Manufactured in 1862, this silver plated Colt Model 1849 percussion revolver was presented to 1852 Harvard graduate and Civil War Union surgeon Samuel Hutchins Hurd. The inscriptions are located on the barrel and back strap. The right side of the barrel is inscribed "S.H. Hurd, M.D./SURGEON 5th REGT./M.V.M." and "FROM THE CLASS OF '52." The left barrel flat is marked "Placebo." The back strap is inscribed "MULTA MANU MEDICA." The 88 Harvard Class of 1852 fought on both sides of the Civil War, and members included novelist Horatio Alger, co-author of the "Illustrated Flora of North American" botanist Addison Brown, first Dean of the Faculty of Harvard College Ephraim Whitney Gurney and founder of the schools of architecture at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Columbia William Robert Ware. All but three graduates had their daguerreotypes taken to mark the occasion. These daguerreotypes, which include the one taken of Hurd, can be viewed on the internet as part of the Harvard University Library's online collection. The U.S. National Park Service database for Civil War soldiers lists Dr. Samuel Hurd as a doctor who served with the 5th Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteer Militia in 1861 and took part in the first major land battle of the Civil War, the First Battle of Bull Run, fought on July 21, 1861, in Virginia. An included handwritten letter dated Boston, April 29th, 1861, and signed by Class of '52 classmate Horace Richardson and unidentified Howard Audd details that this revolver was presented to Dr. Hurd on "behalf of the Class of '52" in "their appreciation of your courage and disinterestedly giving up 'home' to offer your services to your country." Dr. Hurd died in 1897. The top barrel flat has the two-line Hartford address flanked by dashes, the left side of the frame is marked "COLTS/PATENT," and the cylinder has the stagecoach holdup scene. Matching numbers are found on the barrel, frame, grip straps, cylinder, loading lever, wedge and arbor pin. Fitted with a varnished one piece grip. The exceptional partitioned rosewood case is lined in red velvet and contains an Ely Brothers cap tin, double faced game scene powder flask, rare Colt's patent bullet mold with brass body and iron spruce cutter, case key, lead balls and combination tool. The lid of the case has a brass inscription plate that reads, "Surgeon Hurd/5th REGT. M.V.M."
Very fine. The revolver retains 97% of the original silver plating with areas taking on a pleasant age darkened appearance. There is an excellent cylinder scene that remains. Grip is excellent showing minor handling marks with most of the varnish remaining. Mechanically excellent. The case is good with a few cracks on the lid, minor handling/storage marks and high spot wear on the lining. A wonderful piece of Civil War history documented and inscribed to a Union surgeon who participated in the First Battle of Bull Run that would find a place in the most advanced Civil War or Medical Collection.
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More information on the history of this item can be found here: <a href="https://www.rockislandauction.com/blog/the-civil-war-surgeons-educated-colt-revolver/" title="The Civil War Surgeon’s Educated Colt Revolver" target="_self">The Civil War Surgeon’s Educated Colt Revolver</a>