Posted 8 months ago
The Civil War & Smith & Wesson.
At the time the Civil War broke out, Smith & Wesson was the only authorized American revolver manufacture that had a bored through cylinder, firing a self-contained metallic cartridge. They introduced the Model 1, a seven-shot .22 rimfire in 1857, but soon realized a growing demand for a more powerful cartridge. In June of 1861, two months after the Civil War broke out, they introduced what the factory called the Model 2, or Belt Pistol. It was a six-shot .32 rimfire caliber offered with a 6" barrel first and later in 5" as standard. Although it was never adopted or purchased by the Army, it was a popular Civil War sidearm purchased by soldiers or soon to be soldiers. Because of it's popularity, it became known as the S&W Number 2 Army. They manufactured 77,155 between 1861 to 1874, beginning with serial number 1 - 77155. Historians have recorded that the cut-off serial number for the Model 2, manufactured during the Civil War is around serial number 35731. Production records show serial numbers 29359 - 48475 were manufactured in 1865.
Although neither of the two Model 2's shown here can be definitively traced to being used in the war, both were manufactured within the Civil War time-frame.
The 1st Model 2 shown (photo 1 & 2), is serial number 1973, with a 6" barrel, manufactured in 1861. Records show serial number 1 - 2122 were manufactured in 1861. It is the early production with only two pins in the top-strap (note the two pins in the top frame above the cylinder). The two-pin variation is noted to about serial number 3647. The only major change in the Model 2 was, a third pin was added to the top-strap.
The 2nd Model 2 shown (photo #3) was given to me by my grandfather which was given to him by his father. It is serial number 31362, with a 5" barrel & the 3-pin top-strap variation. It was probably manufactured in January or February of 1865. The holster shown does not show any makers marks, but as a kid, spending a lot of time with my grandfather, he always had this Model 2, in this holster sitting on the dresser in his bedroom. A treasured gift and memory that will never be forgotten.
Photo #4 shows the 6" Model 2 on top & the 5" below.
Yankee Rebel is the written from the personal journal of Edmund DeWitt Patterson, a northerner, born in Lorain County, Ohio, but left at the age of 17 went south to Second Creek, Alabama (just above Waterloo) to sell books. He failed as a salesman and the town needed a school teacher. He convinced the school directors to hire him temporarily until he could obtain a certificate, which he did, but at the end of the year decided he didn't want to be a school teacher like his father, so he entered the dry goods business which he liked until the late spring of 1861 when he enlisted for the war with his Waterloo friends in Company D (Lauderdale Rifles), Ninth Alabama Infantry. Thus the title, "Yankee Rebel".
Rebel Private: Front and Rear by William Fletcher. Memories of a Confederate Soldier. I haven't read this one yet.
Just a little family history I thought I would share.
Thanks for looking.