CS RICHMOND TYPE II MUSKET ID’D TO 49TH VIRGINIA SOLDIER - CHAMBERSBURG, PA FIND

$15,000.00

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Item Code: 1000-390

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This musket is a true Richmond throughout, lock, stock and barrel. It is out of an estate in Chambersburg, PA, located approx. 25 miles west of Gettysburg.Weapon is identified to Private Weedon Oliver of Company C, 49th Virginia Infantry by a carving found on the left side of the buttstock. This rifle was either purposely damaged by smashing the butt against a tree causing a break in the wrist and a dent in the brass buttplate or it was struck by a projectile. Rifles were often smashed against a tree before capture to keep them from being reused by the enemy. Either way the item presents a mostly untouched appearance and has no doubt seen service.

The barrel surface is smooth with moderate to heavy mottling and very little pitting which is confined to the bolster area. Rear sight is of the Richmond type. Both flip-up leaves operate properly. Correct front sight is also present. Left flat at breech has a strong “V” with a weak “P” and eaglehead. Barrel date of “1862” is very good. Bolster has the original nipple in good condition. Clean-out screw is good. Bore is dark and dirty with fair rifling and some pitting. Observing the bore with a bore light reveals a slight bend in the barrel.

Lockplate and hammer have light mottling. Forward of the hammer is a very strong “C. S.” over “RICHMOND, VA.” The area around this mark may have been lightly cleaned. Behind the hammer is an equally strong “1862.” Action is excellent.

The wood stock has a brass buttplate and nose cap as well as three iron barrel bands with springs. Each band is stamped with an off center “U.” Bands have oxidation to match the barrel. Brass nose cap and buttplate have a nice patina. The wood itself has a severe crack in the wrist that has been repaired with old tacks. The wrist was broken to the point where the only thing holding it to the rifle was the triggerguard tang. Long ago someone reset the wrist and tacked it in place. There is a chunk of wood missing from just in front of the comb that meas. approx. 1.25 x 1.00 inch. There is also an impact area at the top of the buttplate where the weapon was struck. The plate is slightly bent in this area and the wood is compressed with a small crack approx. 0.75 of an inch long. Wood surface has the usual wear from age and use. Lockplate screws show no wear. The only marking on the stock is a carving on the left butt that reads “W. O. Co C, 49. VA.”

Weapon retains the original straight shank ramrod with tulip head and threaded tip. Surface of rod matches the other iron on the weapon. Both sling swivels are present. Triggerguard has moderate mottling with some light surface rust. Tang has a slight wave in it from being bent when struck and then forced back in place when the wrist was repaired.

Research shows that the only soldier with the initials “W. O.” in the 49th Virginia was Weedon (also spelled Weadon) Oliver of Company C. He was born in Fauquier County, Virginia on September 8, 1843.

Oliver enlisted at Culpepper Court House on March 18, 1862 in Company H, 49th Virginia Infantry and was almost immediately transferred to Company C.

Private Oliver was present for the actions at Yorktown, Williamsburg, Seven Pines and Malvern Hill. The regimental muster roll for May and June show Private Oliver as sick but present. Records indicate that he was not sent to a hospital until September 20th 1862 when he arrived at the African Church Hospital in Winchester, Virginia. If this is correct he would have been present for 2nd Bull Run and possibly Antietam.

Private Oliver remained at the African Church Hospital until November 16, 1862 when he was moved to the CSA General Hospital at Charlottesville. The record says he was suffering from “debility.”  It is not known when he was released from the hospital. Odds are he was returned to duty sometime in the spring or early summer of 1863 and may have been present at Gettysburg but it cannot be said for sure. The muster roll for July and August 1863 is missing. The next record that shows him present is for November and December of 1863 and the last record covers from April to October of 1864. All the rest of the records are missing. Oliver was no doubt present for the Overland Campaign seeing action at Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Monocacy, Fort Stevens, 3rd Winchester, Fisher’s Hill and Cedar Creek. No discharge date is given in the record but if he served his full three years he would have been mustered out in March of 1865 which would put him in most of the Petersburg Campaign.

After the war Oliver returned to Virginia where he married in 1867, raised a family and worked as a carpenter. He was also active for a time in local politics.

In 1913 he attended the 50th Anniversary Reunion at Gettysburg. The Washington Herald of June 29, 1913 lists Oliver among the attendees heading for Gettysburg.

Weedon Oliver died on October 18, 1919 and is buried in National Memorial Park in Falls Church, Fairfax County, Virginia.

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