Handguns Help with 1860 Colt Serial Number

1864relic

Cadet
Joined
Jan 31, 2020
Robert Henry Kirkwood Whiteley

Residence was not listed; a 32 year-old US Army Officer.

Enlisted on 3/27/1842 as a Captain.

On 3/27/1842 he was commissioned into US Army Ordnance Dept
(date and method of discharge not given)
(Prior service since 07/01/1830; subsequent service
until 04/14/1875)

Promotions:
* Major 8/3/1861
* Lt Colonel 6/1/1863
* Colonel 3/13/1865 by Brevet
* Brig-General 3/13/1865 by Brevet
Other Information:
born 4/15/1809 in Cambridge, MD
died 6/9/1896 in Baltimore, MD

(Graduate USMA 07/01/1830)​
Thanks for the information. The
 

1864relic

Cadet
Joined
Jan 31, 2020
I also have a civilian 1860 Army. Would these also be issued to the Calvary. It is serial number 157857? This pistol was made in 1866.
Another 1860 Army I have is a fluted cylinder number 4784. I saw where 4782 was presented to a man with the last name Stanton. I tried to get a letter on this gun some years back but colt said they had no record on this gun. Any information on this gun would be great if you can find anything. Thanks
 

Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
Whitely was just the ordnance officer in charge of receiving shipments of arms sent to that location.
I suppose that he had one revolver issued to him as an officer, and so one of the many thousands he received on behalf of the army might have been his personal weapon.
Since nearly all the Colt 1860s made on military contract during the War were in such shipments, the factory letter in this case doesn't add to what you already know from the Colt 1860 itself.
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
I also have a civilian 1860 Army. Would these also be issued to the Calvary. It is serial number 157857? This pistol was made in 1866.
Another 1860 Army I have is a fluted cylinder number 4784. I saw where 4782 was presented to a man with the last name Stanton. I tried to get a letter on this gun some years back but colt said they had no record on this gun. Any information on this gun would be great if you can find anything. Thanks
There was a fire in both the factory and Colt offices in February 1864, so some records were destroyed. The gun you reference was a Colt presentation to F P Stanton a Congressman.

A number of known Colt Model 1860 Armies were presented to various high ranking Union Army officers and officials with similar inscriptions "With COMPLIMENTS OF COL.COLT" during mid-late June 1861. According to the book "The Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver" by Charles W. Pate, book one of the Colt shipping ledgers from that time, listed on page 146 a box containing 35 Model 1860 Army revolvers and six of those guns are known presentations from Col. Colt, including serial numbers 1856 & 4257 to Col. James Cameron, serial numbers 1929 & 2119 to Major General N.P. Banks, serial number 4782 to Honorable F.P. Stanton, and serial number 4740 to Honorable E. Perrin. Photographed on page 368 of Pate's book is the backstrap showing the inscription to F.P. Stanton's gun serial number 4782, the inscription is nearly identical to the inscription on Perrin's gun serial number 4740.
 
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Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
Another 1860 Army I have is a fluted cylinder number 4784. I saw where 4782 was presented to a man with the last name Stanton. I tried to get a letter on this gun some years back but colt said they had no record on this gun. Any information on this gun would be great if you can find anything. Thanks

If your Colt 1860 with serial 4782 was one of those selected for presentation by Colt to an important officer or politician who might influence army purchases of Colt's revolvers, it likely had a round "dot" punched by each serial number to denote special handling in finishing at the factory
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
If your Colt 1860 with serial 4782 was one of those selected for presentation by Colt to an important officer or politician who might influence army purchases of Colt's revolvers, it likely had a round "dot" punched by each serial number to denote special handling in finishing at the factory
Having inspected 5 of the 6 referred presentation Colts listed in the previous post, none have the round dot. Most likely these were considered presentations for lower level friends of Colt. The two pair do not have consecutive serial numbers, possibly indicating such. I have not been able to inspect the Stanton piece, but all have identical backstrap inscriptions with the exception of the recipients name.
 
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