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    Description

    Historical Inscribed Civil War Military Sharpshooter's Issue Rifle. Carried and used by the regimental sharpshooter of the 151st New York Infantry Regiment (records accompanying the rifle clearly show how he was attached to the 1st Brigade, 3rd Division of the 6th Army Corps from April, 1864 until mustered out June, 1865). Rare Sharps "New Model 1859" full stock .52 caliber percussion rifle with the scarce 36-inch barrel having stuff for saber-type bayonet near the muzzle. Serial no. 37402 clearly places it in the very earliest of that scarce model, the production of which was limited. This rifle was brought home at war's end by the Union soldier to whom it was issued, and who had used it as a regimental "sharpshooter" during the latter years of the Civil War. He subsequently memorialized it for himself and his descendants. Inlaid on the left side of the butt is a large silver plaque, very handsomely engraved "Dem Youngers/ 1st Brig. Sharpshooters/ 3rd Div. 6th Corps" all surrounded with bold scroll designs and a fancy hand-engraved border. Matching that silver inlay are two diamond-shaped silver inlays decoratively inletted on each side of the forestock. There is no doubting the authenticity of the engraving of the inlays to the immediate post-war years.

    The rifle is in original, untouched condition, showing normal usage with deep, smooth even-age brown patina. Pitting very minor in small patches; mostly on front of lock around hammer area and a few small patches, on the breech, all very trivial. Just light wear to the stock, consistent with the metal and overall excellent. Matching patina on the iron patch box with some blemishes and patches of very minor fine surface pitting. All markings and mechanical functions perfect. The .52 caliber rifled bore very good to excellent, single trigger.

    A large file of research documentation accompanies the rifle. The very first letter from the state of New York Feb., 1980 in answer to an Upstate New York individual (not a known gun collector) who actually turned this gun up, having acquired it from a local family who resided only 10 miles from Batavia, N.Y., the town where Dem Youngers enlisted from and subsequently died in the 1870s. Among the documents is a copy from the National Archives of a letter circa 1870s to the U.S. Commissioner of pensions in support of Dem Youngers' (or his widow's) application for a pension and written by Dem Youngers' former First Sergeant (and later Lieut.) Frank Leopold in which he specifically mentions Youngers' hard service before Petersburg and writes "...I think he went with the Brigade Sharpshooters" following his return to the outfit. Probably the most impeccably documented rifle known to exist.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2008
    29th-30th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,251

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