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This Third Model Dragoon revolver was manufactured in 1858. The barrel has the very scarce "C.L. DRAGOONS." marking stamped on the upper left flat at the breech, German silver blade front sight and marked "ADDRESS SAML COLT NEW-YORK CITY" on top of the barrel, with the last two words of the barrel address cut off by the period dovetailed three-leaf notch rear sight. The frame has a small "COLTS/PATENT/U.S." marking on the left. The left side of the trigger guard has a letter "L" on the front left, and a "G" is on the left rear shoulder. The four-screw frame and butt are cut for use with a shoulder stock. Matching visible serial numbers on the loading lever arm, wedge, cylinder, barrel, frame, trigger guard, and butt, and the cylinder pin has a faint remnant of a number visible. These revolvers are discussed in the article "C.L. Dragoons" by Walter L. Anderson in "The Gun Report" Volume 36, Number 8 from January 1991, in which this exact revolver, 16577, is mentioned on both pages 17 and 18, and photographed on page 18. Although this revolver and the other "C.L. DRAGOONS" were manufactured prior to the Civil War, they have been attributed as run through the Union blockade that encircled the South once the war began under General Winfield Scott's Anaconda Plan and then used to arm the Crocheron Light Dragoons. This theory is supported by the fact that this revolver, serial number 16577, reportedly letters as one of sixteen shipped to Cooper & Pond in New York on December 15, 1861. The Gun Report article indicates Herb Glass, Jr. obtained said factory letter, although it does not currently accompany the revolver. Anderson also indicates six other C.L. Dragoons revolvers were originally shipped to Cooper & Pond and concluded that the dealer had run the arms through the blockade in part because Colt Dragoons were more desirable in the South than the North. Less than 20 of these "C.L. DRAGOONS." inscribed 3rd Model Dragoon revolvers are known today plus three Colt Model 1851 Navies with the same marking as an inscription, but there may have been over 100 of these revolvers originally. Interestingly, we have found that The West Alabamian on Wednesday December 12, 1860, under the heading "From the N.Y. Journal of Commerce. Arms for the South" that "Cooper & Pond of this city [New York] receive from twenty to fifty orders daily from South Carolina, Alabama, and Georgia - and people who suppose the South is not a paying customer, may be astonished to know that their business transactions in this line are strictly on a case basis... Most of the orders are for rifles and navy revolvers, though Cooper & Pond supply an immense number of flint lock muskets..." Other newspapers included very similar reports in the fall and winter of 1860. The articles also indicated the firm supplied gun carriages to Georgia and "have done a brisk business in all kinds of small arms and ammunition with all the principal Southern States." Cooper & Pond are also mentioned in the Western Sentinel of Winston, North Carolina, on May 3, 1861, as having ten gun carriages on board the George M. Smith which was forced to dock at Hampton Roads and then captured by the U.S. Navy as the gun carriages were "articles contraband of war." Aside from these articles, there is little to no mention of "Cooper & Pond" in newspapers from 1858-1865. There are other records of the firm corresponding with Confederate General Paul Jones Semmes in December 1860 concerning Enfield rifles being in high demand, and during the war they also sold to the Union. Period records indicate the firm was run by Albert Cooper & Charles H. Pond. Their address in 1859 was 177 Broadway in New York where they were listed as selling guns. After the war, Charles H. Pond is listed as an agent for Colt and Winchester in 1871 in the "Annual Report of the American Institute of the City of New York" and as receiving "first premium" for the "Gatling cannon" and "for the best repeating fire arms" for Winchesters. At least one of these C.L. Dragoons revolvers was inscribed with a name: "S. McIver." This name helped connect these revolvers to the Crocheron Light Dragoons as Samuel B. McIver of Dallas County, Alabama, transferred into the Crocheron Light Dragoons (Company I of 3rd Alabama Cavalry) in April 1864 and served with them until March 4, 1865. The original muster roll for the Crocheron Light Dragoons from November 21, 1861, at Mobile, Alabama, indicates that the men furnished their own mounts which was not uncommon for Confederate mounted units. However, the men did not have arms in part because none of the men had suitable arms, however, in part because of efforts by Governor Andrew B. Moore of Alabama to purchase or confiscate firearms throughout the state at the onset of the war. Moore also sent agents to purchase arms in the Northeast during the secession crisis before the war began. Despite these efforts, the state's troops were often poorly equipped. In the case of the Alabama light dragoons raised and led by Captain Robert W. Smith in the fall of 1861, they were funded by wealthy Dallas County planter John J. Crocheron. Anderson indicates Crocheron supplied funds for their arms. Other sources have stated he paid for their mounts, and he certainly may have funded their equipment in general. In response, Smith's dragoons were named in Crocheron's honor. Smith began drawing equipment for his men on January 14, 1862, including 2,000 Colt revolver cartridges. The Crocheron Light Dragoons scouted around the Dog River area near Mobile until Captain Smith offered their services to Brigadier General Braxton Bragg in March of 1862 and they became his escort. Captain Smith was appointed Civil and Military Governor of Corinth following the bloody Battle of Shiloh in April of 1862. The dragoons were reorganized in June of 1862 with Captain Edwin M. Holloway as their leader and became also known as "Holloway's Company of Independent Alabama Cavalry." Though they became Company I of the 3rd Alabama Cavalry, they remained on detached service serving as escorts and couriers for General Bragg and then also served in the same roles under General Joseph Johnston and General John Bell Hood. They surrendered with Johnston's army on April 26, 1865. Provenance: The Herb Glass, Jr. Collection; Property of a Gentleman
Good, showing strong characteristic signs of Confederate use, with mostly gray and brown patinas and traces of period refinished blue finish, mild wear, scattered areas of light to mild pitting, replacement wedge screw and left shoulder stock screw, and some deformed percussion nipples and edges on the rear of the refinished cylinder. The refinished grip is also good with some repaired replacement sections, a chipped section on the front left, and some minor dings. Mechanically fine. This "C.L. DRAGOON'S." marked Dragoon revolver serves as a highly desirable Confederate weapon.
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