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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 8:45 am 

Joined: Sun Jan 04, 2009 9:33 pm
Posts: 302
Location: Old Northwest (Michigan)
Fellow Sharpshooters.

I found an interesting series of comments about the NM1859 'Berdan' Sharps rifles posted this AM on the Civil War Talk website: ... lp.123321/

Much of the discussion focuses on the range of serial numbers of rifles manufactured by the Sharps Rifle Mfg. Co. for the 1st and 2nd USSS. There is 'new information' about the 'JT' cartouche and 'punch pin' mark inside the patch box indicating James Taylor (US sub-inspector assigned to evaluate the Berdan contract Sharps) had passed the rifle.

As I discussed in previous posts, the Berdan rifles were not listed in a single, sequential series by the Sharps factory (as a rifle was finished it's serial number would be recorded but it would be mixed in with the US Govt's carbine contract). Regulations required company Orderly Sergeants and/or Regimental Ordnance Sergeants for recording the serial numbers of Sharps rifles that were issued to individual Sharpshooters. These records should be in the Archives, but to my knowledge none of the modern Sharps/USSS researchers have uncovered this potential treasure trove of info. This information has the potential to elevate the value of a 'provenance-unknown, $1000, single trigger, beater Sharps' significantly.

The USSS records also shows both regiments were inspected quarterly and when necessary, new (or refurbished) Sharps rifles would have been issued and the worn rifles returned to the Sharps factory for refitting (Caspar Trepp's 1st USSS Ordnance reports-March 1863 show the regiment was largely issued new Sharps). Also, the Regimental Armorer would have kept on hand a small supply of new rifles to be issued to men returning from the hospital/POW, and new recruits.


Bill Skillman
Hudson Squad Mess

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 7:11 am 
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Joined: Thu May 07, 2009 7:38 am
Posts: 107

Interesting information Bill. Thanks for posting!


Mike Thomas

140th PVI, Co A

1st USSS, Co H

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