MERRILL CARBINE ID’D TO TWO MEMBERS OF THE 7TH INDIANA CAVALRY

$3,250.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: G3634

This Merrill carbine bears serial number 12776 and shows on the Ordnance return for the 7th Indiana Cavalry as having been initially issued to Private Anthony Fredrick of Company D. Scratched on the left butt is the name “FRAME” showing that it was also carried by Sergeant Oliver Frame of Company F of the same regiment.

This carbine was produced by H. Merrill of Baltimore, Maryland and is the Second Type Merrill carbine which is a 54 caliber, single shot, percussion breechloader. The carbine exhibits the brass triggerguard, brass butt plate and single brass barrel band but lacks the patchbox as found on the 1st Type. The carbine was loaded by pulling back the latch of the breech lever, then lifting and pulling up the lever and inserting a cartridge into the chamber and then reclosing the mechanism.

Weapon has a 22 1/8” long round barrel with a mixed patina of a smooth, dark plum-brown and some mottling with scattered light pitting. Atop the barrel is the blade type front sight and a three level rear sight with “V” notch and flip-up leafs for 300 and 500 yards. Sight base wiggles a bit. Top flat of the breech lever has a worn mark that reads “J.H. MERRILL BALTO. / PAT. JULY 1858.” Bore is clean with good rifling.

The iron lockplate has a mottled appearance and is marked forward of the hammer in three-lines “J.H. MERRILL BALTO. / PAT. JULY 1858 / APL. 9 MAY 21-28-61.”  Date of “1863” is clearly stamped behind the hammer. Hammer matches the lock in color and nipple is original. Action of the hammer and the loading mechanism both work properly.

Carbine features a dark walnut stock that carries one faint but visible cartouche on the left flat just above the iron saddle bar and ring. All brass exhibits a mellow patina. Butt has several parallel horizontal cracks along the buttplate with normal dings, dents and scuffs. None of these are major and are often seen on weapons of this particular type. The wrist has a closed hairline crack running from the back of the lockplate around to the triggerguard on the opposite side. There is also a small closed crack below the lockplate. In regards to these cracks, please bear in mind that this weapon saw hard use with two separate owners. The wear on this carbine attests to that fact. Also, the butt has some obviously carved marks on the right side while the left side has the name “FRAME” clearly handcarved in 1.00 inch high letters.

Now for the history of the two owners.

Anthony Fredrick was born in Baden, Germany. When he came to the United States is not known. He enlisted as a Private in Company D, 7th Indiana Cavalry on August 31, 1863 for 3 years’ service. At the time of his enlistment Frederick was described as being 44 years old, 5’ 6” tall with black eyes, gray hair with a dark complexion and by profession a farmer. As mentioned above, records indicate that he was issued THIS Merrill carbine which is number 12776.

Records indicate that Fredrick was present with his regiment through October 1864 and was present for actions at Colliersville, Okolona, Memphis, Guntown and White’s Station before being transferred to Company B, 15th Regiment of the Veterans Reserve Corps on October 20, 1864. At the time Fredrick joined the 15th they were at Camp Douglas in Chicago. He became sick and entered the hospital where he remained until July 1865. He was mustered out at Springfield, Illinois on November 12, 1865. At this point Fredrick disappears from the records and nothing else is known of him.

At some point this Merrill Carbine was acquired by Oliver Frame of Company F, 7th Indiana Cavalry.

Oliver B. Frame was born in Drake County, Ohio on January 14, 1842. At the time of his enlistment at La Porte, Indiana on August 6, 1863 he was describes as being 23 years old, standing 5’ 7 ½” tall with black eyes, black hair and a dark complexion. He was a shoemaker by profession.

During his service Frame was promoted three times. First to Corporal on January 1, 1864 then to 4th Sergeant on September 1, 1864 and lastly to Quartermaster Sergeant on May 1, 1865. He was mustered out at Hempstead, Texas on September 19, 1865. Frame was present for all 21 engagements that the 7th Indiana Cavalry took part in as evidenced by a letter in his pension file where he says he never left his “redgment.”

After the war Frame moved to Illinois and then to Iowa. He married in 1871 and had a family of six children with only one child surviving to adulthood. He was a member of the Garfield Post #57 of the GAR and worked as a stone mason.

Mr. Frame died on February 17, 1899 at Red Oak, Iowa and is buried there in Evergreen Cemetery.

Military records for both soldiers and pension records for Mr. Frame come with the weapon as well as Ordnance returns showing this Merrill carbine being issued to Mr. Fredrick.  [ad]

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