The Picket Post
(540) 371-7703                  1016 Lafayette Blvd.     Fredericksburg, VA  22401      

Civil War Guns and Swords

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G.P. Foster, born April 12, 1810 in Attleboro, Massachusetts was listed as "Gunsmith, Machinist and Pattern Maker" as early as1842 Around 1854 Foster was engaged by Ambrose Burnside at the beginning of his corporate development. Foster enabled the Bristol Firearms (which became the Burnside Rifle Co.) to produce locks and gun components for the trade. Foster developed the gain-twist rifling that was used in every Burnside Carbine. Due to this feature even shot-out barrels performed well at 50 yards. Burnsides 2nd Model were manufactured with two other Foster innovations: the unique Burnside latch, and a "swell" added to the case mouth of the cartridge as an effective pressure seal in discharging the gun. Fosters patent was used by Burnside.  Interestingly, the arms shown on The Bristol Firearms Company letterhead (see last image) are Foster Target Rifles like this one!

This gun is 44" overall, with a 28" barrel and is about .42 caliber with light rifling.  The frame has nice scroll engraving and is marked "G.P. Foster / Bristol / R.I." on the back side just behind the barrel.  The rifle has a metal fore stock that is brazed to the bottom of the barrel.  The barrel is marked with the serial number "136" and this number also appears inside the frame.  The double set trigger mechanics work well, but you have to hold the gun vertically for the cock to hold, due to a spring that needs tweaking. The barrel screws off easily for ease of storage, perhaps in a nice fitted case.

Foster was crucial to the development of the Burnside Carbine (the 3rd most used carbine of the war) and this rifle is a significant piece of firearm history. It would be a great addition to any Burnside collection!

$ 895.00


3” long barrel mounted on a brass frame.  This shoots a .22 caliber short rimfire cartridge. The barrel slides forward to load, released by a button on the underside of frame, and has a rotating firing pin in the hammer. The barrel is mostly smooth gray-brownThe right side of the frame around the hammer screw exhibits the circular stamping that read “C. Sharps & Co. / Philada, PA.” Upper stamping is thin. Left side reads “C. Sharps  / Patent 1859”. Stampings are sharp. Grips are the floral motif gutta percha and are in excellent condition. 
$ 695.00


These "Plymouth Rifles" began when Eli Whitney received a government contract to produce 10,000 such Navy rifles for the Ordnance Department. Named after the USS Plymouth, this .69 caliber, rifled, single-shot muzzle loading percussion rifle saw the majority of its service with the Federal Navy but there are some cases of army infantry outfits using this rifle. Overall length of the weapon is 50” while the round, barrel itself measures 34” in length.  All gunmetal including the barrel is near bright, with only a couple of areas of very, very light surface pitting. Barrel muzzle exhibits a brass blade front sight and a 3 5/8” long saber bayonet lug on the right side. The folding, long-range rear sight is present and operates properly. Bore is fairly clean with only light dirt.  The lockplate is marked in front of the hammer with a spread-winged eagle over “U.S.” and in front of, and below this is "WHITNEY - VILLE”.  Behind the hammer is the date “1864” vertically marked.  The top of the barrel breech also bears a  date of “1864” and the left barrel facet has “V. P.” and eagle head. Inspector’s initials of “F. C. W.” are located on left side of barrel.  The barrel tang (which is usually numbered) is not, but the trigger guard tang shows number “8810” which is often referred to as a serial number, but was actually applied by Whitney to match up with the saber bayonet provided by the Collins Company of Connecticut.  (Bayonet is not included.)  The black walnut stock is similar to the M1861 rifle-musket stock except it is a bit bulkier and has the inspector's cartouche, which we think is “FCW” though it is hard to read, stamped on the flat opposite the lock. There is a small, hard to detect crack that runs through the cartouche (and is visible in that photo) but otherwise the stock is in excellent shape. Mechanics are strong and crisp.  Screws show only light wear.  Ramrod is original.  This is a very nice, attractive example of a seldom-seen, Civil War percussion rifle.
SOLD!!!    (db-14)


The New Model Army WAS the strongest competitor against the Colt Model 1860 revolver during that time and the Union government acquired a total of some 122,000 such New Model revolvers for military use.This one is excellent, being a government-inspected,  .44 caliber handgun with an 8” long octagonal barrel.  Grips are original, two-piece walnut in good condition with a government inspector cartouche on the left side grip. The five-digit serial number #89189 places its manufacture in July of 1864.  This revolver retains most of its original factory bluing on the frame, cylinder, loading lever and barrel with a few small spots worn though. The bore is excellent and the mechanics are crisp. Sidearm features a brass trigger guard, blued steel backstrap, and the low hammer spur. All original nipples. Barrel marking is sharp and reads, “PATENTED SEPT. 14, 1858 / E. REMINGTON & SONS, ILION, NEW YORK, U.S.A. / NEW MODEL.”    

A beauty!!
   $ 4695.00    (m-3)     


These swivel breech, double barrel pocket pistols were manufactured by the American Arms Company of Boston, Massachusetts from 1866 to 1878 with a production total between 3,500 and 5,000. The 3" .32 barrel manually rotates or flips for firing and at its 90 degree position, it can be pulled out for loading. The pistol frame is made of brass with a spur trigger and no trigger guard. The pistol grip is smooth walnut on a square brass butt. The barrel is marked with "WHEELER'S PAT. OCT. 31, 1865 - JUNE 19, 1866" on one side and "AMERICAN ARMS Co., BOSTON, MASS." on the other side.  The serial number is located on the bottom of the brass butt of the pistol grip..
$ 650.00    


Large frame Spanish pinfire revolver. The barrel is lightly marked "Orbea Hermanos y C-a Eibar" (poorly stamped). The serial number is stamped on the right side of the barrel housing. The revolver loosely follows the French M.1854 pattern, open top design, single action, military style revolver complete with a lanyard ring. Curtis shows an almost identical Orbea Hermanos manufactured revolver with blue/brown finish. The metal is mostly smooth brown and the action is strong. The ejection rod is missing,but you can find replacements. Orbea Hermanos manufactured some of the best Spanish revolvers at the time. We know of at least one of these Orbea revolvers that was retail marked by S. Sutherland of Richmond, VA and it is also recorded that some revolvers of this type were captured during the Spanish American War in Cuba and Philippines.
$ 495.00  


The "Navy" was very popular with troops on both sides of the conflict.  This one is serial number 94505 and was manufactured in 1860 for the civilian market, which means it could have been anywhere when the war broke out!  It retains much of the silver plating on the trigger guard and backstrap as well and much of the original laquer on the walnut grips.  None of the original blue remains, but there is no corrosion at all, though there are some spots where the metal is dinged up pretty good.  These civilian models were often private purchased by officers of both sides as well as the occasional enlisted man who wanted a side arm!  All in all a very nice gun for the price!
$ 1395.00  


This small pistol is about 8" long overall with a flared octagonal barrel of about.50 caliber.
There is some floral scrolling on the back of the grip and some folky checkering on the grip.
The mainspring is fairly weak, but everything moves and it is just a great size and look



Rufus Nichols and Edward Childs of Conway, Massachusetts were issued a patent for this rifle on April 24, 1838. Experts estimate that only 100-150 of these rifles were manufactured. The rifle has a round, .44 caliber, rifled, barrel with a dove-tail mounted, nickel-sliver, front sight blade and a sporting style rear sight. The barrel has a brown finish. The cylinder on these is rotated by an external ratchet that is activated when the hammer is cocked, and there is a lever on the left side of the frame that locks the cylinder and must be released to cock the hammer. All of that is there, but needs a little work to be functional.  The rifle has a walnut stock with a Gothic style, German silver, patch box, upper tang, trigger guard and buttplate. This is a truly rare weapon!
$ 9595.00


Made by the J. M. Cooper Company of Pittsburgh, PA. These were produced by the Cooper’s Philadelphia facility
between 1864 and 1869 and it closely resembles the Colt Model 1849 Pocket, though the
Cooper version is double-action.
It is .31 caliber model and in very good overall condition with a fair amount of blue and case color.  
These are well made and attractive pistols, and this one is in better condition than most we see.

$ 795.00


The Springfield Rifle-Musket was the most common small arm carried by the Union soldier and came to represent the arms of the US Army.  This one is in very nice condition with all the metal being a very smooth gray with some plum color mixed in.  Markings on the lock are "U.S." over "Springfield" and an Eagle in front of the hammer and dated "1861" behind the hammer.  The barrel has the "V" and "P" (for viewed and proofed) over an eagle's head and is dated "1862" at the breach.  The mismatched dates would indicate a very early 1862 production, when locks finished late in 1861 could be mixed with a more recently finished barrel.  The walnut stock is nice with some dings on the flat opposite the lock, but two cartouches are visible including the "ESA" cartouche which should always be present on these arms.  The ramrod also appears to be original to the weapon.  A very nice example of this classic Civil War musket!
$ 2995.00


MODEL 1803 HARPERS FERRY RIFLE, Dated 1815, Converted to Percussion
This gun was originally produced as a .54 caliber flintlock rifle in 1815 at the famous Armory in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. The lockplate is marked behind the hammer with "Harpers / Ferry / 1815" and a  Federal eagle in front of the hammer It was converted to percussion and the bore has been bored out to approximately .60 caliber and is now a smoothbore.  The flintlock breech block was cut off of the barrel and then a large distinctive breech with the percussion system was added. There has been some conjecture that this type of conversion could be Confederate in origin. The hammer is very distinct and a bit crude which could also possibly indicate Confederate manufacture. The one piece walnut stock has a very pleasing appearance overall. On the flat of the stock opposite of the lock plate you can see the original Harpers Ferry Arsenal inspector stampings. The patch box release is intact and the patchbox still opens when it is pressed. The ramrod appears to date to the conversion. The action works, but is a bit weak. 
$ 2895.00  


Approximately 18-3/8 inches in overall length with14-1/2" blade.
This is a nice, clean example with the usual manufacture flaw on the socket and modified
open cut on the back end of the socket mortise.
$ 395.00     (3-46)


This is a very early example made somewhere around 1859, being serial number 461 and it has a nice, mostly smooth brown patina with some original blue here and there.
 The frame is marked on one side: “STARR ARMS CO. NEW YORK” and on the other: “STARR’S PATENT JAN.15, 1856".  The one piece wooden grips are nice, with no cartouches visible, which is typical as the Starr Navy's rarely have inspector marks.  The action is very smooth.  These guns were ahead of their time and may just have been too advanced for the average Union cavalryman because while the initial Army and Navy issues were double actions, Starr was requested later in the war to discontinue their double actions and only supply single actions.   These double action navy revolvers are much more rare than the Army versions as only about 3,000 .36 caliber units were ever produced.
$ 1995.00


Taylor 2.JPG (84421 bytes) Taylor 1.JPG (98040 bytes) L.B. TAYLOR SINGLE SHOT DERINGER 32 Caliber Rim-Fire
The barrel slides forward to load a single, rim-fire cartridge. The barrel markings are: "L.B. Taylor & Co. Chicopee Mass". The brass is all very nice, with a smooth toned-down paina. Only about 1800 of these were made from 1868 to 1870.
$ 650.00 


Moore  Patent 1.JPG (96116 bytes) Moore  Patent 2.JPG (87922 bytes) MOORE'S PATENT FRONT LOADING REVOLVER 32 Caliber Teat-Fire
An attempt to get by the Rollins White patents, these took a front loaded teat-fire cartridge. This one has had all the iron cleaned to near bright, with some areas of old pitting on the cylinder. The barrel markings are: "Moore's Pat. Fire Arms Co. Brooklyn N.Y." and the cylinder marked: "D. Williamson's Patent Jan. 5, 1864". The brass is all very nice, with attractive escroll engraving. 


MooreA.JPG (80081 bytes) MooreA.JPG (80081 bytes) CIVIL WAR MOORE SINGLE ACTION REVOLVER
The silvered and engraved brass frame,  trigger guard and butt strap have approximately 20% of the silver remaining, while the barrel and cylinder retain patches of the original blue, and the grips still have the majority of their varnish. This used a brass cased, rim-fire cartridge, which resulted in a lawsuit by Smith & Wesson that limited ended production by 1863.  A beautiful specimen of a weapon known to have been privately purchased by Union officers and enlisted men during the Civil War!  STOLEN!
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Edged Weapons


The vast majority of officer’s swords and sabers that Ames produced were for private purchase by officers of the U.S. military, but this sword is one of only 425 Ames Foot Officer swords delivered, dated and inspected in 1862, purchased directly by the U.S. Government. And, as noted by John Thillman in Civil War Army Swords , "A large number of the 1861 contract swords will have 1862 dates because of later delivery." making this particular sword even more uncommon!

On both sides of the blade, starting right above the ricasso, is a beautifully acid-etched design that extends for a length of eighteen inches. The reverse of blade exhibits an acid-etched and frosted design that features block letters “U S”. Letters are flanked to the left with a panoply of military arms and on the right with a delicate foliate of leaves and scroll decorations. The other side has the same makeup but features a detailed spread winged eagle centered in the design flanked with military arms and more foliate. Strong government inspector marks “U.S.” over “JH” (John Hannis) over “1861” with “Ames Mfg. Co / Chicopee / Mass” etched just above in frosted script.  The other side has the instantly recognizable with “Ames Mfg. Co / Chicopee / Mass” in a scroll. The entire blade bears a high quality finish but the surface shows a some spotting overall.

The ornate, brass hilt retains 99% of its original gold gilt and the leather washer is strong and intact. The grips are wrapped in high quality, dark colored rayskin that is tightly bound with double-twisted brass wire around the handle, all of which is original and in excellent condition.

The black leather scabbard exhibits a smooth leather surface overall and is a complete specimen with brass furniture and no weak areas, cracking or flaking. The upper mount also has the Ames maker mark.

This sword is truly rare and beautiful!

$ 4995.00    (dm-1)


This is perhaps the hardest date to find having been made after the decision to change to the lighter version, the Model 1860 and this one is in super condition, which is also very unusual, as they were available at the outbreak of the war and generally saw heavy use!

The steel blade is beautiful, with only a few darker spots near the tip.  It is marked “AMES MFG. CO. / CHICOPEE / MASS” on one side of the ricasso “US / J H (John Hannis) / "1858" on the other.

The heavy, two-branch brass hilt, still with its buff leather washer, is in fine condition, strong and tight. The brass has a nice even antique toned look and the grips are excellent black bridal leather wrapped with a thin, double twisted brass wire wound around the handle. All of the leather wrap and wire all tight and very fine. The brass pommel cap has inspector stamps “W.A.T.”(William Anderson Thornton) andJH (John Hannis).

The steel scabbard is unmarked and has a very smooth plum surface with lightsalt and pepper rust pitting only near the drag. No dents at all and the sword mounts are tight and retain the original suspension rings. Drag has no markings either.

This is a gorgeous example of a very hard to find date... just about as good as you can get!

$ 4995.00    (dm-2)


This appears in "barn find" condition with the blade being brown with some light pitting and the brass handle being a dark honey colored patina.  
The sword is 25-1/4" long overall with the blade being 19-1/4".  The blade is marked "US" over "
GGS" (G.G.Saunders, a civilian inspector) over "1855"(I think) on one side, and "Ames Mfg. Co." on the other.
The brass cross guard has "GGS" on one side and some indistinct initials on the other side. 
The end of the blade has been modified to a Bowie style clip point and both edges appear to have been sharpened, turning this blade into a very dangerous weapon!

There's no way to know for certain who did this work or when it was done, but it's safe to say it was not a Yankee soldier....and it's really cool!

$ 495.00 


The Model 1832  was intended to be used as a personal side arm as well as to clear brush to set up a gun emplacement. It was also very useful in clearing trails for the guns. The design of the Model 1832 was based on the French foot artillery short sword and the French based their short sword on the Roman Gladius, standard sword of the Roman Legions.

This one has an old tag that reads "U.S. m/1833Foot Artillery Sword.  Hilt is torn by shell fragment.  Early post war battlefield pick up
. Very rare Civil War relic." followed by some coded notation. 

The blade is brown with overall moderate pitting except for the few inches close to the tip, where the pitting gets a bit heavier indicating that perhaps it was stuck up in the ground or in a bit of scabbard that remained and held moisture.
The manufacturer's marks and inspection dates are not readable.  The hilt has been hit very hard by something that broke off half of the brass pommel and folded down and deforming the the other half with the engraved eagle still visible.