US M1861 Springfield - Need some help on markings

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Dec 21, 2010
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Virginia
#1
cartouche marks.jpg

FH.jpg


These pics are from one of my US M1961 Springfields (dated 1862). The first image shows 2 cartouche marks. I know the lower one is ESA (Erskine S. Allin). What is the upper cartouche? The second image shows and "FH" below the tang of the trigger guard. Who's mark is that? Thanks.
 
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ucvrelics

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#3
It looks if its a KLH which is unlisted as an Unknown in the US Military inspectors list for the Springfield. I need to see the markings on the lock-plate to be sure. BTW VERY NICE markings. We would love to see the whole musket!!!!
 

Specster

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#4
Im no expert but I have seen many Springfields and IMO the Fonts are way off and the rifle, if ever used in war, is way too prestine . Even if it were not used it would seem to be kept under museum conditions
 
Joined
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#9
I think the upper oval-end, boxed cartouche with script letters may be "HSH" inside the box. The "HSH" initials stand for Springfield Armory Inspector, H. S. Hill. I have a hard time with the script cartouches.

For the "FH", I found a reference for Fred Hanvey 1862.
 

Craig L Barry

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#15
That looks like a nice minty original US 1861 to my eye. The overall condition is surprising given the relatively early lock plate date of 1862 but look at the clean out screw and how it protrudes slightly from the bolster...the clean-out screw on the Italian reproductions are flush with the bolster and so on. If it is not the real deal, it does not appear to be a garden variety de-farbed US model 1861 reproduction. A very nice piece.
 

Craig L Barry

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#18
US 1861s were very highly regarded and sought after. As a result, they were sometimes issued almost as a form of patronage (of sorts) to certain units not necessarily based on the needs of front line troops, but almost it seems as a reward or a recruiting tool. There is that famous example that is found in "History of the First-Tenth-Twenty-ninth Maine Regiment," by Maj. John M. Gould; (1871), page 89.

"Oct. 21st [1861], new muskets were delivered to the men, and this furnished another excuse for a hearty growl from the 1st Mainers. "Had we not been promised a new blue uniform and Springfield muskets?" To be sure we had the blue uniform and a good outfit in every way, "but look at these Enfield muskets," said they, "with their blued barrels and wood that no man can name!" They were not a bad weapon, however, differing little from the Springfield, in actual efficiency, weight, length, and caliber, but far behind in point of workmanship. For a while we kept them blued, then orders were issued to rub them bright and we kept them so ever after."


It is worth noting that the 90 day 1st Maine troops reenlisted partially on the promise of receiving new US model 1861s if they did so, having just turned in their US 1855s. Whatever the case, clearly these two US 1861s did not see the same hard use as many other surviving examples. Or perhaps they were just very well maintained. Whatever the case, these are both very nice specimens. You are fortunate to have them in your collection.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2010
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#19
Regarding only the M1861 muskets made at Springfield Armory -- has anyone ever estimated how many survive to this day?

PS: I had a chance to buy a minty M1861 dated 1861 and passed on it because I had these two already and it was big bucks. In retrospect, should have sold one of mine and bought it.
 
Joined
Dec 21, 2010
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Virginia
#20
Since you all like to look at pics, I thought I'd post a few on this musket. This M1795 Harpers Ferry predates the Civil War, having been made in 1815. It is an unaltered flintlock. It is one of my favorites in remarkable condition and Ohio surcharged (my home state). I love the hand made screws. You can see to original armory polish on the parts under the old dried grease and oil. I wondered why it was in such good shape over all these years. Then I discovered it is loaded. I tried to remove the ball, but no luck.
F031-01.jpg F031-05.jpg F031-06.jpg F031-07.jpg F031-09.jpg F031-13.jpg F031-15.jpg F031-26.jpg F031-29.jpg
 

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