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Sharps Model 1853 Slant Breech Civil War Carbine, Beecher's Bible / John Brown serial range, Historically Significant, 2nd US Cavalry
Sharps Slant Breech Carbine, M1853 serial number 16xxx, see John Brown/Beecher's Bibles.
Please see below for the historical significance of this Sharps.
Condition, very good, all original parts, all original finish aging naturally, some original bluing remaining on barrel, original case color pattern on lock and hammer faded still visible, bright case color on rear of hammer remaining, see photos. surface oxidation on barrel, minor pitting on the lock in the hammer area, all as clearly seen in the photos. Wood in very good condition with visible faded inspector cartouche. John E. Weige took very good care of this weapon. Mechanically this weapon tries but does not hold at second cock, I haven't had a gunsmith look at it yet.
This specific Carbine was at one time issued to John E. Weige, 2nd US Cavalry, as engraved on the patch box, see photos.
John Weige enlisted in the 2nd US Cavalry in 1855. In 1856 he was commended for "Distinguished for Gallant Conduct" at the battle of the Guadalupe, by his commanding officer, Albert Sydney Johnson. The 2nd US Cavalry was stationed in Texas from the Mexican War to the start of the Civil War, at which time they were brought east as Texas contemplated secession, for fear the unit would join the Confederacy.
Once back east, eight of the twelve commissioned officers and majority of the troops resigned and joined the Confederacy.
In addition to Albert Sydney Johnson, other notable officers Corporal John Weige served under in the 2nd US Cavalry included William Kirby Smith, John Bell Hood, Earl Van Dorne, George H. Thomas, and then Colonel Robert E. Lee. In fact the last command Robert E. Lee held, up until the time he tendered his resignation from the United States Army, was as Colonel of the 2nd US Cavalry. He did lead the 2nd Maryland together with a contingent of Marines and 2nd US Cavalry troops to subdue John Brown at Harpers Ferry, but this was as a temporary command by appointment.
Along with 67% of the officers, a large number of enlisted personnel also went south to the Confederacy. John E. Weige disappears from the US 2nd Cavalry rolls at this time, and shortly after a "John Feige" joins the 2nd Maryland Cavalry, a CONFEDERATE unit. Keeping in mind his name is German, as he was listed at 5'6" with grey eyes and black hair and originally named "Johannes (John) Weige" at his enlistment, the "W" would be pronounced like a "V", which could easily be written as "Feige".
He disappears from all US Army records at this time, for three years, when he reappears enlisting in Baltimore again, this time for the 2nd Maryland, UNION. John is captured at the Battle of the Weldin Railroad south of Petersburg on August 19th, 1864, and reappears on his unit's roll records on January 2nd, 1865 as "recovered from Missing in Action".
Where and when exactly that John Weige first took possession of this weapon is a mystery, there were certainly lots of opportunities.
Sharps expert Dr. Richard Labowski identifies this particular weapon leaving Hartford in 1855 (purchaser and destination unknown, according to Sharps factory records), the same year John Weige enlisted in the 2nd Cavalry and reported to his unit in Texas, he could have been issued this weapon at the beginning of his service, and would have been firing this very weapon while earning "Gallantry" praises from Robert E. Lee and Albert Sydney Johnson at the Battle of the Guadalupe.
Or, this weapon could have been with John Brown at Harpers Ferry. Col. Robert E. Lee lead a contingency of Marines, 2nd Maryland Infantry, and 2nd US Cavalry to subdue John Brown; could John Weige have been there, and taken possession at that time? The serial number falls in the middle of the range of John Brown / Beecher's Bibles. Apparently John Weige was a fan of Robert E. Lee, I also have a Robert E. Lee CDV obtained from the same source from which the carbine was obtained, I believe it also belonged to John Weige.
A final possiblity, the bulk of the Sharps Carbines confiscated at Harpers Ferry following the capture of John Brown were taken possession of by the 2nd Maryland, a unit John Weige would later serve in, upon returning to service of the Union in 1864, and he could have taken possession at that time, but this is unlikely as he inscribed "2nd US Cavalry" in the patch box.
It is likely this weapon was issued to him upon enlistment in 1855, or as a superior replacement weapon / upgrade following the defeat of John Brown at Harpers Ferry. Colonel Robert E. Lee was still the commanding officer of the 2nd Cavalry at that time, it is not unlikely that he would have seen to it that his contingent of 2nd Cavalry troops present would receive such a prize.
John Weige, cited for Gallantry in 1856, Indian Fighter of the Commanches and Kiowas on the Texas frontier, possible participant in the John Brown incident at Harpers Ferry, likely following his officers south to the Confederacy (he was a Marylander), and later serving in the Union Army to close out the war with his home-town's 2nd Maryland Regiment, provides the richest possible history for one of the most superior, highly collected Civil War carbines.
Thank you to Dr. Richard Labowski for the Sharps factory information.
Thank you to Nancy Dearing Rossbacher, Historian and Researcher, North-South Trader contributor, for the rich history on Corporal John E. Weige.
Comes with factory letterhead letter from Dr. Richard Labowski, original Robert E. Lee CDV carried by John Weige, and e-file of Weige research performed by Nancy Dearing Rossbacher.
If you collect one-of-a-kind, historically significant weapons, this is a must-have.
Add $100 for shipping and insurance delivered anywhere in the lower 48 states.
Price: 19,000 Buy Now