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Auction Date: April 24, 2015

Lot 263: Colt - 1860 Army

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Extremely Rare Factory Documented Historical Confederate Colt Fluted Cylinder Model 1860 Army Revolver
Estimated Price: $8,500 - $13,000
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Serial #Colt - 1860 Army ManufacturerColt Model1860 Army
TypeRevolver Gauge44 Percussion Catalog Page79
Barrel8 Inch Round FinishBlue/casehardened GripWalnut
Stock ClassAntique RatingSee Condition
DescriptionRare and historic Confederate Fluted Cylinder Colt Model 1860 Army revolver issued to Company A, 2nd Battalion, Mississippi Cavalry (Jeff Davis Legion). The revolver is accompanied by a Colt factory letter that states it was one of 160 pistols shipped from Colt to "Wm. T. Martin" in Natchez, Mississippi, on January 17, 1861. The letter states that the revolvers were furnished with 80 flasks, 80 attachable breech stocks and 80 holsters. Documents that accompany the revolver indicate that William T. Martin was a Natchez attorney who raised the "Adams Troop" of militia cavalry in 1860. With the outbreak of war in 1861 Martin took command of the Adams Troop designated Company A, 2nd Battalion, Mississippi Cavalry. Companies A, B and C of the 2nd Mississippi Cavalry were ordered to proceed independently to Virginia in August 1861, and were organized into the Jeff Davis Legion, Army of Northern Virginia. Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Martin, the Jeff Davis Legion accompanied Major General J.E.B. Stuart in his ride around the Army of the Potomac in August 1862. After the raid Martin was promoted to Colonel on Stuart's recommendation. The Jeff Davis Legion served with distinction as part of Hampton's Brigade during the Sharpsburg Campaign. Following Sharpsburg, Col. Martin was promoted to Brigadier General and transferred to the west where he commanded a brigade of Mississippi Cavalry. Colonel Fred J. Waring took command of the Jeff Davis Legion. Under Col. Waring, the Legion and 2nd Mississippi Cavalry fought with distinction at the battles of Brandy Station, Upperville, Gettysburg, Culpepper, Trevillian Station, Ream's Station and other engagements. In 1865 the Legion was assigned to Logan's Brigade, Army of Tennessee. It surrendered with the Army of Tennessee in 1865. It is well established that Samuel Colt shipped revolvers to the Southern states until the actual outbreak of hostilities in April 1861. Many of these pistols were early production, Model 1860 Army revolvers with fluted cylinders. However, examples of Colt revolvers that can be documented as issued to Confederate forces are rare. Colt manufactured an estimated 4000 fluted cylinder Model 1860 Army revolvers; a fluted cylinder Model 1860 Army revolver documented as issued to a Confederate unit like this example is extremely rare. Just as significantly, the 2nd Mississippi Cavalry served with distinction in some of the most important cavalry actions in the Civil War. The revolver has a four-screw frame with stock cuts in the recoil shields and the bottom of the back strap. The 8 inch barrel is roll-stamped with the scarce, "- ADDRESS SAML COLT HARTFORD CT.- " legend. "COLTS/PATENT" is roll-stamped on the left side of the frame. "PATENTED SEPT. 10th 1850" is roll-stamped in one cylinder flute. The full serial number, "1620" is stamped on the bottom of the barrel lug, frame, cylinder pin, trigger guard, back strap and in one cylinder flute. The partial serial number, "620" is stamped on the wedge. All of the visible serial numbers match. The revolver has a brass trigger guard, steel back strap and one-piece walnut grip.

ConditionAbout good. Except for three replacement screws and revarnished grips, the revolver is correct and shows wear expected of a weapon that saw four years of wartime service. The barrel has a dark patina with scattered light pitting and numerous minor dents and scratches. There are a number of dents surrounding the wedge slot. The cylinder safety pins are battered and the percussion nipples and rear face of the cylinder have moderate-heavy flash pitting. The frame, hammer and back strap have the same silver gray patina as the barrel and cylinder with scattered dents and scratches. The extended stock screws have been replaced. The stock screws and the cylinder locking bolt screw are replacements. The revarnished grip is in fair condition with moderate handling wear. The barrel legend, cylinder and frame markings and serial numbers are all clear. This is an extremely rare, documented, Confederate Colt Fluted Cylinder Model 1860 Army revolver that almost certainly was carried throughout the Civil War by a member of the famous and hard fighting Jeff Davis Legion.
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