Colt 1860 Army Revolver --National Archives Identified to Captured Union Cavalryman--
Guns International #: 101134360 Seller's Inventory #:
Category: Civil War Revolvers - Colt Revolvers - Antique
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Seller: Brent Wilburn
Company: Antique Arms, Inc.
Member Since: 11/19/15
First Name: Brent
Last Name: Wilburn
Country: United States
Phone: (770) 466-1662
Phone2: (678) 471-1432
Number of Active Listings: 41
Seller: Private Seller
Return Policy: 3 day inspection and return policy on used guns.
Payment Types Accepted: Money Order, Certified Check
This is one of the few Civil War guns you'll find with a documented history showing use by both the Union and the Confederacy. This Colt 1860 Revolver came from a family in Eastern NC. The rest of the story is a bit longer than I have time to write but basically, it was discovered that the serial number of this revolver is listed in Volume 4 of Springfield Research as being issued to someone in Company C of 12th New York Cavalry. This was very interesting because the 12th NY Cavalry was based in the Eastern Part of North Carolina for much of the Civil War. Knowing this revolver had turned up in that general area, the mystery deepened as to the fate of the soldier it had been issued to. The trail of bread crumbs were there to follow and it started with Springfield Research which was founded by researcher Frank Mallory in the 1970's. Mallory combed the National Archives in Washington, DC for serial numbers of guns issued to the Military and Federal Agencies. He published 4 Volumes...the last one being Volume 4 in 1999. So with the solid hit on this serial number, we hired a researcher to go into the National Archives and find out to whom this was issued to. It turned out this Colt was issued to a young private named William Wallace who was captured one night on picket duty in 1863 near the town of Washington, North Carolina by Confederate he identifies as "Buford's Battlalion". Wallace was then sent to the Confederate Prisons in Richmond and later Salisbury, NC. In late 1864, Wallace made a daring escape and re-joined the Pro-Union 3rd North Carolina Mounted Infantry Regiment known as Kirk's Raiders. He survived the War and died in Louisville, KY in 1904 on a disability pension from the US Gov't. That Wallace was able to continue fighting for the Union after his escape shows he was a tough survivor as prison life during the Civil War took quite a toll on the human body. Wallace's medical records and exams from the 1890's reveal quite a bit of this hardship while in prison. From there, the other surivor to this story is Wallace's Colt which no doubt continued the Civil War in the hands of a Confederate soldier...most likely someone in Buford's Battalion. Overall, the gun is in NRA Antique Good Plus condition with a deep uncleaned brown patina from its many years in the humidity of Eastern North Carolina. There are still a few traces of original blue on the barrel around the wedge. This gun will clean up considerably if desired but we've elected to leave it alone as it tells part of the story behind the history of this Colt. Interestingly, the wedge itself is a Confederate home-spun replacement as the original was no doubt lost at some point. The grips are solid with no cracks or repairs....one tiny chip off the leading edge of the right side. Both cartouches were very finely applied but are still visible. The Cylinder has traces of scene remaining and the original nipples are all intact but a bit mashed. Nice barrel address and clear COLT'S PATENT on right side of the frame. The brass trigger guard has aged to a nice patina. Serial numbers are matching on the barrel, frame, trigger guard, cylinder, backstrap, and arbor pin. As the wedge is a war-period Rebel replacement, this compoent in the only one that is non-matching. The mechanics are very good. Bore has never been cleaned but should scrub out to Good Plus or better as the rifling is all there and there are no rings or bulges present. This revolver comes with an entire folder about Private William Wallace including photocopies of the actual Company Records where the clerk shows him being issued this weapon. It also has quite a bit of info on his pension and testimony as to the circumstances of his capture, his subsequent escape from prison the following year, and his re-joining the fight in the 3rd NC Mounted Infantry. A fantastic gun with a fascinating dual Union/Confederate Civil War history! Photos beneath ad are of the Colt and Wallace's service records. Photograph of Union Cavalrymen armed with 1860's is not of Wallace but likely similar to how he would have appeared at the time of his capture in 1863.