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

Civil War Guns and Swords

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A Colt made copy of the legendary Colt Walker that was originally designed in 1846. This revolver holds a powder charge of 60 grains in each chamber.... more than twice the typical black powder revolver!  It weighs in at 4-1/2 pounds, unloaded, and has a 9" barrel and fired a .44 caliber round.  The Colt Walker is often regarded as the most powerful handgun from 1847 until the advent of the .357 magnum in 1935! This one is a Colt made 2nd generation and is just beautiful!  Comes in a nice hand made case with all the accessories. 
$ 850.00


This is a really cool artifact!  About 35" long overall with an 18" smoothbore barrel of about .50 caliber.  The curved wooden "stock" gives it a convincing shape while providing a handle that also serves to shoulder mount the weapon when needed!  The whole package was originally grain painted to complete the effect and does appear to have been used as a firearm!
$ 595.00  


About 9.5" in overall length cast brass with iron trigger, hammer and flare securing lever and a "barrel" receptacle to accept Coston patent flare. The left side of frame marked in three lines: U.S. N. Y. W / W.N.J. / 1864, indicating manufacture at the US Navy Ordnance Yard facility in Washington, inspected by WNJ (US Navy inspector of Ordnance W.N. Jeffers) and dated 1864. The  signal "pistol" was not a conventional flare gun that projected a flare into the air, but rather a flare lighter and holder that ignited one of the various Coston patent colored flares, which were held in the "pistol" while it burned. Red was 0, green was 1, green/red was 2, white/white was 3, green/white was 4, red/white/green was 5, white/red/white was 6, white/green was 7, red/white/red was 8 and red/white was 9. The letter "P" (prepare for signal) was white, "A" (affirm) for answering or ready to receive was white/red/green. "Int" (interrogatory) for questioning was white/green/white, "N" for numbers following was green/red, "B" which requested information, was blue/blue and "Geo", meaning not understood, was green/white/green. Approximately 1,000 of these signal pistols were produced circa 1861 through the early 1870s, and Civil War dated examples are extremely rare!  This is a water find from the City Point, Virginia area.
Reduced Price!!  $ 1095.00 



These little flintlocks weren't much use at a distance, but sure are cool looking!  This one
is approximately .40 caliber and has an 1-1/2" barrel, so you'd better be close to whatever you're shooting at!  Super attractive brass frame with  engraved panoply of flags on each side surrounding an oval panel the encloses the makers name "Jno. Jones & Son" on one side, and "London" on the other. 

The gun itself is about 5-3/4" long overall.  Everything looks to be original and it is complete and in good working order, except that it doesn't firmly catch in the full cocked position, though the half cock holds well. 


Great little display piece!

$ 595.00   (38-11)


These are some seriously cool weapons that Sharps began making in 1859 with four .22 caliber barrels and a firing pin in the hammer that rotates each time the hammer is pulled back, so as to fire a different barrel each time the trigger is pulled.  This one is still functional with the pin rotating properly and a strong main spring.  The brass frame is marked "C. Sharps / Patent 1859" in a circle on one side and "C. Sharps / Philada. PA" in a circle on the other.  The frame was originally plated and some of the silver remains in protected areas.  The original wood grips are also in good shape.  Low serial number 2245 is on both the barrel and butt strap. 
A nice gun overall!

$ 595.00 



This has a great 18th Century look, but is most likely made in the mid-19thCentury.
The barrel is 20" long and about 3-3/4" at its widest point, with close to a 1" bore
and has a functional touch hole, so it was intended to be used!
It is mounted on what looks like its original wood blocks, but has had a later
board mounted to the bottom with 5" wheels.  You could remove that board easily
enough, but we've found it pretty handy for moving it around.

Great size!  Large enough to get your attention, but will fit in most relic rooms!

$ 1795.00   (34-31)


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!




Small, brass framed, 22 caliber, 7 shot revolver.
The top of the 2-3/8" barrel is marked "Colts Pt. F. A. Mfg. Co. / Hartford Ct U.S.A."
These were made from 1871 to 1877 with a total production of about 114,200.
This one was 1874 production with serial number 25,623.

Nice used condition with some light wear.  Needs the spring that holds the trigger forward, but otherwise mechanically solid.

$ 450.00   (36-28)


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)     


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.


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.



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 


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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


Excellent condition!  Beautiful Ames sword with a minty scabbard marked "United States" over the inspection date of "1835" on one side, and an eagle over "N.P> Ames / Springfield" on the other.  The blade does have some minor edge roughness. The buff leather belt is maker marked on the back: "Manufactured by J. Pittman / NY".  The buckle is the "US" two piece artillery style. This is a great rig in super condition!
$ 2395.00  




RARE US MODEL 1860 CAVALRY SABER, Dated 1860 (Supplied to Virginia!)

This sword is from the collection of John H. Thillman, author of Civil War Cavalry and Artillery Sabers which is the definitive work on these swords! He describes the sabers that went to Virginia on pages 80 and 81 of his book and this exact saber is depicted in a ricasso image on page 81 (left side photo) and is one of two of these Virginia sabers that were in John's collection for 20 years.

March of 1860,
Secretary of War, John B. Floyd  directed that 1,200 sabers be forwarded to the State of Virginia and that the Ordnance Department also inspect the Virginia bound sabers.  A letter sent by H.K. Craig Col. of Ordnance was sent to W.A. Thornton on March 22, 1860 to inspect the sabers prior to their shipment to Virginia.  Because the 1859 contract for M 1860 Ames Cav. sabers was for 5,000 total and all but the last 1,400 sabers were delivered by February 18 of 1860, the Virginia sabers needed to be separated out from the remaining sabers and this was, in John Thillman's opinion, done by stamping a 5 pointed star next to the pommel dome.  These 1860 dated and inspected sabers with the 5 pointed star are very scarce as they were early war cavalry sabers used by the first Virginia cavalry regiments. 

The blade on this sword is semi-bright with some gray spotting and some mild, scattered pitting in the last 6 inches or so.  The original leather is intact with only a few spots worn from use and the original brass wire wrap is intact.  The brass guard is solid with a nice, antique brass patina and the leather washer is also intact. This sword is dated and inspected in 1860 and does indeed feature the 5 pointed star on the pommel that designated it as bound for Virginia and will be accompanied by a letter from John Thillman describing the sword and verifying that it is from his collection!

$ 2950.00  



Second Models were originally made 1808 - 1821 with a blade less curved than the second model and a 36" length.  This blade has been  shortened to approximately 33 ˝” in length at some point The blade is stamped "3 Va Regt" on the spine and features the typical narrow and wide fuller on each side and edge has no real nicks. The blade is fairly smooth with a mixture of gray to brown. A number “5” is stamped on the bottom flat of blade on one side of the ricasso, and a "3" is stamped on the other side.  Grooved wooden grip is cracked and has a piece missing under the pommel. There is no leather cover or brass wire wrap remaining, but the wood has a pleasing smooth dark patina.

$ 2495.00



Blade measures 35” in length and is heavy, in the 1840 style, with a flat back etched with “IRON.PROOF” at the base.  On its flat sides the blade and etched, frosted foliage at base, and high quality etched eagle with “E Pluribus Unum” in a ribbon, and “U.S.”.  The blade is bright and ding free with only slight signs of wear. It is not maker marked, but is undoubtedly a product of Clauberg /Solingen [See Thillman, Cavalry Sabers, pages 142 & 143.].   The leather washer is present. Gilt guard is decorated with leaf sections top, bottom and branches with a peacock flower spread on the guard. The grip is shark skin and has the 1860 model characteristic of a contoured center swelled grip.  Scabbard mounts and throat are brass, with the hanger hardware and the drag being nicely engraved.

Cavalry officer's swords are hard to find!

$ 1895.00    (




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)


19th CENTURY BOWIE KNIFE by Manson / Sheffield
Wonderful condition, about 11-1/4" long with a 6-1/4" blade and a beautiful silver cutlery handle
The red leather scabbard is nice with a German silver throat and it looks like it never had a tip,
and the red finish has flaked a bit from one side.  Nicely marked "Manson" over Sheffield.

$ 895.00    (38-37)


Wonderful condition, about 14" long with a 9-1/2" blade and a great stag handle
Leather scabbard is nice with a German silver throat, but the matching scabbard tip is missing..

$ 650.00    (rm)


Wonderful condition, about 8-1/4" long with a 4-1/4" blade and a beautiful silver cutlery handle
Leather scabbard is nice with a German silver throat and tip.
Lightly scratched into the throat is what looks like "A. Miller / Richmond / Ind."

$ 475.00    (36-32)