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Confederate Imported Georgia G Enfield with Matching Bayonet

Confederate Imported Georgia G Enfield with Matching Bayonet

  • Product Code: FLA-2061-SOLD
  • Availability: Out Of Stock
  • $1.00

While Confederate marked and imported P-1853 Enfield rifle muskets are very scarce and always desirable collectibles, the rarest and most desirable of these guns are the ones purchased by individual southern states and marked with their state ownership marks. It is well known that early in the war the states of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Louisiana all acquired arms directly from England, functioning proactively to supply their troops that were rallying to the protect their states from Northern invasion. These guns had state ownership marks applied to them prior to their shipment to the Confederacy, in an attempt to keep the guns segregated from Confederate central government purchases, and to insure that the guns reached the troops of that specific state. The guns purchased by the state of Georgia are rarely encountered for sale, but they are some of the best documented of the Confederate state purchased arms.

In 1861, Major Edward C Anderson was sent to England to act as a Confederate central government purchasing agent of small arms and munitions. As Anderson was a Georgian, Georgia Governor Joseph E Brown relied upon Anderson to work as a purchasing agent for that state as well. During September of 1861 Anderson arranged the purchase of 5,500 “Enfield” pattern small arms through the firm of Sinclair, Hamilton & Company. Of these guns, 4,700 were P-1853 “long” Enfields, and 800 were P-1856 “short” Enfields, which were apparently Sergeant’s Fusils for India Service rifles. Anderson returned to the Confederacy aboard the Confederate Blockade Runner Fingal on October 8, 1861. In addition to Anderson, the Fingal brought the first 1,100 guns of his purchase for the state of Georgia, as well as 1,000 that had been purchased by Louisiana and 7,520 that had been purchased by the Confederate central government. Among these guns that were on Fingal were the Georgia purchased “long” Enfield’s with the engraved numbers 1-1000. These guns were shipped in crates of 20, complete with socket bayonets for each gun, a bullet mold and two nipple keys (cone wrenches). Based upon an analysis of the Gladiator cargo manifest it is probable that Fingal also carried the Georgia purchased “long” Enfield’s numbered 1121-1220. The crates that contained these Georgia purchased arms were marked with the initials (for Governor Joseph E Brown) in a rhomboid over the letter G and were numbered. To date only 6 of the Fingal delivered “Georgia G” marked guns are known to have survived. The Fingal arrived in Savannah, GA on November 13, 1861, after a brief stop in Bermuda. The next shipment of Georgia purchased arms left England on the Blockade Runner Gladiator on November 6, 1861. The bill of lading for the Gladiator is in the archives of the Museum of the Confederacy, and it lists 900 “long” and 580 “short” Enfields. The long Enfields were numbers 1001-1120 (cases 51-56), 1221-1300 (cases 62-65), 1301-1960 (cases 78-110), 1961-1980 (case 123) and 1981-2000 (case129). The other cases (66-77, 111-122, and 124-128) contained the “short” Enfield Sergeant’s Fusils for India Service, numbers 1-580. These guns were all marked with the JS / (ANCHOR) inspection mark in the wood behind the triggerguard tang, in the belly of the stock, and have engraved Confederate inventory numbers on the tang of their brass buttplates. The guns are additionally marked with a 5/8” tall capital letter G on the obverse buttstock. The Gladiator arrived in Nassau, Bahamas on December 9, 1861. There she was unloaded and her cargo was transshipped to the Confederacy via the smaller, faster Blockade Runners Cecile, Kate and Florida. The Kate delivered her cargo to Smyrna in early February of 1862, Florida made her delivery to the same destination in mid March, and Cecile delivered her cargo into Charleston in mid February, 1862. To date, only 16 of the 900 Georgia marked “Gladiator Enfields” are known to have survived. The balance of the Georgia purchased arms were shipped aboard the Blockade Runner Economist, which made its delivery into Charleston Harbor in mid March 1862.

Based upon examination of the limited number of Georgia “G” marked P-1853 Enfield rifle muskets known to exist, it has been determined that #1-2000 and #3700-4700 were guns marked in the above manner. However, it appears that approximately 1700 guns (likely the guns numbered between 2000-3700) were delivered by the London gunmaker Barnett, and these guns have their numbers stamped on the toe of the buttplate, rather than being engraved on the top. These guns also bear a G mark on the obverse buttstock (but of a slightly larger size), and are marked with the CH / 1 inspection stamp in the wood, in front of the buttplate tang, instead of a JS/(ANCHOR). To date less than 50 “G” marked P-1853 Enfields of all types are known to have survived, with less than 30 of the engraved number guns being known and less than 20 of the Barnett guns with stamped numbers being known. This observation is based upon some 20 years of surveying extant examples by several noted arms historians, and maintaining a very extensive database.

This Gladiator delivered Georgia “G” P-1853 Enfield Rifle Musket is number 1748, and traveled to Nassau in case number 100 in the cargo hold of the Gladiator. Case 100 contained the guns numbered 1741-1760. Its original, matching numbered bayonet accompanies the gun, which is a rarely encountered bonus. To date this is the only gun that I know of that has survived from case 100. The right hand portion of the Gladiator manifest is damaged, but it appears that cases 96-102 were guns “furnished” by Parker, Field & Sons of London. As has been demonstrated on a number of occasions, the London furnishers often relied upon Birmingham manufacturers to supply arms to complete contract deliveries, and did not always mark the arms with their names. at least a couple of Bond furnished “Georgia G” guns are known that bear no Bond markings, but were produced by R.T. Pritchett of Birmingham. As long as they received credit for the delivery (and got paid for the gun), that was all that appeared to be important. This P-1853 was produced by Cooper & Goodman of Birmingham. The firm of Cooper & Goodman was a joint effort between Birmingham gunmaking mogul Joseph Rock Cooper and Charles Henry. The firm operated from 1857 to 1886 at two locations, 77 Baggot Street & 32 Woodcock Street, and specialized in the manufacture of guns, pistols and gun barrels. Cooper & Goodman then delivered the gun on behalf of Parker, Field & Sons. The gun is not marked with an “F” for Field furnishers mark on the top of the stock, forward of the buttplate tang. This is not uncommon, and furnisher marks appear on a somewhat random basis, with no real consistency. The gun is clearly marked on the lock in two lines, forward of the hammer: 1861 / TOWER and with the usual English “crown” to the rear of the hammer. The interior of the lock is marked with the name J. BRAZIER, one of the most famous English lock makers of the era, who worked in Wolverhampton. The mating marks \ \ / | | | are found on the upper edge of the lock, and these same mating marks are found on the bottom of the barrel and inside the barrel channel of the stock. The interior of the lock is also marked W & C S, suggesting the lock may have originally be delivered to another major Confederate arms furnisher W & C Scott. The breech of the barrel is marked with the usual Birmingham commercial Provisional Proof, View, and Definitive Proof marks, separated by a pair of 25 gauge marks, indicating .577 caliber. The bottom of the barrel is marked by the famous Birmingham gunbarrel maker Ezra Millward, and is additionally marked C & G. The bottom of the barrel is also marked with the initials R.J., which I believe are the initials of the “setter up” who assembled the gun. The same initials are present at the toe of the stock flat, opposite the lock. The bottom of the barrel is marked with the same mating mark as the lock, 6 file slashes \ \ / | | |. The gun has a clear 5/8” tall Georgia G on the obverse buttstock, a legible JS / (ANCHOR) in the belly of the stock, behind the triggerguard and the inventory number 1748 engraved on the buttplate tang. The engraved number is one of the cruder examples noted, but is not out of character with some of the engraved inventory numbers that I have seen in the past. The remains of the name COOPER & GOODMAN are also visible along the toe line of the stock, with the name Cooper essentially missing and the “G” in Goodman rather weak. The barrel channel of the stock is marked with 6 file slashes \ \ / | | | as well as with the alphanumeric code CB 7.

The gun is in about VERY GOOD condition overall. The metal of the gun is mostly smooth throughout, with some scattered areas of mild pinpricking and peppering presents, as well as few patches of more significant roughness and moderate oxidation. The more significant roughness is around the muzzle of the musket and around the breech area. The metal has a thick brown patina that is very attractive. The bore of the musket is in about POOR condition and shows moderate to sever pitting along its entire length. The barrel is dark and dirty and retains no visible rifling. The lock has the same thick, brown patina found on the barrel of the musket. The lock functions crisply and is mechanically excellent, working perfectly on all positions. The gun retains the original long-range rear sight, as well as the original front sight/bayonet lug. The barrel bands all retain their original screw keepers at the ends, small items that are almost always missing. The bands all have the same file slash mating mark found on the major components of the gun, cut lightly to their rear edges, and only visible after the bands are removed. The gun also retains both of its original sling swivels. An original, period P-1853 ramrod is in place in the channel under the barrel. It is full length and retains good threads at the end. The original ramrod, which was numbered to the gun, is lost to the ages. The original, matching numbered ramrods are practically never found with numbered Enfields. During the war, the Confederacy imported thousands of replacement ramrods due to the proclivity of the soldiers to loose them or break them. The brass furniture is very attractive and has a lovely, untouched, dark patina. The stock of the gun rates about VERY GOOD+ as well. It may have been lightly cleaned long ago, but does not appear to have been sanded. All of the stock markings remain relatively crisp, without any smearing or blurring. The edges remain strong, and any rounding appears to be from actual use, wear and tear. The stock is solid and full-length, with no breaks or repairs. The wood to metal fit is very good and quite tight throughout. The stock does show a moderate number of bumps, dings, and handling marks, all of which appear to be from service and use. There is some minor wood loss to the rear of the lock mortise, the result of improper lock removal. There is also some wood “burn out” directly behind the bolster, which is commensurate with the heavily worn bore and the significant amount of firing that this musket appears to have done. The musket is accompanied by its original numbered socket bayonet, which has the same thick brown patina as the gun on its socket and part of the blade. The bayonet appears to be a Belgian made one, which is not at all uncommon. The Birmingham gun trade could not produced enough bayonets to complete the orders for “stands of arms’ (which included both the musket and bayonet) from the north and south. The Birmingham (and London) gun trade sourced bayonets from Belgium, Solingen (Germany) and even France, during the mid-19th century. The rear edge of the bayonet’s socket has two sets of file slash mating marks, one of which appears to match the mating marks found in the musket. The bayonet is missing its locking ring, which is a minor issue, and fits the musket perfectly. The face of the blade is marked with a Belgian makers mark of a large sideways J set perpendicular to a smaller E. The upper rear of the socket is engraved with the matching inventory number 1748, the same number found on the buttplate of the musket.

Overall, this is a really great example of an incredibly scarce Georgia “G” marked P-1853 Enfield Rifle Musket, which we know was shipped from England on board the Gladiator. These early Georgia marked guns were some of the first Enfields to arrive in the south, and their early delivery insured that they saw significant service during the course of the war. High quality Confederate Enfields are difficult to find for sale, but state marked guns are particularly difficult to locate. This is a wonderful and well-marked Georgia gun that is 100% original and correct (with the exception of the missing original numbered rod) and is made even more desirable in that the original numbered bayonet accompanies it. It would certainly make a fantastic centerpiece to any advanced collection of Confederate long arms, especially a collection that emphasizes Confederate imports. A copy of the Gladiator manifest page, showing the Georgia guns on that ship, will be include with this gun, and will significantly enhance the display.


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Tags: Confederate, Imported, Georgia, G, Enfield, with, Matching, Bayonet