PRESCOTT POCKET REVOLVER ID’D TO MURDERED MARYLAND OFFICER

$5,000.00
Originally $6,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 750-01

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Call 717-334-0347,
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This .32 rimfire pocket revolver was made by E. A. Prescott from about 1862-1867. This is what is known as the short frame style with a 3.25 inch octagon barrel stamped in two lines on the top “E. A. PRESCOTT, WORCESTER, MASS. PAT’D OCT. 2, 1860.” The stamping is clear and strong. Approx. 80% of bluing remains on the barrel. Frame is all brass with irregular side plate. Cylinder is six shot with locking notches at rear. Latch for center pin is on the front of the frame. Wood grips are in excellent condition and have a flat base. The hammer has no half-cock but does hold on full-cock. Cylinder moves just before locking in full-cock position. Barrel rifling is good with some light dirt. Back strap has wonderful period engraving that reads “CAPT. THOS. H. WATKINS CO. B Md. VOL.” Across the butt strap is “KILLED MAR.25, 1865  A. A. CO. Md.” The letters “A. A. CO.” stand for “Anne Arundel County.”

Captain Thomas Hodges Watkins was born October 18, 1838. Having graduated from St. John’s College he went to Fort McHenry in 1861 and was commissioned a Captain in the Pernell Legion Cavalry. For his loyalty to the Union he was shunned and condemned by a very large majority of his relatives, associates and former friends. He recruited and trained Company B which soon established a good reputation for drill and discipline. Watkins Company was detached from the regiment and used for running down disloyal citizens in Maryland. Many considered Watkins in arms against his own people but he was also admired as a man of honor.

In January 1864 Watkins married 18 year old Julia Sellman. The couple had one child. Also in 1864 Watkins was appointed Provost Marshall of Annapolis but by June his Company was transferred to the 5th Corps of the Army of the Potomac where they saw action around Petersburg. During a fight on August 18, 1864 at Weldon Railroad Watkins received a saber blow to the head. He was sent to McClellan Army Hospital in Philadelphia and by September he was sent home to recuperate with his then pregnant wife.

On September 13, 1864 Watkins sent a house servant to saddle his horse. After a while both were found to be missing. Watkins and his brother Ben armed themselves and set off after the thieves. Watkins and his brother found the horse and the thief. The thief was known as Captain John Henry Boyle a southern guerilla leader. After an argument Boyle fired at Watkins but missed. Watkins and his brother overpowered Boyle and threw a beating on him and tied him up. At a stop along the way to Army Headquarters Boyle hit Watkins in the head with a scale weight and escaped. Watkins returned home to recover. In the months that past Captain Boyle let it be known that he intended to get revenge on Watkins.

In October the Purnell Legion Cavalry was mustered out and Watkins returned to civilian life. On November 11, 1864 Watkins wife gave birth to a daughter.

On the night of March 24, 1865 as Watkins sat in a chair after dinner, Captain Boyle burst through the door of Watkins home and yelled “Your frolic is over!” and shot Watkins pointblank in the chest. Watkins, who had kept a loaded gun with him since his run-in with Boyle, used what life remained to run upstairs for his pistol but died on the top of the stairs. His wife was with the baby in her room and grabbed his pistol and locked the bedroom door. Boyle ran off into the night but was later captured. He did 4 years in jail for other crimes but was never charged with the murder of Watkins. It is also known that Captain Boyle was implicated by George A. Atzerodt as being involved in John Wilkes Booths plot to kidnap President Lincoln. Watkins family history says that Boyle was hunted down and killed by one of Captain Watkin’s men.

It is believed that the pistol offered here may be the very one Watkins often carried with him and was racing for when he died and the same one his wife grabbed in their bedroom. That would explain the postmortem inscription on the butt strap.

With the pistol are two copy photographs of Watkins, one in uniform and one in civilian clothes. The one in civilian clothes comes housed in a wonderful period wooden frame. The image meas. approx. 8.00 x 10.00 but is housed in an oval mat. The frame is also oval and meas. approx. 18.00 x 21.50. There is some minor wear around the edges at the top of the frame.

Also with the item is a large notebook of research and information on Watkins including pictures of the homes he once lived in and of his grave as well as his military and pension records and other articles and items relating to Watkins and Captain Boyle. There are also letters from noted historian James O. Hall about Captain Boyle’s involvement in the Lincoln kidnap plan.

This is a wonderful piece of Maryland history with just TONS of interesting facts surrounding it. The research that accompanies the item is first rate.

DISCLAIMER: All firearms are sold as collector's items only - we do not accept responsibility as to the shooting safety or reliability of any antique firearm. All firearms are described as accurately as possible, given the restraints of a catalog listing length. We want satisfied customers & often "under" describe the weapons. Any city or state regulations regarding owning antique firearms are the responsibility of the purchaser. All firearms are "mechanically perfect" unless noted, but again, are NOT warranted as safe to fire.

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