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CONTENTS:

  • Swords
  • Bullets
  • Bayonets
  • Cartridge Boxes
  • Firearms


  • Civil War Minie Ball/ Bullets

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    These are the common "three ring" .58 caliber "minie balls" used by the infantrymen of the Union army. They were cast by huge machines in the arsenals of the North, such as Frankford and Allegheny Arsenals of Pennsylvania. After manufacture, these lead bullets were placed in individual paper sleeves that contained a pre-measured black powder charge. In battle, the paper wrap was torn (often with the teeth), the powder-charge poured down the barrel, and then the lead slug dropped down atop that powder. When the spark from the musket cap met the waiting charge, off spun the bullet down the barrel towards its distant target. Often in the fearful disarray of battle, troopers dropped these bullets. Thus, they laid upon the ground unscathed by any impact. As such, many "drops" or unfired bullets are found with an intact shape upon Civil War battlefields. As far as the truly "fired" bullets: When they hit something, the soft lead tended to mushroom or spread out into a harsh & deadly irregular shape.
     
    Buckshot, Fort Donelson.

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    This is a tray of approximately 40 lead "buck" shot excavated from Fort Donelson battlefield area. Early in the war, two of these buck were fired along with a musket ball from the older, non-rifled guns. They were supplied to troops in paper cartridge packages containing two buck, a ball and powder charge. Thus, they are known as "buck and ball". When excavated, they can be found separately as in this case, or adhered together in a lump of two buck and a ball. Later in the war, the more accurate rifled muskets started using the longer, cylindrical minie balls rather than such circular shot. These came from the old Colonel Vietzen Civil War and Indian Museum in Elyria, Ohio.
     
    Leather Civil War Carbine Box

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    A very good condition leather carbine cartridge box from old GAR Hall collection with a painted "reference" number on cover. Maker marked in leather of flap: E.Gaylord,Chicopee. Often brought home from war and donated to the GAR Hall for their display cabinets by the CW Veterans.
     
    M1840 Pay Department Sword

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    Essentially, this is the same sword as the 1840 Medical Staff Officer's sword that was used during the Civil War, but was also used by civil staff and ordnance storeskeepers. Entire hilt is heavy brass exactly the same as Medical Staff Sword but no applied letters in shield. The blade is pyramidal in cross section, 31 3/4" in length with deep fullers on all three sides. Narrows to a wickedly thin point at tip.
     
    1863 Gallager Cartridge Package

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    This is an original package with label which held ten "Gallager's" cartridges, and also 12 percussion caps. Pat. Dec. 15, 1863.
     
    Cylinder of Percussion Revolver

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    Excavated relic from percussion revolver; possibly a Colt Navy. Can still see some of the cap nipples.
     
    Model 1832 Foot Artillery Short Sword and Scabbard

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    This is an extra fine example of the Model 1832 U.S. Artillery Short Sword along with its scabbard. It has a nice bright blade carrying many maker and inspector's markings on its ricasso. Made by the famous Ames Mfg. Co of Chicopee, Mass, suubsequent army ordnance inspectors would add dates and their intials to the base of the blade to mark their approval of quality. HKW /NJ/US/ADK/1855. We can also see the "NJ" for New Jersey, an uncommon state armory. Finding a leather scabbard so beautifully intact after 160 years is difficult since they would often molder, rot or be eaten by mice in closets and cellars. This one is superb!
     
    1862 Standard Contract Musket from Civil War

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    This is the standard rifled musket used by Union troops during the Civil War. The Federal government made contraxcts with various large companies to supply these in large numbers to a quickly growing Northern army. THe Southern forces were not blessed by such a powerful manufacturing ability and needed to depend on imported European muskets of varying types initially. Bayopnets were still an important part of warfare during charges and desperate "last pitch" efforts in the trenches during the Civil War.
     
    Wood Fragment Containing Minie Ball; Hanover Junction,1864

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    A nice minie ball imbedded in a fragment of the tree it hit. Trees, fallen trunks, firewood and fence posts were often riddled with bullets. Years later they are found by running a metal detector over the wood. Upon splitting open the wood, there lies a bullet inside, sometimes mangled by impact and other times amazingly intact looking.
     
    Fired Lead Musketball

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    Pulled Minie Ball lodged in a Wipe!

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    Civil War soldiers often used the corkscrew tips of their musket wipes to remove bullets that got stuck in the bore cavity. These would be advanced upon the end of the ramrod to the point of obstruction and then twisted into the soft leaden nose of the stubborn bullet. We often find the impression of their sharp tips in discarded bullets. But in this case, the soldier could not later separate the two and discarded the wipe tip along with the bullet. The two have remained in such a conjugal union for over 135 years! This comes from an olden-time Virginia digger's collection!
     
    Carved Minie: Interesting Shape!

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    Bored soldiers, sitting around in camp, often carved the soft lead of their bullets into creative shapes, such as animals, chess pieces, fishing sinkers, pencils tips, people and practically anything imaginable. This mushroom shaped item could be interpreted in many, many ways... It was excavated along the old railroad lines near Corinth, Misssissippi. One can see the digger's ink notations still on the crown.
     
    A bent musket barrell

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    When weapons were captured and meant to be kept from falling into enemy hands later, quick-moving units with no sdupply lines back to their rear would either dismantle pistols and muskets for parts or destroy them. In the case of this standard Union .58 musket, the barrel was heated red-hot above a pit-fire and then forcibly bent around a tree trunk to make it into an non-functional "U"-shape. Such heateded bending was also done with torn-up railroad tracks to prevent the enemy from rebuilding their lines. It was excavated near Fredericksburg, Virginia. We know where, but not who and why...
     
    Excavated Enfield Musket with Affixed Bayonet

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    This British Enfield musket was excavated from the Resaca, GA area. It was used by both Union and CSA forces, but moreso by the South which could not manufacture enough firearms for its armies and thus had to import from England. Its bayonet was affixed when this weapon was lost, suggesting that it was being used in battle. Since the barrel is slightly bent at its center, something nasty probably happened to the troop who carried it. No lockplate, trigger guard or butt plate were found. Either they were blasted away or scavenged for parts.
     
    One bullet shot through another in flight!

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    When lead bullets were flying upon the battlefield as thick as gnats on a hot bayou, occasionally two would collide in mid-air. Such is the case with this marvellous dug relic. One bullet plowed straight through the center of another! I would not want to be in a conflict with missles that thick in the air!!!
     
    A smiling animal minie!!!

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    This happy looking carved minie ball might have reminded a troop of his dog back home or a relative who would never stop chattering.
     
    Carved Minie: A Gaping Serpent???

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    Between battles, bored soldiers used their pocket knifes to carve the soft lead of bullets into various whimsical shapes... Was this supposed to be a gaping serpent... or a really ugly drill sergeant that nobody liked???
     
    1816 Model Bayonet, from South Carolina allotment

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    This is a standard 1816 socket bayonet that is 19" long overall. It is fluted a little more than half the blade length and of course no lock ring yet. It is marked US/SC, meaning it went to South Carolina as part of its allotment as set forth by the Militia Act of 1808. A bayonet likely still used by Confederates early in the Civil War. Has an overall slight rough spotting but solid with a pretty dark patina.
     
    1860 Cavalry Saber excavated in Cold Harbor

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    Too neat for words! This gnarled fragment of an 1860 Union Cavalry saber was found atop a trench many years ago at Cold Harbor! The broken blade is poly-coated to prevent further deterioration. The three branched guard is twisted as if by a powerful explosive force. Whoever was carrying this during the famed battle certainly did not leave the field in the unpright position! Raw awesome relics do not get better than this one!
     
    Sharpshooter's .45 cal. Cylindrical Whitworth

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    A very nice example of the short-variety of the cylindrical .45 cal. Whitworth bullet with a dished-base. (1 1/8" long) Whitworths were tremendously accurate rifled-muskets mounted with scopes that were imported from England by the Confederate States. Their bore is hexagonal and their bullets follow that longitudinal profile. These guns were given to the South's best sharpshooters, who were quite deadly at picking-off Federal officers. This tended to confuse and disrupt regiments who'd lost their leaders. General Reynolds was killed on day one of Gettysburg by such a sniper, as was General Sedgwick soon after snickering that the rebels "could not hit an elephant" at their extremely far distance. This item came from the collection of an older gent who found it near the Perryville, Kentucky battlefield.
     
    A Corpse-hook Bayonet

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    This Civil War Enfield bayonet was dug from along the Railroad tracks, 300-400 yards down from the site of a Confederate camp just outside the Orange County Hospital. This camp was where typhoid victims were isolated. The bayonet has been bent to a hook on the end. These were often used to drag corpses off to burial. Could also have been used as a pot hook, but the proximity to a hospital dying-field suggests the prior use! Similar hooks were no doubt used after battles to clear the dead. More often than not, burial details, often made up of conscripted slaves, would toss bodies onto buckboard wagons or bury them on the field. Long trenches were dug with bodies laid side to side, the dirt from the next space tossed over to cover the previous body in line.
     
    Excavated Sharps Carbine!!!! (Bermuda Hundred)

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    The Civil War saw the rapid evolution of firearms. The carbine was a short rifle often used from horseback that employed a self-contained cartridge type bullets rather than the old method of stopping to ram gunpowder and bullets down the open muzzle end. Thus, carbines were "breech loading," meaning that the gun somehow pivoted open near the hammer to allow loading of a cartridge at the back end of the barrel chamber. The gun was then closed and fired. Cartridges started incorporating a firing charge within them at their rear aspect. Thus, the strike of the hammer would cause a spark-flash within the cartridge itself, setting off the rest of the charge in the brass casing and letting the bullet at the tip fly. Our modern bullets employ internal strike anvils and fire in this same basic manner. During the Civil War, this concept was fairly new and exciting, allowing much more rapid, relatively hands-free firing. But these firearms were expensive and not bought in large numbers by the two Governments for their troops. Oddly, soldiers were allowed to buy their own carbines and better-quality rifles privately if they got approval from command. The Spencer was an extremely popular firearm because it carried a number of cartridges in its stock which forward-loaded into place one by one. Thus, it was essentially a "repeating" rifle. There are reports of small forces of men during the Civil War who were luckily armed with Spencers and effectively decimated much larger opposing forces armed only with the old single-shot muzzle loaders. "They fired all day without reloading!" was the lament of the vanquished. This was excavated near the Bermuda Hundred Plantation along the James River in Virginia. Look at all the details still showing! You can see the outer release latch, the gutter for the shell, even the firing spring inside! This has been treated by electrolysis to remove rust concretions and then was treated with polyurethane to stall any further flaking/deterioration. Only about fifteen inches of the barrel remains.
     
    Oiling Can

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    This is a brass oil can with a screw-top lid that still works. It originally held oil used to lubricate the mechanisms of rifles or pistols. It is only 1 1/4" in size!!!!These are hard to find these days!
     
    Pinfire Relic

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    This is a very nice pinfire revolver that comes to us from an old Civil War collection. Unfortunately, no site of recovery tag! The cylinder, barrel and cylinder frame are fused in a light surface rust. The chamber ramrod is intact too. No flaking. This is a solid old relic that is quite nice. 7 1/2" long. Wonder who carried and used it... and why it was lost.
     
    .44 Remington Army Revolver

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    A dug pistol from Fort Donelson. This .44 caliber, six-shot percussion weapon had an 8" octagonal barrel. It was one of the major handguns of the Civil War. This example has been stripped of its hammer, mainspring and loading lever. Otherwise a good looking relic. Officers and cavalry were lucky to carry revolvers, for they could get off six-shots in fairly rapid succession whereas infantry troopers had to load their musket once every 20-45 seconds. Most handguns were still fired using the percussion cap method, therefore requiring that a brass cap be placed over the nipple leading to each round chamber. Typically, an officer would not just throw away a handgun. Thus, these were either lost in battle or abandoned after being stripped for parts. This was probably the latter case, since pieces were missing when found.
     
    Relic Savage Percussion Pistol

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    This is a Savage brand of percussion revolver from an unknown Civil War sdite. It is a shame when relic were recovered but not tagged with their site of discovery. It disconnects them a little from their true past. In this case, the weapons is intact except for its loading lever and the wood grips which rapidly decay when underground. Who knows what this gun faced in the hands of a Union officer? Was it lost, abandoned or fallen from a mortally wounded hand...
     
    Dirk excavated in Munfordville, Ky

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    This is a "dirk" or boot knife that was excavated in Munfordville, Ky. It is constructed in the style of Civil War period fighting knives. These were carried as backup weapons for close hand-to-hand fighting. If your rifle was empty, you'd want to have your own "last resort" in order to defend yourself. Thus, soldiers on both sides during the Civil War were allowed to carry dirks, Bowie knives and even boot pistols which were their private property. This item is what we call a "field pickup" or "field recovery" for it is not extremely deteriorated. Therefore, it was likely found upon the ground within a short period of time after the Civil War. The wooden grip had already rotted away, but the metal was only slightly rusted. Souvenier hunters combed forests and battle areas for decades after the War in search of such items. In fact, surving troops came back as older men and walked the grounds they fought upon, looking for momentoes. Some local shop owners even bought items from farmers and relic hunters hoping to sell them to these aging warriors who returned as tourists with their proud families years later.
     
    Melted Chunk with minie ball and case shot

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    This is a great specimen! A digger excavated a huge chunk of melted iron that contained numerous grape shot balls (1 inch) and minie balls in a volcanic slurry. This probably resulted from a fiery explosion or conflagration of munitions that melted everything together. The digger broke off chunks and has sold them to happy buyers like myself. This piece is about 2" x 2" with a melted iron matrix. It contains a grape ball and a minie ball. A great paper weight!
     
    Lorenz 4-sided Bayonet

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    This is a Lorenz CW period bayonet for the imported Austrian rifles which were usually used by Confederates. It has a nice gun metal patina. No locking ring. The 4-sided blade measures 14 1/2" which may have been shortened in the course of its use.
     
    Belgian pre-CW period Boot Pistol

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    These single shot percussion boot pistols were common in America at time of CW from the previous generation. They were often taken as extra precautionary weapons. The Belgians produced many firearms used in pre-CW and CW period here. This lovely boot pistol bears a Belgian Hallmark. The barrel unscrews as shown in photos. There is hand-engraving on body, base & backstrap. As hammer is pulled back, the trigger drops down from being flush to base. The walnut grip is carved into ribs and scalloped. Bore is good. This is a pretty little weapon that might save your life in combat when the regulation musket was already empty and they kept on coming!
     
    Lead pig or bar for casting bullets, marked

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    During the Civil War, this type of small lead bar was often used to field-cast needed bullets. The bar was melted over a fire in an iron pot or ladle, the molten metal then being carefully poured into an appropriate bullet mold. This lead bar is marked "WIND" and could well have been used by the Confederate forces. Of course, larger bars were also used in armories and larger supply depots but would be unwieldy for use near the front lines.
     
    .58 Caliber Ramrod: Chancellorsville

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    This is a standard Union .58 caliber ramrod with the flare in the neck. It was dug along Mineral Springs Road in Chancellorsville in the 1970's. It is in nice shape except for surface rusting. Comes mounted on a wood plaque.
     
    Ivory Handled Gamblers Prostitute Fighting Dagger

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    Check this out! An original Civil War period Ivory-handled Fighting Knife or Dagger. It was probably made in England but no maker's mark is left showing. It is very fine quality. The squared ivory grip has some small age-shrinkage cracks that do not affect its strength. A brass hand-guard bears a variation of snake-shaped guards on other dirks. The blade is steely-toned with some faint peppering after having been cleaned in the past. This peppering was most often result of moisture or even possibly acid from dried blood stains. This is the type of "sticker" that was often used in close hand-to-hand raw fights, such as in saloons or in back alleys. A favorite accessory with sailors, desperate troops in trenches and ticked-off prostitutes! Length: About 8 1/2".
     
    Bullet used as a makeshift nipple cap for a musket

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    This shows the inventiveness and adaptability of soldiers! A standard 3-ring lead minie was modified into a nipple cap for a musket. The nipple was a small raised protrusion or attachment to the rear (stock side) of the steel barrel. A tiny metal cap was placed down over it. That cap contained a charge of dried fulminate of mercury which would ignite to a flash or spark when struck by the musket hammer. The spark then traveled down the hollow shaft of the nipple into the powder charge within the barrel. In order to prevent debris and denting of the vital nipple, caps were often devised. The Enfield rifles from Englank often came with caps held to the gun by chains. By American muskets had no such nipple caps. Thus, soldiers improvised. The shape of the nipple can be seen on the underside of this modified bullet, while the musket hammer's impression is seen on its top.
     
    Minie imbedded in center of Limb with X-rays!

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    Many bullets ended-up fired into trees during battle. Those that survived continued to grow with the lead bullets imbedded in their limbs and trunks. Years later when they tree died naturally or was cut-down for firewood, these bullets were still held deep within their cores. In battle areas, a relic hunter can often run his metal-detector over old, fallen trees and get the characteristic electronic "ring" of a bullet!!! By breaking open these chunks of wood, a bullet is then found nestled in the center, sometimes gnarled-up from impact, and other times, looking amazingly unscathed after hitting and living in a tree for 140 years! I recall a story from some relic hunters which bears repeating: They were looking for bullets on an old battle site with little luck. But then, it began to downpour and thunder. They ran into a deserted barn to escape the rain, and while there, they started running their metal detectors over a rotting pile of firewood, simply as a joke. To their utter joy, they found four or five logs that contained actual Civil War bullets. They found more hiding inside from the rain than relic hunting the fields! This chunk of tree wood is not from that episode, but it could have been. It was found because it gave the signal of heavy metal such as lead or brass, as well as had a weight much greater than mere wood when tested in the palm. The collector had it X-rayed to see what was inside. And lo and behold, a Civil War minie ball revealed itself, as seen in alignment to the marking arrows. It still remains unopened to this day. Comes from the Battle of Rock Face near Dalton, Georgia.
     
    Enfield Saber Bayonet

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    Besides the typical triangular blade design for socket bayonets, there were "Saber" bayonets. These were found on some models of both American and European muskets. This one comes along with its original leather scabbard. Possibly made by the famed German blade manufacturer Kirschbaum due to the knight's head marking on ricasso of its blade. It is interesting how various European armaments found their way into both the North and South in order to supply the needs of the Civil War.
     
    Part of a Civil War Sword Scabbard

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    This is a 20 1/2" fragment of an iron scabbard for a CW officer's sword. It has one hanger loop still on it. It came from private land in the Richmond area. Perhaps a CSA use??? There are no markings. It was broken off at a little more than half its original length. And one must wonder, what would happen to the man beside it if such steel were shattered in helklish warfare?
     
    A Percussion Double Barrel Shotgun : Brandy Station

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    This was found in an old barn in Brandy Station, Virginia. It is a neat, old double-barrelled percussion shot gun. No maker's marks seen. It is smashed in half at base of barrel, breaking the wood where the forestock takes off at the front of the trigger guard. Brandy Station was the site of some major action in the Civil War. Who knows why this was smashed: in a shirmish... in a battle... or to prevent local citizens from using it against visiting Union forces??? There is no other exact history on it. Just left to your imagination!
     
    Ames Model 1840 Artillery Saber

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    This is a very nice example of the 1840 Artillery Saber which has obviously been to battle and brought home by a trooper. It has some minor dings to brass and one edge nick that likely came from impact with another sword eith during masneuvers or battle. The Ames marking "Ames Mfg Co. Chicopee.Mass" is slightly light from weear during use and cleaning blade. As is typical with most Union Civil War swords, it carries both a date and an inspector's marking on the base of blade itself (area called the ricasso. The leather on grip and wire binding are present as is a leather collar called a "bumper guard" which keeps guard from clanging & banging into throat (opening) of the scabbard. This blade has never been sharpened or chromed. Sadly, which soldier carried it to war is unknown.
     
    69 caliber ramrod from Harpers Ferry

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    A flared tip ramrod of the type used on .69 caliber muskets. Used to shove the round musket call all the way down the inside of the barrel till it sat against the black powder charge at the bottom. Recovered in Harpers Ferry area from private land. 32 1/2" long. Rusted, rough but solid.
     
    Dug Caps from the Wilderness

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    These are musket caps for a percussion rifle which were dug in the Wilderness. They were individually placed upon the "nipple" at the base of the musket. When struck by the release of the firing "hammer," the impact ignited a fulminate-of-mercury in the cap, sending a spark down the nipple shaft and into the waiting powder-charge within the musket chamber. The blast would send the bullet flying. These are "fired" or used caps. Used one-at-a-time in the heat of a desperate battle. Whose quivering fingers handled these? What side was he on and what were his circumstances in the greater scheme of the fray? Finally, did he survive that day?
     
    High Hump Richmond Lockplate

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    A very rare High Hump Richmond Musket Lockplate. It was dug in Petersburg VA.
     
    Bull Horn powder horn

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    This is an actual bull's horn made into a powder horn as used by hunters and soldiers prior to and during the Civil War. More likely carried by Southern troops if machine fabricated brass powder flasks were not available. As war progressed, paper cartridges had powder inside and pouring-your-own powder was no longer necessary. Unclear if this was used in war or not. About 9 1/2" long. Has some chew marks from bugs (not sure what eats horns...)
     
    Fired Whitworth Sniper Bullet

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    The Whitworth rifle was a high precision long-range rifle imported from England mainly by the Confederacy for the use of snipers. By eliminating the enemy's senior staff officers, effective tactics and quick decisions about troop movements could be delayed during pivotal times in battle. General Reynolds was killed early in the course of The Battle of Gettysburg by a sniper's bullet, requiring the quick intervention of Hancock and others in his stead. As the Civil War progressed, Union officers obtained permission to dispense with their prominent shoulder straps which clearly made them marked-men on the field. This bullet shows the classical Whitworth octagonal shape at its base. But the nose is flattened from a direct impact. While a blow to a human bone could do that, it is more likely that a tree or ground flattened the front of this lovely relic. Site unknown. Not for sale.
     
    Gardner's Explosive Bullet

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    A most feared item! A lead bullet with an explosive internal charge. It was ignited by an interal fuze about 1 - 2 seconds after being fired from the musket. Thus, the bullet might well be lodged in an unfortunate enemy soldier's body when it exploded! And even if these had exploded before hitting their target, they were transformed into a raw, jagged missile of great lacerating and destructivbe power. Thirty three thousand of these were bought by the Union Army, being used between 1862 and 1864. Deemed cruel, they were soon banned in Europe and not used by U.S. Troopers past the era of the 1870's...
     
    CSA Slug

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    This big lead slug was used by the Confederate forces for their shotguns. These are not common. It is a very heavy projectile which was capable of a lot of physical damage. But only accurate at very close range. OUCH!
     
    Model 1840 Medical Officer's Sword

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    This is the Model 1840 Medical Officer's Sword which was still the design supplied to Union Surgeons during the Civil War for dress purposes. It has "M.S." within a shield of stars. The grip shows an eagle and has fancy curved quillons sticking out to side. The blades are usually etched with words "Medical Staff". As you can see, even the scabbard is highly decorated. The sword was for dress-parade and social events between doing their rushed and bloody amputations in white smocks with rolled-up sleeves.
     
    A rare Mississippi Saber Bayonet

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    This is a rare and unusal "Mississippi Rifle" (Snell Alteration) saber bayonet from the Civil War era. It sports a 22 3/8" blade which is mostly grey with overall scattered age staining (often called "peppering" by collectors)... It has an untouched brass handle with nice medium honey-toned patina. Just a few bumps and dings from its illustrious military usage. The front muzzle-ring is marked "C 50". Such Confederate bayonets are extremely rare and treasured by specialty collectors. Imagine being a Northern soldier and seeing a young adrenalin-charged Confederate lunging toward you with one of these awesome blades in the trenches just outside of Petersburg in 1864?
     
    Super Cavalry Saber Grip and Rustng blade

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    This is a very attractive "historic relic" grade Civil War cavalry saber recovered from private lands with permissiuon around Chancellorsville, Virginia. The branched grip is in the Horstmann Brothers (Philadelphia) pattern of the 1840's to 1850's that was still being carried by many career officers. It is slightly bent from whatever disasterous end befell its owner during this huge pitched battle of 1863. An 18 inch rusted section of its blade remains. With the tang slid through the opening in the bronze grip, it looks very cool. The wood or ivory components of the grip, as well as the tip-end of the blade, are long gone~ either corroded away or blasted away in this fitful battle. No scabbard.
     
    Buck & Ball Set from Siege of Port Hudson

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    The Confederate soldiers lining the trenches in the marsh were armed with obsolete .69 caliber muskets... but they waited until the ranks of oncoming Federal troops were very close before letting loose their volley. They fired that old-style "buck-n'-ball" from their aged guns: one lead ball and two small lead buckshot. The hail of death was fiercesome at close range. And thus, they staved-off the onslaught of a much superior force, now reduced to a wounded, disheartened shambles! These buck-n'-ball sets come from the long-drawn-out Union siege of Port Hudson, LA.
     
    Iron "Brass Knuckles"

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    If you are in a "last ditch" despoerate fight for your life in the trenches with no gun, no sword, no nuthin'... well it never hurts (you) to have a piece of molded iron over your fist called a "brass knuckle." It is far better to knock out your enemy with a punch than to get shot or jabbed yourself! You can figure out what to do with your unconscious prisoner later! These are a nicely preserved set of brass knuckles dug from an unknown Civil War campsite. Ouch!!!
     
    Imported Double Barrel Percussion Pistol

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    This is a double-barrelled percussion pistol from the 1840-1865 era. It has markings from a European maker, probably Beligian, where most boot pistols of this period tended to originate. It has an engraved scroll design on sides of body. Has a circle marking and what appears to be an "A V." It is non-functional. Missing wooden grip and some spring parts. But a nice-looking relic of the period that soldiers on both side would've taken to war as a "backup" weapon. Site unknown. Approx. 6 1/4" in length. Octagonal double barrel. Cool!
     
    Globs of melted lead & metal

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    From a Fredericksburg homestead used as a Civil War camp. Larger is lead and others lead or zinc. The troops often "recycled" lead by putting it in firepits or cauldrons over the flame. It could hold heat to warm them but also be repoured into molds for bullets needed in the field, especially pistols whose ammunition might not be standard military issued. They often carried specific caliber molds for just such a use. I have also seen melted lead used to fashion desperately needed temporary parts for guns and equipment: plugs, catches, fishing sinkers, musket nipple covers and fanciful carvings
     
    Burnside Carbine Block & Lever from Malvern Hill

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    This is a very nice remnant of a Union Burnside carbine as carried by mounted troopers. It is the block, nipple and loading lever. It was excavated near Malvern Hill, Virginia from private land with owner's permission. To think that a young Union Hellion on a horse charged into smoke and a deadly hail of lead while pumping this lever to fire return shots at his enemy.
     
    Rare Custom Made Confederate Fighting Knife

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    This is indeed a rare item recovered in Chickamaga area which was probably custom made for a Confederate trooper. This large knife has a blade that was likely a cut-down cavalry saber turned into a very long & hefty D-Guard knife for hand-to-hand fighting. The blade is a whopping 15 inches long! The iron hangguard is custom forged by a period blacksmith. The blade has typical pitting to its metal but is solid & sturdy with no flaking. Such large Southron fighting knives are indeed now rare as hen's teeth. It came to us from an old collection.
     
    Civil War Period Double Action Pinfire Revolver

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    This is a small double-action pinfire revolver from the Civil War period. It has markings on it which I believe indicate Belgium as its source. Many revolvers were imported from France, Belgium & England to help supply the early needs of the Southern States before their own small, new factories could jump into production. Some of these pinfire revolvers were already privately owned and simply brought along to war as back-up weapons. This revolver is complete and movements work perfectly. Very nice example with foldup trigger. Grip dark walnut in fine shape. The "pinfire" was a bullet on a brass casing that actually had a raised pin on it. The hammer struck the pin and drove it into the gunpowder chamber. In the mid-1800's there were many methods tried for setting off the powder charge in bullet casings: caps, rimfires, even combustible skins. Eventually, the small "anvil" on the base was favored. It is that round dimple that you still see on the bottom of our bullets today. About 6 1/2" long.
     
    Intensely melted musket ball glob White Oak

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    What degree of heat would be needed to melt a musket ball into an irregular glob of lead like this one??? This comes from the collection of a very old digger. He labeled it on the item directly. Deadly conflagration? A Cool Survivor or a Fatal mishap???
     
    Wood Plug Enfield

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    This is an Enfield lead minie found at site of famous Antietam Battle. It still has it's wooden base plug locked into curved lead from impact.
     
    CW musket caps from 1862 Blockade-Runner Minko

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    Nicely preserved brass musket caps from blockade runner "Minho" which grounded off Fort Moultrie on 20th October 1862. These were brought up by maritime salvagers!
     
    Fractured Artilleryman's Saber from 1864 Spring Hill

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    This is a broken rusted Model 1840 Artillery Saber found on a farm in Spring Hill, Tennessee. There was a battle there in 1864. No markings can be seen on pitted ricasso of blade. Wrap is gone but grip is still sturdy. Such blades were often made by Ames. This could have been in possession of either a Union or Confederate Artilleryman. The label that came with it says "Confederate" saber but I am not sure how they could really tell that. Blade broken. What remains is solid. No scabbard. Background: Spring Hill was the prelude to the Battle of Franklin. On the morning of November 29, 1864, following the inconclusive Battle of Columbia, Confederate General John Bell Hood’s Army of Tennessee marched from Columbia toward Spring Hill to isolate major portions of Union forces from each other, hoping to defeat each in turn before they could unite and overwhelm him. Union Maj. Gen. George H. Thomas's Army of the Cumberland was north of Spring Hill in Nashville, Maj. Gen. John M. Schofield’s Army of the Ohio was south in Pulaski and divided into fragments. Hood sent the corps of Lt. Gen. Benjamin F. Cheatham and Lt. Gen. Alexander P. Stewart on a flanking march north, crossing the Duck River east of Columbia while the corps of Lt. Gen. Stephen D. Lee on the southern bank diverted a Union division under Brigadier General Jacob D. Cox across the river. Hood rode near the head of the column and hoped to catch Schofield by surprise. Cavalry skirmishing between Brig. Gen. James H. Wilson’s Union cavalry and Maj. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Confederate troopers continued throughout the day as the Confederates advanced. Forrest had executed a wide turning movement with 4,000 troopers that forced Wilson north to Hurt's Corner, preventing the Union horsemen from interfering with Hood's infantry advance. However, Wilson did manage to warn Schofield of Hood's advance and the Union trains—800 wagons—were sent north in the direction of Franklin. [edit] Battle While Hood’s infantry crossed the Duck River and converged on Spring Hill, Schofield sent troops to hold the crossroads there: Maj. Gen. David S. Stanley, commander of the IV Corps, with two divisions under Maj. Gen. George D. Wagner and Maj. Gen. Nathan Kimball. Starting at 4:00 p.m., close to sunset, the Federals repulsed infantry attacks launched by Cheatham's corps. The attacks failed for four reasons: poorly coordinated, piecemeal attacks by Cheatham; excellent Union defensive artillery support and a decision by Hood to leave most of his artillery pieces in the rear; mispositioning by Hood of Stewart's corps, left too far to the south at Rutherford Creek to support Cheatham until Hood released it after dark; and the failure of Forrest to arrive before dark. By nightfall, the Confederates had finally positioned their corps where they could attack and severely damage Schofield's force, but they erred by allowing the Union army to maintain possession of the road and keep a route open for withdrawal. Believing the battle largely finished, Hood left command of the field to his most capable commander, Maj. Gen. Patrick Cleburne (the "Stonewall of the West"), after sending the order to attack Schofield. However, due to a communications failure of unknown cause, Cleburne never received the message, and never attacked. When Stewart arrived, his corps merely went into bivouac next to Cheatham and the soldiers of both corps cooked their supper and went to bed.
     
    Union Officer's Sword Scabbard Drag Cold Harbor

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    This is a very cool heavy brass drag from a Model 1850 Union Officer's Sword dug at bloody battle of Cold Harbor. It is likely an Emerson & Silver as the scabbard was iron, not leather. Can still see design on it. Wonder who polished it earlier in CW that did not survive Cold Harbor?
     
    Confederate Officer Scabbard Ring Spotsyvania

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    This is a Officer Sword brass Scabbard mount and ring. Found in Confederate trenches at Spotsylvania by famed collector Bill Gavin. Has his old tape tag on it. Very neat item from raw battle.
     
    Confederate Brass Scabbard Tip Corinth, MS.

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    This was found years ago by relic hunter John Graham. It is a heavy brass Confederate-local bayonet scabbard tip. From Corinth, Miss.
     
    Confederate Militia Sword Drag Corbin, VA

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    This is a very unique sword scabbard drag that is engraved with fine designs. It was located years ago by renowned reli-hunter Bill Gavin in Corbin, VA, probably Camp Santee, the 1862-1863 winter camp of Hill's Division. Why would an officer dispose of such a cool hand-engraved sword?
     
    Ringtail Sharps split to a whistle

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    This is a Ringtail Sharps bullet dug in a CW camp. It may have been split in attempt to make a crude whistle. Has scrap paper note from old digger.
     
    69 Caliber french Minie of Rebs

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    This is a large triangular based French minie imported by Confederates early in war when any kinds of rifles could be had. Minor rim dent.
     
    Barrel and Cylinder Moore Revolver

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    This is the barrel and cylinder of a Moore revolver. Likely an early battlefield pickup by souvenir hunters.
     
    Carved Bullet from Gettysburg Hospital Site

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    Bored soldiers with wounds were often camped in tents around large hospital sites after Gettysburg Battle. These huge outdoor "hospitals" existed for at least a month after battle, till the survivors were shipped by train to large government hospitals in bigger cities like Philadelphia or Washington, DC. Among other things, the bored troopers carved bullets to pass the time. Waiting. Hoping...
     
    Chess piece from bullet at Gettysburg

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    This is a bullet carved into a chess rook. Found on private land in Gettysburg. Even in raging warfare men found creative ways to play with the same bullets that killed them!
     
    Blow through bullet

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    This is a fragmented Civil War "blow thru" bullet. When cast poorly, the charge would burst through center of bullet, leaving a hollow tube! Cool!
     
    Combination Musket Wrench Tool

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    This is a very nice "combination" musket tool with a nipple wrench and screw drivers on its wings. It was recovered along Route 11 in Maryland. Smooth and black with minimal wear. Possibly Confederate. The digger's ID number is painted on its neck.
     
    Union Musician Sword Gerttyburg Museum Relic

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    This is a Union Musician's Sword that was purchased in the mid 1960's from the Fort Defiance Museum that was located south of Meade's Headquarters on the Pike in Gettysburg. The museum no longer exists but sold many great relics collected off the battlefield by local families. At the museum, it had a notation that the sword was "found behind Confederate lines after the third day's battle (Pickett's Charge)". That is not far from the former Eisenhauer Farm. This sword was obviously a later field pickup, as it has a rusted blade that was worn or broken a little short from use and then reshaped at tip. It's grip was silvered (nickeled) for later wall display. And an interesting metal hanger was custom attached to the grip, likely to slide over a wall clip at the museum. Unclear if a Reb adopted this sword earlier in battle or if a Union troop lost it later in the chase after Picket's charge. There were plenty of swords with full length blades to "exchange" off the field after thye fray! A very cool item!
     
    1833 Ames Dragoon Enlisted Mens' Saber

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    This is a Model 1833 US Dragoon Saber made by N.P. Ames. The blade is single edged, slightly curved. Leather covered handle is slightly worn from use. Ricasso is marked in engraved script "N.P. Ames/ Cutler/ Springfield/ 1837" About 6100 were contracted for. This one has no scabbard. The blade is plum gray, having been cleaned in distant past. The brass grip is sturdy. A very nice, hard-to-find early US "cavalry" sword.
     
    Bullet in larger chunk wood from Bentonville

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    This is a Union three-ring minie that flattened as it impacted a tree during the Battle of Bentonville, NC. It was recovered in 1973 by Kit Akin in Hoke's Lines. It is almost a foot long!
     
    Melted lead and musket caps Manassas

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    This is a cool irregular glob of lead, likely from melted bullets, which has two musket caps imbedded into it. From Manassas.
     
    Musket cap with melted bullet lead

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    The battlefield infernos created some odd relics! This is a brass musket cap with lead from a melted bullet oozed into its recess. Imagine the intense heat to do that. It is said that when some soldier's cartridge boxes were hit by a bullet, they exploded in flames!
     
    Fancy Double Barrel Boot Pistol Gettysburg 1960s

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    This is a fancy double barrel percussion boot pistol that was found in 1960's south of Seminary Ridge Gettysburg. It has emgraving to sides and base of body. Nipples intact. Grip and firing mechanisms are gone. No maker's markings but this is the type that was heavily imported from Belgium and France from 1820 to 1850. Many were carried as private "desperation" back up weapons during Civil War. Land where found was still private in the 1960s.
     
    Relic Sword Grip Devils Den Very Old Collection

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    This Gettysburg scarred sword grip comes from an old museum collection of early field pickups while area was still private land. It is a wooden saber grip covered in worn leather. It has traces of an iron pommel and handguard. Thus, it was probably not standard Union issue which had brass guards. Likely, this was an older moldel from prewar militia that had an iron guard. One would surmise Confederate carried. There is no wire. No markings. You can see where blade fit into base of wooden grip. Comes with a tag from first collector after the museum deaccessioned this relic. Apparent find sit was Devil's Den area very long ago when private land and relic hunting still allowed in 1800's.
     
    Unique Naval Sword Mount Spotsylvania

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    This is a rather unique find from Alsop Farm to the rear of Goshen Church at Spotylvania: a Naval Sword brass scabbard mount! How a navy officer got into that battle is anyone's guess. Has old tag. Dug with landowner's permission.
     
    Old Mason Jar with Gettysburg Bullets and Case shot

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    This is an old Mason Jar with a great assortment of bullets recovered from Gettysburg many years ago when still private land. We find a great assortment of musket types from both armies! Three Union minies. Three Confederate Gardners. Three Enfields, a musket ball and Williams Cleaner! Plus, there is a single pitted 1 1/2" iron cannister ball. The old Mason Jar bears a hand-written label stating these were indeed found at Gettysburg.
     
    Battlefield Picked Up Blasted Import Cavalry Saber

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    Rare Gardiner Explosive Bullet base marked

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    This is a rare, patented Gardnier bullet with an internal explosive charge within it. The thought was that it would explode when imbedded in a human target. These are rare in such mint conditions. The rim of the base has patent information raised around the edges as shown in this photo. This type of bullet was not successfully used in the US Civil War.
     
    Cross Sectioned Pinfire Bullet

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    Pinfire bullets were used just prior to Civil War and sometimes still carried as older pistols. The pin was hit and pushed into casing where it struck like an anvil to cause a spark in a base of fulminated mercury. That ignition set off the main charge and sent lead bullet flying. This cross sectioned example beside an intact pinfire shows construction well.
     
    54 Caliber Bullet in Paper Wrap Exposed to View

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    This comes from a neat old collection. It is a 54 caliber minie for a rifled musket. It was made at the St. Louis US Arsenal. The "bullets" in a CW trooper's cartridge box were wrapped in plain brown paper that also contained a specific amount of black powder charge/ Workers at arsenal then tied them closed with string by hand. During battle, the harried trooper would tear open the paper with his teeth, pour the powder down into the muzzle of his rifle and then drop the bullet in next. This paper cartridge is opened along one side to demonstrate the nestled bullet atop a powder charge. It is a very cool educational relic.
     
    Gettysburg recovered Boot Pistol

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    This is from an old collection. It is a dug single-shot boot pistol. No trigger. No wood grip. Body is marked "172". I am not sure what maker. Very cool item. Still has a nipple! Carried as private back up "desperation" weapon by infantrymen. Collected on private land. How many of these can come out of a Gettysburg area anymore???
     
    Gettysburg Minie with imbedded stones

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    This is a minie from Gettysburg that has a couple tiny brown stones imbedded in it where the bullet impacted rock! This rarely happened to bullets. Usually they just dented or got gouged... A very cool find. This was recovered on private land with the owner's permission.
     
    Fancy brass sword chain from Gettysburg collection

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    This is a very fancy brass sword chain that came in a box of old dug Gettysburg items. It has an ornate clip at top which shows a knight with a shield. This was not standard issue. It was likely a custom item bought from one of numerous military supply houses that officers on both sides patronized. I am not sure what kind of sword it was used with. But it is very, very cool. Overall length is 10 1/2".