Old South Military Antiques

Richmond, Virgina Shotgun by T.W. Tignor
Item #: OS-7354











When the Confederacy was threatened with invasion by Federal forces in 1861 so many Volunteers flocked to her standard that many were turned away for lack of arms. The different state governments scoured the countryside in search of sporting rifles, old flintlock pistols and shotguns; any weapon that could aid in arming their Volunteers.

In a short and to the point note dated May 18th, 1861 Confederate Secretary of War wrote to Mississippi Governor Pettus, "Can you give me two regiments for twelve months, armed with heavy double barrel shotguns?”

A few days later Virginia Quartermaster M. O. Harmon wrote to Virginia Governor Letcher "The Greenbrier Cavalry, a fine body of men arrived today, and I send W. H. Peyton, esq., down to get army pistols, double barrel shotguns, or single barrel shotguns”

Virginia Colonel (at this time) Jubal A. Early writes to Virginia’s Adjutant General, "There are now eight companies of cavalry here, well mounted and in fine condition, but for the arms necessary for them, which are mostly wanting. Two companies are armed with double barreled shotguns, and two more will soon have them.” In a following letter Colonel Early writes "I have directed them to get all the double barrel shotguns they could.”

In July of 1861 Kentuckian Wm. T. Withers wrote to the Confederate Secretary of War, "Many Companies of cavalry have tendered their services, who propose to arm themselves with shotguns and revolvers.”

On July 2, 1861, the Governor of Tennessee tendered the provisional Army of Tennessee to the Confederate President. Offering "twenty-two regiments of infantry, two regiments of cavalry”…. "part of the cavalry armed with revolvers and sabers, the balance with double barrel shotguns.”

In January of 1862, Col. W. H. Jenifer, commanding five hundred men of the 8th Virginia Cavalry reported that his men were armed with "mostly old shotguns, bowie knives, and a few long range rifles.”

The Confederate Cavalry’s extensive use of shotguns is frequently attributed to the Confederacy’s severe shortage of firearms early in the war. However, this is not the only reason. As early as August of 1861 the shotguns long term use was foreseen; Captain of Ordnance Wm. R. Hunt wrote to the Secretary of War from Memphis, recommending that contracts be let for 10,000 sword bayonets for double barreled shotguns. Nearly a year later Hunt wrote to Secretary of War J. P. Benjamin, "Colonel Forrest, the most efficient cavalry officer in this department, informs me that the double barrel shotgun is the best gun with which the cavalry can be armed.” A more qualified endorsement of the shotguns use could not be desired; it was the most efficient short range arm used during the war. As late as July 24, 1863, South Carolina Governor Milledge Bonham opines to Confederate Secretary of War Seddon that South Carolina had turned over all of her shotguns to the Confederacy.

The Confederate Cavalry continued to employ the shotgun for the remainder of the war though with less frequency. The attrition of close-in combat took its toll; cavalrymen began to skirmish at longer ranges and eventually to fight primarily as mounted infantry.

This shotgun does not have a specific Confederate history, but it is specifically a Southern State shotgun from the War era. The shotgun is full length, but many photographs, like the one shown, show Confederates using full length shotguns. Both locks are clearly marked T.W. TIGNOR and the barrel rib is marked T.W. TIGNOR RICHMOND VA. Tignor was listed in the Richmond City Directory of 1859 as a gunsmith located between 17th &18thStreets on Main Street and continued to operate throughout the War.

The shotgun is in very good condition and is completely original with the exception of a replaced middle ramrod loop. Even the ramrod is original, and it is the only shotgun I have had that was not an arsenal issue that had a bullet puller made onto the ramrod. The barrels are perfectly smooth with the exception of a few small areas of light rust. The hammers and locks are engraved and the forearm and wrist are checkered.

The gun functions perfectly in all regards.

Price $1,850.00 USD