrest's scabbard was beat up - had these dents in it - but someone here said that was done deliberately to keep it from rattling around while riding.
 

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Near Kankakee
Notice especially there is virtually NO wear, indicating it was likely NEVER carried, much less fired.
More than likely it was a very expensive gift from an appreciative admirer and was never more than a nice present.
 

TerryB

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Location
Nashville TN
Sherman was actually wounded at least once, if I recall, and a pistol misfired in his face at another time. Wonder what he was packin"?
 
Joined
Aug 12, 2011
Location
Elliott Bay
Lee (and Grant) likely carried handguns in the Mexican-American war as young officers. Lee was sent on a couple of rather dangerous scouting missions, I don't recall him using a weapon but it might have been a good idea to have one. Also, once Lee was transfered from the Engineers to the "line" (Cavalry) and assigned to help chase down Appachies and Mexican bandits, he probably kept one at his side for personal protection. I also don't recall there being any reference to him actually using a handgun.
Before the advent of a reliable revolver I wonder how practical a handgun would have been in the 1840s. A good blade would have been more reliable in close quarters. Would Lee and Grant have been issued revolvers in 1846?
 

diane

Retired User
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Location
State of Jefferson
Sherman was actually wounded at least once, if I recall, and a pistol misfired in his face at another time. Wonder what he was packin"?

I've wondered that, too, but haven't really found anything. Think he wished he was packin' when he was almost captured by Forrest at Fallen Timbers! But, then, it was a very good thing he had his arm in a sling and no gun visible. Forrest went on by, but had Sherman had a pistol - blam! History sure would have been different then!
 

James N.

Colonel
Forum Host
Annual Winner
Featured Book Reviewer
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Location
East Texas
Before the advent of a reliable revolver I wonder how practical a handgun would have been in the 1840s. A good blade would have been more reliable in close quarters. Would Lee and Grant have been issued revolvers in 1846?

Among the U. S. Dragoons, there was an interesting, unusual, but highly effective "alternative": They were armed with the BREECH-LOADING Hall rifled carbine. This unique experimental weapon, manufactured at the Hall Rifle Works located on an island in the Shenandoah River at Harpers Ferry, featured a detachable, swing away breech plug. Instead of cramming the load ( powder and ball ) into the barrel and then trying to ram it down ( difficult-to-impossible while on horseback ), you simply "opened" the breech and inserted it there; closed the breech; and fired - the trigger was attached TO the removeable breech. When going "on leave" in Mexico to visit some of the dangerous cantinas in a nearby town as recounted in the memoirs of dragoon Samuel Chamberlain ( no relation to Joshua ) in his delightful and informative, if somewhat boastful My Confession, the troopers would remove the breech mechanism and put it in their pocket as a "concealed carry" personal sidearm!
 
Top