|Description and Photograph||
The Virginia Armory was established by a vote of the Virginia General Assembly in January of 1798; for several reasons, but it boiled down to the protection of the sovereignty of the State rather than the Federal Government. While the Armory was to produce varied arms, its main goal was to produce muskets for Virginia. The first muskets were produced in 1802. In all 336 muskets were completed in 1802. Musket design remained basically the same until 1809. Transitional changes were made in1810 and a Second Model in 1812. The 1812 model continued with minor changes until 1821 at which time production ceased after having produced 58,428 firearms of all types. The musket shown here was made in Richmond, Virginia at the Virginia State Armory in 1818.
In the decade prior to the War Between the States, Virginia, on several occasions, took up the matter of converting its flintlock muskets to percussion. However it took John Brown’s homicidal raid to convince Virginia of the need to modernize its arms. The focus was on making new arms, but when actual War broke out, 50,000 stand of flintlocks were issued from April thru November 1861. Conversions from flint to percussion were going on at a slow rate at the Confederate shops, but much more needed done and contracts were let to Francis Addams, S.B. Cocke, the Union Manufacturing Company, S.C. Robinson, Samuel Sutherland and others. Any and all arms converted by these men are Virginia, Confederate arms. There were three principle methods associated particularly with Virginia Manufactory flintlock weapons. One, simply set a nipple in the barrel, a second welded a bolster containing a nipple to the side of the barrel and a third used a drum or bolster attached by a screw into the touchhole.* These conversions were performed circa 1861/62 and all were issued to Virginia troops.
This example is missing the sling swivels but it is otherwise complete and has matching numbers (44). It is in totally untouched original condition; even the ramrod is original. The bore is good and the mechanics work well.
* The Virginia Manufactory of Arms, by Giles Cromwell, page 64.