Need help in identifying an ancestor's revolver that I recently inherited.

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

jd0001

Cadet
Joined
Nov 25, 2018
I have recently inherited a confederate revolver that supposedly belonged to an ancestor. I was told that it from my grandmother's maternal grandfather's line, but neither my mother or so sister could specifically identify the original owner. That particular branch has several men who the pistol could have belonged to, and I am hoping that the model and serial number will help to identify which unit it was likely issued to. Most of the men were assigned to various Texas Cavalry units. However, the most likely candidate was living in Tennessee in 1862 and was assigned to Company A Holman's Battalion Partisan Rangers which appears to have later been reorganized into the 11th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment. Following the war he settled in the area around Waxahachie, TX.

My best guess is that the revolver is a Griswold Gunnison but I am making that assessment using the limited resources I have found online. My grandmother that when she was a kid they would play with it in the yard, and that her mother used it for cracking pecans, so it is in pretty poor condition. The pistol also has an arrowhead shaped tack in the hand grip that may have been put there by the owner. It appears someone carved out the wood in the grip in order to embed the tack. I do not believe it was put there by the manufacturer. I was hoping that it was some kind of unique unit insignia or something that could with identification. It reminds me of the modern day patch for the 37th IBCT TX ARNG. One of the tacks has either been removed or fallen out at some point in the past.

If am hoping the model and serial number will allow me to identify which specific unit or at least the type of unit this would have been issued to, and possibly the approximate date of manufacture. Thank you for your help!

IMG_0180 - Copy.JPG
IMG_0181 - Copy.JPG
IMG_0182 - Copy.JPG
IMG_0183 - Copy.JPG
IMG_0184 - Copy.JPG
IMG_0185 - Copy.JPG
IMG_0186 - Copy.JPG
 

jd0001

Cadet
Joined
Nov 25, 2018
Some other questions I had. How likely is it that he would have been able to keep a firearm after the war? I assume the soldiers would have had to turn in their weapons after the surrender. This particular ancestor does seem to disappear off the muster rolls mysteriously though. I found some military documents on fold3 that I believe are his. The handwriting is hard to read but it seems like the soldier is requesting leave because he lost his horse. Which could explain him dropping off the muster rolls, or maybe he deserted or was reassigned.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Rusk County Avengers

Sergeant Major
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 8, 2018
Location
Coffeeville, TX
Welcome indeed, and that looks to be a great heirloom, even if beat to pieces lol.

I would like to say though I'm doubtful it was issued to a Texan, those pistols were built in Georgia and I expect Georgians, Alabamians, and South Carolinians would have been at the "front of the line" on getting those pistols. Of course its possible a Texan could have gotten it, its just a long shot.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

jd0001

Cadet
Joined
Nov 25, 2018
Thank you! I am not sure at what point the loader disappeared, I assumed it was lost during the years. Is it possible to tell which unit would have issued the revolver?
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

Patrick H

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
I don't know much about these period weapons, but I like that yours has matching numbers on the parts and that "well used" look to it. Too bad about the loading ram, but it's still a very nice piece! Welcome to the forum!
 

Stone in the wall

First Sergeant
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Location
Blue Ridge Mountains, Jefferson County WV
Indeed a rare old revolver and I love it when there posted like this. William A Albaugh wrote several really good book's on Confederate revolvers, it would be well worth your time to check out. I have a couple of them lots of pictures and info Looks like yours was most likely made June 1863. Welcome from inside of Mosby's Confederacy
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

jd0001

Cadet
Joined
Nov 25, 2018
Thank you for the comments. Before I was given possession of the revolver I never paid much attention to it, I knew it existed, and the family called it “that civil war gun” but I always assumed it was just some old colt navy and not actually from the civil war. It wasn’t until I started digging into family history and trying to confirm the owner that I realized what it actually was. Regardless, of its condition it is absolutely priceless to me, because of its connection to an ancestor. I’m almost certain that it originally belonged to the Tenn. ancestor because I found a document that told the story of how my great grandmother had a photo of a confederate soldier holding a sword and a ball and cap pistol. The story says she threw out the photo but that a family member is supposed to be in the possession of the pistol. That great grandmothers father in law is the ancestor who I believe the revolver came from. The story also alleges that that a family bible somewhere has a copy of the photo and the ancestors young son ( my great grandfather) wearing an old rebel uniform that looks to be sized for an adult. This all supports my mothers story of where the revolver came from as well. After the war they settled in Texas associating with and marrying into other Tenn. families that had been settling there going back to the 1830s. Several of those ancestors served in various ranger outfits before and during the war. There was also some reported fights with some renegade Indians during the reconstruction period but I have yet to validate. The reason I believe that to be important is because if the pistol was in serviceable condition it may have been put to use used postwar. If it was put to use then those tacks may have also been installed post-war and I am still holding on to the slim hope they will help me discover some more history.I don’t think they are part of a repair because they are only cut into the wood deep enough to hold them in place and not deep enough to secure anything or hold anything together.

Anyway thank you guys again. I have been looking through the information on this site and I believe it’s going to be very helpful for my genealogy research
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

jd0001

Cadet
Joined
Nov 25, 2018
Indeed a rare old revolver and I love it when there posted like this. William A Albaugh wrote several really good book's on Confederate revolvers, it would be well worth your time to check out. I have a couple of them lots of pictures and info Looks like yours was most likely made June 1863. Welcome from inside of Mosby's Confederacy
Thank you for the date. Was it approximated using the estimated production tempo or some other method? The date makes sense. His unit was reorganized into the 11th Tenn Cav in February of '63 and he pops back up on a muster roll in June of '63. I assume newly minted weapons were sent to the front without delay. I don't know how the Partisan cavalry units were equipped, but maybe the reorganization into a regular CS Cavalry unit prioritized them to receive a new issue of weapons. It could just be confirmation bias, but I think it seems more than reasonable. Ill put it on the research to-do list. If I find anything ill update the thread.
 
Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top