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    Description

    Cased, Carved Ivory Grip Colt M1860 .44 Caliber Percussion Army Revolver with a Remarkable Civil War Associated History. This gun was the subject of the cover article in the November 1980 Gun Report and has been known through the years as the "Walking Colt." The gun is serial #164789 matching, probably made late 1867. The gun retains 40% of the original blue and case colors and 30% of the original silver on the trigger guard. 95% of the original cylinder scene with just a few very small patches of salt and peppering. Four of the six cylinder pins intact. The original ivory grip is carved on the obverse with a deep relief eagle with a panoply of flags on a cross hatched background with E Pluribus Unum at the top. Overall with nice mellow patina and a few hairlines, one age crack with no loss and very sound. The gun is housed in a correct period Colt Army casing with green blaize lining, there are no accessories. The backstrap bears the following three line inscription, "Presented with great honor to/ Sergt. Gilbert Bates/ From Senator James P. Doolittle" and on the bottom of the grip strap "April 14, 1868". Gilbert Bates served in Co. H of the 1st Wisconsin Heavy Artillery during the Civil War and, after his return to civilian life became interested in politics on the state and national level. Bates became involved in the debate over the post war fate of the south and felt strongly that they should be welcomed back into the Union and not punished for the war. To prove that there was unity under one flag, Bates began a march from Vicksburg, Miss. On February 1, 1968, wearing his Union uniform and stating that he would "carry the flag unfurled, except at night, during storms or when resting....to be always unarmed, to go on foot" and "not to employ one person to protect him". Although Bates march was attended by controversy in the press, he arrived in Washington on April 14, the date of the presentation, and escorted to the White House where he was received by President Johnson. Among other gifts he had acquired along the way he presented Johnson with "a flag that had been taken from us at Chancellorsville and it was given to me by an ex-Confederate soldier". Bates arrival was marked by much additional bally hoo and he was presented this revolver by Doolittle. James P. Doolittle was a senator from Wisconsin from 1857 to 1869, a personal friend of Lincoln and, as was Bates, an advocate of peaceful reconstruction. Doolittle went on to a long illustrious career in American politics and subsequently serving as the president of the University of Chicago. Bates returned to his life in Edgarton, Wis. and, in 1868, published two books on his remarkable adventure. A great Colt and a wonderful touchstone to a fascinating chapter in American history.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th-21st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,241

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