Smuggling Colt Revolvers to the Confedercy.


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diane

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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#6
This is interesting! I wonder if there was any connection with Forrest's shopping spree in Louisville, KY, which happened at exactly the same time. He purchased 500 Colt revolvers along with a pile of saddles and horse accoutrements - but the pistols seemed to give him away and he was put under surveillance. Nevertheless, he and two friends stuffed their dusters full of guns and took them to a barn, where they were loaded into potato sacks and put on a wagon. Don't know how many Colt pistols one can stuff into a duster or how many trips the three took!
 
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#7
This is interesting! I wonder if there was any connection with Forrest's shopping spree in Louisville, KY, which happened at exactly the same time. He purchased 500 Colt revolvers along with a pile of saddles and horse accoutrements - but the pistols seemed to give him away and he was put under surveillance. Nevertheless, he and two friends stuffed their dusters full of guns and took them to a barn, where they were loaded into potato sacks and put on a wagon. Don't know how many Colt pistols one can stuff into a duster or how many trips the three took!
With the division in the state? I would think as many as Forrest was going to pay for until he was done. In such uncertain times a $20 US-backed gold coin got you a long way...
 

diane

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#8
Forrest did pay cash on the barrel head out of his own pocket! Louisville had a lot of activity at that time - just a week or so later Kentucky declared neutrality. Just who had Forrest under surveillance and was attempting to prevent his return to Tennessee with his goods is a question. He also recruited the Boone Rangers at Brandenburg, just outside Louisville, so he made quite a profitable trip! Buying 100 saddles and a pile of horse gear didn't raise eyebrows - Forrest was a stockman, dealing particularly in horses - but the 500 Colts sure did!
 
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#10
I've worked retail and seen some big ticket items. I've done (poor) number crunching and I believe that if they took them all at once they had (a) the biggest dusters ever and/or (b) they looked like penguins. If they took ten Colts at a time (and I rounded up as there where three of them) it would have taken about 16-17 trips. I'm sure there were more than a few hardware stores to buy them at, but I could see why you would put a tail on them.

Obviously Forrest's attitudes toward all things federal preceded him and piqued the interests of the Pinkertons.
 
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diane

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#11
The Pinkertons had agents in Kentucky, as well as West Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia in 1861. They'd discovered what appeared to be an assassination plot against Lincoln, who was headed by rail to Washington for his inaugural. However, Forrest was not on their radar. He was a private in White's Company, and did his business without anybody being suspicious. Until he ordered the Colts! Whoever was watching him was local. He knew the country as well as the Kentuckians did and got a couple teenagers to drive the wagon full of 'potatoes' back to Tennessee. He and his pals recruited the Boone's Rangers at Brandenburg while the boys headed on home - it wasn't against any laws to recruit for either side in neutral Kentucky.

The dusters! I can't help but think of all the goods the women used to haul in their hoop skirts! :laugh: Reckon they were carrying a couple sacks of potatoes as well.
 

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