Open Package of 9 Watervliet Arsenal Re-Packed Burnside Cartridges
- Product Code: BP-1056
- Availability: In Stock
This is a VERY GOOD condition original, Civil War era arsenal re-pack of what was originally a packet of 10 Burnside Carbine Cartridges, but now holds 9 cartridges. The packet comes from the collection of famous cartridge collector and author John J. Malloy. He was one of the three authors of the book Percussion Ammunition Packets – Union, Confederate & European, by John Malloy, Dean Thomas and Terry White. Mr. Malloy’s old sticker note for this packet identifies it as a Watervliet Arsenal repack of Burnside cartridges. Watervliet was one of only two US arsenals noted to have provided Burnside cartridges during the Civil War, with Frankford Arsenal producing them, along with Maynard and Gallager cartridges. It appears that Watervliet may not have produced the metallic cartridges, but rather packaged and distributed them.
The Burnside carbine holds the distinction of being the first metallic cartridge arms to be acquired for use by the US military. In April of 1856, the US Ordnance Department ordered 200 of the newly developed breech loading, percussion ignition carbines. During the Civil War the Ordnance Department purchased 53,031 Burnside Carbines, making it the third most used breechloading carbine of the war. Only the Sharps and Spencer carbines were acquired in greater numbers during the war. Millions of .54 caliber Burnside cartridges we acquired by the Ordnance Department as well, with records indicating that 21,819,200 of the cartridges were purchased, or 218,192 packets of 10 cartridges!
This packet no longer retains its twine and has been unfolded to reveal the nine remaining cartridges, with the interwoven protective paper between the cartridges. The internal paper is the original packing paper with moderate wear and loss and the exterior paper is the original arsenal wrapping. The cartridges show moderate amounts of oxidation and verdigris but appear solid and certainly remain quite displayable.
This open packet would be a neat addition to the display of a Burnside Carbine and other cavalry accouterments. In some respects, the open packet is somewhat more interesting to look at and more educational than a sealed packet. This is a nicely priced partial packet of 9 original Burnside cartridges from a famous collection that you will certainly be glad to own and display.