I was given a Pistol with a Soldiers name. I'm trying to find more info

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#21
I have to change my opinion again, I'm back to thinking that mystery word is "company" though I'm not sure why they didn't use the shorter abbreviation as @ucvrelics pointed out. Look at the "d" in Hood, it is different than the letter in the mystery word. I have to say this is stumping me but I'm sure we can work through this eventually. We may not be able to positively identify who this is attributed to but maybe we can find a few reasonable candidates.
 
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#22
I have to change my opinion again, I'm back to thinking that myster word is "company" though I'm not sure why they didn't use the shorter abbreviation as @ucvrelics pointed out. Look at the "d" in Hood, it is different than the letter in the mystery word. I have to say this is stumping me but I'm sure we can work through this eventually. We may not be able to positively identify who this is attributed to but maybe we can find a few reasonable candidates.
You are probably right that we may never find out who this guy was. But I'm having a blast talking on this forum and researching this puzzle. I
 
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#23
thank you for the reply. Im going to look into that more. I also know that California sent multiple units that fought as Penn units. The only reason why I keep responding about California, is because thats the location of this Item for atleast 75 traceable years. I know, it doesnt really mean anything because this stuff just traveled everywhere. But its giving me a starting location.
I definitely understand and your reasoning makes perfect sense. It is best to start where it came to you from and narrow down the possibilities as you go. Things definitely travel a lot over time so it's hard to say when this travelled to California. I recently bought a presentation sword (post Civil War) attributed to an Ohio Adjutant General from a gallery in Idaho so they certainly get around.
 
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#25
You are probably right that we may never find out who this guy was. But I'm having a blast talking on this forum and researching this puzzle. I
I love this forum, there are a lot of knowledgeable people here that are willing to lend a hand. I have learned a lot since I joined, and honestly learn something new every day just by reading through the posts.
 
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#26
I would suggest it's "COMPy" [Company] A. W.G. [W..?.. Guards], designating some Militia company beginning with a 'W'.

Some years ago I posted on CWT a link to a 19th century book that listed all the company/battalion/regimental names or nicknames used by the Union army or state militias. That source would quickly identify all "W.G." units, at least on the Federal side. I have not been able to locate that post, or the book it links to. Perhaps someone remembers it?
I agree it seems like it's William H. Hood Company A W.G. (Wish the name was a bit more unique)

Here is the book of unit synonyms: https://archive.org/details/listofsynonymsof00volurich/page/296

I came up with 10 potential Union W.G. synonyms (other Co. letter designations excluded):
(*) Means no William Hood on the register/muster roll for that unit.
*Wadsworth Guards NY 104th Regt. Infantry
*Wayne Guards, Anthony NY 135th Regt. Infantry (6th Regt. Heavy Artillery)
*Washington Greys NY 8th Regt. Militia Infantry (National Guard)
*Washington Greys NY 47th Regt. Infantry
*Washington Greys NY 1st Regt. Engineers (Artillery Co. L) 4th Ind. Battery
Wallace Guards OH Charles Worthington's Independent Company (30 days)
Washington Guards PA 60th Regt. Militia (90 days)
Watson Guards WI 11th Regt. Infantry Co. A
Wayne Guards PA 12th Regt. Reserves Co. A
Wormer Guards MI Wormer Guards Co. A&B (1864)

There was a William H. Hood in the Washington Grays (Co. F 17th PA Infantry - 90 days)

Favorite one I saw: What Cheer Guards from RI
 
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#28
The word in question is almost certainly "Compy," short of "Company." The "o" looks nothing like the "d" at the end of his last name "Hood."

This is a really nice Colt Model 1862. Give Colt Archive Services a call at 1-800-962-2658, extension 1343, and they can tell you whether they have records for this gun. The factory letter for this gun would run $200 to $300, but if this was my gun (and if the factory has records) I'd go ahead and letter it. Even if it was shipped through one of the large wholesalers, it would still round out your knowledge of this gun's history.

The engraving on the backstrap was almost certainly done by a local engraver after the gun was purchased. But, you may get lucky and find that the gun was shipped directly to someone.

Either way, keep us posted on what you find.

Mike
 

lelliott19

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#29
I have to agree with @John Hartwell on the "o" vs. "d" debate.

Notice the inconsistent weight and depth of the engraving of the "stem" on that d? It seems as if the letter "o" has been damaged by a deep scratch to the metal, causing your brain to read it as a "d." I also believe there is a small dent (not visible in the enhanced image below) that contributes to your mind reading it as a "d"
Also, note the lack of a "tail" on the letter in question? And the defined tail on the letter we know is a "d"
1549681619503.png
 

ucvrelics

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#30
I see what your saying now that @lelliott19 worked her magic, but still there is more than enough room to write Company its only 2 more letters and the abbreviation for Company is Co. On the Colt records its a **** shoot. The only records they have are SHIPPING records. They will tell you they MAY have them. I have sent 6 serial # for 1851 and 1860's and got 2 of them back which really didn't tell me more than where they were shipped. Below is the last one I sent. The serial # is off a 1851 Navy and the record I got says 44c no model # etc just it was in a shipment. I have redacted my address to protect the innocent:D

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#31
Since the pistol is not a standard issue weapon one can reasonably assume that the owner was most probably an officer.

The best results I came up with in that vein are:
William B. Hood, Co. C 18th Indiana - Enlisted as Private August 16, 1861, promoted to Sergeant and 1st Sergeant, promoted to Captain July 27, 1865 - not mustered
William H. Hood, Cos. A & I 44th Pennsylvania Militia (3 months) - enlisted July 1, 1863 as 1st Lieutenant of Co. A, promoted Captain of Co. I July 27, 1863

I would put my money on the owner being William H. Hood of the 44th Pennsylvania Militia. I could not find a company nick-name that accounts for the "W.G.", but the other info matches.

*Sorry folks, had a type-o there. The second officer is William H. Hood, same as in the inscription.
 
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#34
I see what your saying now that @lelliott19 worked her magic, but still there is more than enough room to write Company its only 2 more letters and the abbreviation for Company is Co. On the Colt records its a **** shoot. The only records they have are SHIPPING records. They will tell you they MAY have them. I have sent 6 serial # for 1851 and 1860's and got 2 of them back which really didn't tell me more than where they were shipped. Below is the last one I sent. The serial # is off a 1851 Navy and the record I got says 44c no model # etc just it was in a shipment. I have redacted my address to protect the innocent:D

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That's a beautiful piece @ucvrelics. While the letter doesn't say specifically who owned it, it does tell you it was 1 of 1000 sold to the United States Government on May 5, 1863 and where it was shipped to. I think that is still very cool and helpful information. It may be just the clue @BigDolph2-325 needs to crack this mystery.
 
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#36
Since the pistol is not a standard issue weapon one can reasonably assume that the owner was most probably an officer.

The best results I came up with in that vein are:
William B. Hood, Co. C 18th Indiana - Enlisted as Private August 16, 1861, promoted to Sergeant and 1st Sergeant, promoted to Captain July 27, 1865 - not mustered
William B. Hood, Cos. A & I 44th Pennsylvania Militia (3 months) - enlisted July 1, 1863 as 1st Lieutenant of Co. A, promoted Captain of Co. I July 27, 1863

I would put my money on the owner being William B. Hood of the 44th Pennsylvania Militia. I could not find a company nick-name that accounts for the "W.G.", but the other info matches.
I would normally agree that this is likely an officers item but I'm not entirely sure. Most of the inscriptions for officers items I have seen have their rank inscribed as well. Whoever did the inscription opted for the longer abbreviation for company instead of just "CO." so I feel they definitely would have added the rank before the name. Pistols were not exclusive to officers as many period photos show and letters indicate soldiers would pick them up from the battlefield or purchase them. The name is also William "H." Hood not William "B" Hood. I think this was possibly purchased for some well to do soldier by family or friends before he went off to war or shortly after he returned home.
 
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#37
I see what your saying now that @lelliott19 worked her magic, but still there is more than enough room to write Company its only 2 more letters and the abbreviation for Company is Co.
In the 19th century (and before) abbreviations took on many more creative forms than they do now. The modern abbreviation for "Company" is almost always "Co.," but I've seen many variants in my research, especially in census records.

On the Colt records its a **** shoot. The only records they have are SHIPPING records. They will tell you they MAY have them.
That's why I suggested calling first. They've always been good about telling me if it's worth sending in a letter request or not, based on the gun model and serial number that I provide. And the shipping records will only show the first recipient of the gun after it was shipped, which is often a sales agent (distributor) ... but even that can be instructive. Big difference on where the gun may have ended up if it was shipped to a sales agent in New England versus, say, Kittredge in Cincinnati. Or, as was the case with your gun, a martial shipment.

Mike
 

ucvrelics

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#39
That's a beautiful piece @ucvrelics. While the letter doesn't say specifically who owned it, it does tell you it was 1 of 1000 sold to the United States Government on May 5, 1863 and where it was shipped to.
It does show that but the biggest problem I had with this is if you look at the letter from Colt it says 44c and the serial # and the info I sent up is from a 1851 36 cal Navy.
 

ucvrelics

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#40
Tracking these down has always be one of my favorite things as it like relic hynting, the trill of the hunt and what you are hoping to find. On this being an officers piece and from the pieces I have owned normaly you would see Lt or Capt Wh H Hood.
 



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