Identified Confederate JS/Anchor marked & Numbered P-1858 Enfield Short Rifle
- Product Code: FLA-2146-SOLD
- Availability: Out Of Stock
This is wonderful example of a rarely encountered Confederate imported P-1858 Naval “Short Rifle”. The gun bears the highly desirable Confederate J S / (ANCHOR) viewer’s mark behind the triggerguard, and has the Confederate inventory number 135 engraved on the tang of the brass buttplate. During 1861 and 1862, the Confederacy let a number of contracts for the delivery of “Enfield” pattern percussion long arms of all varieties. Many of these contracts are well documented within the papers of Confederate General Colin McRae, which reside in the collection of the South Carolina Relic Room & Military Museum, in Columbia, SC. While the purchases concentrated on P-1853 Enfield rifle muskets for use by Confederate the infantry, a number of “short rifles’ were also procured, as well as a much smaller number of English cavalry and artillery carbines. Confederate documents reveal that one of the early orders included 30,000 P-1853 “Long Enfields’ (obtained from Sinclair, Hamilton & Company), as well as 10,000 “short rifles’ of varying patterns. The short rifle order appears to have been serviced by multiple vendors, with recovered documents revealing that Sinclair, Hamilton & Company delivered about 6,600, William Grazebrook delivered around 2,300, and S. Isaac, Campbell & Company delivered just ufewer than1,000. The 40,000 guns from these contracts (30,000 long and 10,000 short Enfields) are the ones that are found with the both the J S / (ANCHOR) viewer’s mark and Confederate inventory number markings. The “Long Enfields’ were serialized in three series, from 1-10,000, 1-10,000 A and 1-10,000 B. The short rifles were simply serialized in the1-10,000 range, without a series letter suffix. The short rifles were mostly a mixture of standard P-1856 and P-1856 Type II (also known as the P-1858 “Bar on Band”) iron mounted rifles, as well as non-standard, commercial brass mounted P-1856 and P-1856 Type II rifles. A handful of the brass mounted P-1858 Naval Rifles, and a very few P-1860 and P-1861 rifles (both iron and brass mounted) were also purchased. According to the “Summary Statement of Overseas Purchases”, prepared by the Confederate Secretary of War on February 3, 1863, a total of 9,715 Enfield “Short Rifles” had been purchased by that date. The Naval rifle was equipped with a bayonet lug on the right side of the barrel, near the muzzle, to accommodate a special “Cutlass Bayonet”, an extra large saber style bayonet with an iron basket hilt that allowed the bayonet to do double duty as a boarding cutlass. While the Confederate Navy did purchase 1,000 P-1858 Naval Rifles with cutlass bayonets (also JS / Anchor marked and with engraved inventory numbers from 1-1000), the Army did not want to use the overly large, heavy and cumbersome cutlass bayonets, preferring instead the P-1856 semi-Yataghan blade saber bayonet. It appears that Caleb Huse purchased 700 P-1858 Naval Rifles from the firm of Sinclair, Hamilton & Company, in two groups. The first order, dated June 11, 1861 was for 200 rifles with an additional purchase of 500 rifles on June 27, 1861. The rifles are referred to a Sea Service Rifles “ New Service Pattern, but order specifically notes that the guns should be: “fitted with the same bayonets as the Short rifles”. It is believed that these 200 Naval Rifles were probably shipped via the blockade-runner Gladiator. According to the few copies of manifests and bills of lading that have been recovered that include short rifles in blockade runner cargoes, we know that at least 700 “short rifles’ were part of the cargo of the famous blockade runner Gladiator, and at least some short rifles were recovered from the wreck of the blockade runner Modern Greece.
The Pattern 1858 Naval “Short Rifle” was based upon the standard British military rifle of the era the P-1856 Rifle. Like the P-1856 Rifle, the P-1858 had a 33” barrel, with a .577 caliber bore. The “Naval” rifle had a heavier barrel than that P-1856 Army version, and was rifled with 5-grooves instead of the usual 3-grooves used in the P-1856 rifle and the P-1853 rifle musket. The five groove rifling proved quite effective, and with the adoption of the P-1860 Short Rifle, 5-groove rifling and a heavier barrel became the norm for all future Enfield pattern percussion short rifles. The rear sights of the rifles were graduated to 1,100 yards (rifle musket sights were graduated to 1,000 yards), and were set just behind the rear barrel band; further forward on the barrel than the sights used on the rifle musket. While the P-1856 rifle had its rear sling swivel attached to a lug, screwed into the rear of the extended iron triggerguard tang, the Naval rifle had the swivel mounted on the front of the brass triggerguard, as it was with the rifle musket. In both cases, the upper swivel was attached to the upper barrel band. As with the P-1853 rifle muskets (and all Enfield pattern arms of the time), the rifles had rust blued barrels and bands, and color case hardened locks and hammers. The furniture (triggerguard, butt plate, stock escutcheons, nose cap, etc.) of the “iron mounted” rifles was made of iron rather than brass, and was color casehardened and/or blued. In the case of “brass mounted” guns, this furniture was of brass, as found on the rifle muskets. Due to the difficulty of engraving a number in the case hardened buttplate tang, the iron mounted rifles that were inventory numbered were marked with their number in the wood of the stock belly, while the brass mounted rifles had the number engraved on the butt plate tang.
Short rifles were lighter and handier than rifle muskets, and were preferred for use not only by Confederate infantry that functioned as skirmishers and sharpshooters, but by Confederate cavalry that tended to operate as mounted infantry, rather than as traditional heavy cavalry. Confederate cavalry commanders J.E.B. Stuart and Nathan Bedford Forrest were both proponents of issuing short rifles to their cavalry troopers. Short rifles with saber bayonets are known to have been issued to Confederate infantry regiments serving in Kershaw’s South Carolina Brigade, the 10th, 16th, 18th & 51st Georgia, the 13th, 17th, 18th, 19th & 51st Mississippi, the 41st Tennessee, the 1st Battalion of Texas Sharpshooters, and the 5th Texas. Mounted Confederate units that are known to have been issued the “short Enfield rifle” were Cobb’s & Phillip’s Legions of Georgia, the 18th & 19th Mississippi cavalry (McCulloch’s Brigade of Forrest’s 2nd Cavalry), the 2nd North Carolina cavalry, the 3rd, 6th, 9th & 27th Texas cavalry (Ross’ brigade) and the 7th Virginia cavalry. Today, a multi-decade survey of extant surviving Confederate marked and inventory numbered short rifles reveals that less than 100 of these guns have survived (about 1% of the total numbered purchased). While some are in private collections, others reside in museum or other public collections where they can be viewed, but never owned by a collector. It is worth bearing in mind that the Confederate central government purchased three times as many P-1853 long Enfields as short Enfields, making a numbered short rifle a very difficult item to find for sale these days.
This Confederate purchased P-1858 Naval “Short Rifle” is in about VERY GOOD+ to NEAR FINE condition. Not only is it a wonderful example of Confederate marked short rifle, it is also identified to the Confederate soldier who carried it for at least a portion of the war. Carved into the obverse buttstock (upside down) are the block initials W H L, with the script letters undie finishing the last name. William H Lundie (sometimes spelled “Lundy” and even “Lunday” in period records) fought the entire war in the Eastern theater, in Company E of the 19th Mississippi Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Amazingly, the written letters “undie” are clearly identifiable as being in the hand of WH Lundie, as a copy of one of his pay vouchers, signed in his hand, remains in his service record, and slant and style of the script letters is clearly the same. The 19th Mississippi Infantry Regiment was one of those amazing Confederate regiments that was organized immediately after the firing on Fort Sumter, and fought in practically ever major engagement of the Eastern Theater from the beginning of the war to the surrender at Appomattox. The regiment was organized and mustered into Confederate service in Oxford, MS in May of 1861. Almost immediately, the regiment was moved to Virginia, joining the Forney’s Brigade of Confederate Army of the Shenandoah (under Joseph E Johnston) in July of 1861. Johnston’s Army of the Shenandoah was famous for being the first “Army” to utilize railroad transportation for rapid troop deployment tot eh field, which dramatically affected the outcome of the Battle of 1st Manassas (Bull Run). Unfortunately, Forney’s Brigade was delayed by a railroad collision at Piedmont Station, so the 19th Mississippi arrived too late to participate in the first big battle of the American Civil War. The Army of the Shenandoah was subsequently absorbed into to storied Army of Northern Virginia. The 19th Mississippi wound not receive its baptism under fire until the Battle of Williamsburg on May 5, 1862, almost exactly 1 year from their initial organization. Williamsburg was the first large battle of the 1862 Peninsula Campaign. The 19th MS participated in the entire Peninsula Campaign, including the engagements at Drewry’s Bluff and Seven Pines (Fair Oaks). The 19th Mississippi continued its service with the Army of Northern Virginia, fighting during the Seven Days, including Mechanicville, Gaines’s Mill, Savage’s Station, Frayser’s Farm and White Oak Swamp. That fall the 19th participated in Lee’s Maryland Campaign, which culminated with the Battle of Antietam. 1863 saw the 19th Mississippi bloodied further at Chancellorsville and Lee’s invasion of Pennsylvania, culminating in the Gettysburg Campaign. In 1864, the 19th Mississippi continued to fight valiantly with the Army of Northern Virginia, taking the field at Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor and manning the trenches during the Siege of Petersburg including participation in the battle of Boydton Plank Road as part of that campaign. With the Federal breakthrough at Petersburg at the end of March of 1865, the 19th Mississippi found themselves as part of the fighting retreat of Lee’s army that ended with the surrender of the army at Appomattox Court House. William H Lundie was born July 29, 1840, probably somewhere in Mississippi. On May 15, 1861 Lundie enlisted as a private in Company E of the 19th Mississippi Volunteer Infantry Regiment at Oxford, MS. Company E was composed of men primarily from Lafayette County, MS and went to war known as the McClung Riflemen. Like the other southern patriots who joined the 19th, Lundie enlisted for the duration of the war. Lundie was noted within his records as being 6” tall, with a fair complexion, sandy hair and blue eyes. Lundie’s service records give us a small peak into his life in Confederate service. According to the November & December 1861 muster rolls, Lundie was on “Extra duty guarding baggage at Manassas”. On June 30, 1862, Lundie was wounded at the battle of Frayser’s Farm, on the 6th day of the Seven Days Battles. The nature of the wound is not noted in his service records. Based upon his relatively rapid return to the regiment (he recuperated for no more than 60 days), it can be assumed the wound was not very serious. Lundie next appears as “Present” on the muster rolls that cover the months of September & October, 1862, suggesting that he returned to service just in time for the Maryland Campaign and the battle of Antietam. The January & February 1863 muster roll notes that Lundie had been promoted to 4th Corporal. He is next noted as being detailed as a member of the Provost Guard on June 1, 1863. It is assumed that he participated in the Battle of Gettysburg during Lee’s Pennsylvania Campaign. The next item of note in his service records are on the November “ December, 1863 muster roll, where Lundie was charged $2.51 for the loss of accouterments, “1 Shoulder Belt”. How Lundie managed to lose a cartridge box sling is not noted. However, it may have involved some form of disobedience, or misbehavior, as the January & February 1864 muster rolls show Lundie had been demoted to Private. The demotion did not last long, and by the July “ August 1864 muster roll, Lundie was listed as 2nd Corporal, having been promoted on July 1. Lundie, unlike many soldiers in the 19th MS managed to remain with the regiment for the entirety of the war, and officially surrendered at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. Of the over 1,000 officers and men who originally filled the ranks of the 19th Mississippi Infantry, only 147 were present for the surrender at Appomattox. Lundie signed the Oath of Allegiance on June 8, 1865 In Memphis, TN and returned to civilian life. Lundie subsequently moved to Midland County, TX, where he lived for the rest of his life. Lundie died on September 16, 1931 at the age of 91. He spent the last few years of his life at the Home for Texas Confederate Veterans in Austin. His cause of death is listed as “accidental poisoning”. He is buried in Block 89 Lot 1 of Fairview Cemetery in Midland.
The rifle is in wonderfully crisp condition, and is 100% complete and correct, with only the original ramrod that was engraved with the number matching the buttplate missing, replaced by a correct pattern original rod that may be a period replacement. The rifle is clearly marked with the desirable JS / (ANCHOR) Confederate viewer’s mark in the toe of the stock, behind the triggerguard tang. The buttplate tang is engraved with the Confederate inventory number 135. The muzzle diameter is slightly too small to accept a P-1859 Cutlass Bayonet, and is sized for a conventional P-1856 saber bayonet. This makes it one of the 700 Naval pattern rifles ordered for the Army by Caleb Huse. The inventory number “135” suggests it is one of the guns in the first order of 200, placed on June 11, 1861 and shipped to the Confederacy via the Gladiator. The toe of the stock is marked with a partially legible T TURNER, indicating that Thomas Turner was the master contractor who manufactured the gun. Thomas Turner was one of the largest and most important of the Birmingham gunmakers, who helped establish the Birmingham Small Arms Trade and was a major supplier of arms to the British Board of Ordnance, and later the War Department. Turner’s marks also appear under the barrel and in the ramrod channel of the gun. The lock of the rifle is clearly marked with an English (CROWN) behind the hammer and with TOWER / 1861 forward of the hammer. The interior of the lock is marked with an AT over the mainspring and with a O / CW at the mainspring boss. The top edge of the lock is marked with the mating mark \ / / /, matching mating marks appear on the necks of the lock mounting and barrel tang screws, inside the barrel bands, and on the bottom of the barrel. The lock functions perfectly on all positions and is mechanically excellent. The lock is mostly smooth, and has a slick slivery-gray patina, which retains some hints of case coloring if the lock is viewed from the correct angle. The barrel of the rifle is clearly marked with the typical Birmingham commercial provisional proof, view and definitive proof marks, as well as a pair of 25 gauge marks, indicating .577 caliber. The barrel has a thin, lightly oxidized brown patina over the majority of its length, with a silvery-gray base color to the metal. The barrel is mostly smooth metal with some very lightly scattered pinpricking along its length, but mostly confined to the breech and bolster area, which also shows some light peppering as well. The bore of the rifle retains the original and correct pattern 5-groove rifling, and rates about VERY GOOD+. The rifling remains strong and crisp, but the bore is somewhat dirty, with a dark seasoned look. The bore shows light pitting along its entire length, with a few of patches of more moderate pitting near the muzzle. The underside of the barrel the makers mark BEASLEY BROS, along with the initials O and TT. The barrel and breech plug have the matching mating number of 7. The barrel is also marked 030, T TURNER and with the mating mark \ / / /. The gun retains its original 1,100-yard rear sight, which is complete and fully functional. The original front sight is in place near the muzzle. The original bayonet lug is in place near the muzzle and bears an illegible mating number that would have matched the number on the pommel cap of the P-1856 saber bayonet that was fit to the rifle. The original lower sling swivel is in place on the bow of the brass triggerguard and the original upper swivel is in place on the upper barrel band of the gun. The barrel band tension screws retain both of the screw protecting doughnuts on their ends. The iron furniture has a lightly cleaned silvery-gray patina. The ramrod in the channel under the stock is an original period replacement. It is stamp numbered 129, but this is not (in my opinion) a Confederate number. It is hard to know if the rod is a period replacement or a more modern addition, but the rod is absolutely 100% original and correct for the rifle. The brass furniture has an attractive golden patina, and was probably lightly cleaned long ago and is starting to tone down. The stock of the rifle rates about FINE. The stock is full-length with no breaks, cracks or repairs. The stock does show a number of scattered bumps, dings and impact marks from actual use and service in the field. Considering that the gun almost certainly left England onboard the Gladiator on November 6, 1861 and arrived in the Confederacy no later than very early in 1862 (after transshipment from Nassau), the stock is in amazingly good condition. The stock shows no signs of having been sanded, but only shows light to moderate expected wear. The stock retains strong edges and lines throughout. A relatively legible JS / (ANCHOR) is stamped behind the trigger guard tang in the toe line of the stock. There is also a small (CROWN) / B / SA / T (Birmingham Small Arms Trade) mark in the same general area, and a T TURNER contractor mark further down, closer to the butt. As previously noted the obverse butt is carved with the initials W H Lundie, but it also bears the initials J W T twice. Two soldiers with those initials served in the 19th Mississippi Infantry: James W Taylor and J W Thompson. It is quite likely that one of these men carried the rifle before or after William H Lundie. Thompson served in Company A, and was killed on June 27, 1862 at Gaines’s Mill. Taylor served in Company B and deserted on February 24, 1864. It is possible that Lundie had the gun first, lost it when he was wounded at Frayser’s Farm and Taylor took it with him when he deserted some two years later. The other possibility is that Thompson had it first, lost it when he died at Gaines’s Mill, and Lundie was reissued the gun when he returned to service after recovering from his own wound. Of course, it is possible that “JWT” was not in the 19th MS, but that person possessed the gun for a substantial period of time either before or after Lundie.
Overall this is a good example of a scarce Confederate marked and numbered P-1856 Short Rifle. With a maximum of only 10,000 of these numbered short rifles having been purchased by the Confederate Government for the Army, these guns are hardly common. In fact, a database that has recorded extant Confederate numbered rifles that have been inspected over the last 2-3 decades reveals that less than 100 of those 10,000 guns have survived, a survival rate of only 1%. Interestingly, only two numbers have been documented above the 46XX range. This suggests that the majority of the numbered rifles above that point may been at the bottom of the ocean, either due to blockade runners sinking, or dumping their clandestine cargoes while being pursued. No matter the reason, the guns remain quite rare and not often found for sale. This is really wonderful example that clearly fought the majority of the war, and has survived in crisp, complete condition (although missing its original rammer). The rifle is particularly wonderful in that it is one of the very first Confederate purchased, JS / (ANCHOR) marked, numbered rifles, with the very low number 135. This gun almost certainly is among the 200 rifles ordered by Huse on June 11, 1861 and that shipped via the Gladiator in November of that year. Even better, the rifle is concretely identified to a soldier in the 19th Mississippi Infantry, who fought through the entire war and surrendered at Appomattox. Any collection of CS imported long arms needs at least one numbered short rifle to complete it, and it would be hard to find a better condition example that actually fought and that is identified to a specific soldier. A binder of information on William H Lundie and the 19th Mississippi Infantry is included with this wonderful rifle.SOLD