|Description and Photograph||
As early as the spring of 1861, the Confederate government sent agents to Great Britain to acquire arms and accoutrements. During the course of the war as many as three hundred thousand long arms were imported from Great Britain. Unfortunately, most of these arms cannot be distinguished from their Yankee imported brethren, but some, like the rifle shown here can be positively identified as Confederate imports by their inspector marks.
Most of the arms imported from Great Britain were the pattern 1853 Rifle Musket. The Confederacy imported the Enfield rifle-muskets from five English suppliers: (B) Bond, (F) Freed & Co., (J) James, (K) Kerr, (S) Scott & Son, and each is marked with the first letter of their name forward of the butt plate tang.
On this gun’s stock face is a faint inscription, which is heavily covered by patina, but with close examination can be easily discerned to read “H F Richardson 19 G E ANV” which translates to Hardy (Hardie) Francis Marion Richardson 19th Georgia, Co. E, Army of Northern Virginia.
This brass mounted, Tower rifle-musket has a good clear “JS anchor” Confederate inspector’s mark stamped into the underside of the stock behind the trigger guard and the blockade runner inventory number 2006 on the tang of the buttplate. These originally had a ramrod with the same number engraved into the tip, but it is extremely rare to find this still with the gun. These ramrods are virtually never with the gun because reloading in action did not occur as it is portrayed in the movies. In the movies the private always rams his ball home and then puts the ramrod back in the channel. In reality he jammed it in the ground beside him, so in battle there would be a line of thousands of ramrods jammed in the ground, and the private, who could barely tell whether his musket fired or not due to the maelstrom going on around him, cared not which ramrod he grabbed, he grabbed the first one in reach! In this case the ramrod is stamped T&C G; this mark is not found after 1862 when the company went out of business. The stock comb is marked with the Scott and Son “S” stamp forward of the tang.
H. F. Richardson was wounded in the right leg during AP Hill’s charge at Mechanicsville, June 26, 1862. I found no further record of him returning to the regiment and it is supposed that he took the gun home with him at that time and never returned to service, which accounts for its extraordinary condition.
The condition of this rifle-musket is the very best that I have encountered in many years. As the pictures show, the gun is extra fine condition. It even has blue left on the sight and the barrel is an even plum brown. With the exception of the switched ramrod, this gun is perfection from muzzle to butt. Even the bore is excellent. I cannot possibly over praise the condition, which I hope the images will convey.
It is well marked, identified to a man and a battle, and in near perfect condition, this could hardly be improved upon.