U.S. SPRINGFIELD MODEL 1861 RIFLE MUSKET, DATED 1862 WITH ATTRIBUTION TO THE 25TH MASSACHUSETTS

$4,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 526-44

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This weapon was purchased at auction from the estate of James Drennan who served as a Lieutenant in the 25th Massachusetts Infantry. Drennan was born in Ireland and eventually settled in Worcester, Massachusetts. He was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in Company K upon enlistment on October 12, 1861. He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant July 22, 1862 and was wounded at Arrowfield Church on May 9, 1864. He was promoted to Captain on June 4, 1864 and in October was transferred to Company E. Drennan was mustered out on October 20, 1864.

After the war he lived in Worcester where he was a member of the George H. Ward Post #10 of the GAR. He died in Worcester on November 6, 1905.

When this weapon was purchased there was an old tag with it that read “FATHERS MUSKET GIVEN TO HIM WHEN HE ENLISTED AS A PRIVATE IN CO. K, 25TH MASS. U.S.V.” That tag is now missing. If Drennan enlisted as a Private at some point the record does not show it.  As an officer Drennan would not have been issued a musket. The thought is that the weapon may have belonged to a friend and comrade of Drennan but that cannot be proven. The only thing known for sure is that the weapon belonged to Drennan and was among the effects of his estate.

This original Model 1861 U.S. rifle-musket is in good condition overall. Made by the Springfield Armory, circa 1861-1862, a total of over 265,000 units were produced in those years.

The barrel has a semi-bright surface with light to moderate mottling and shows signs of cleaning and light pinprick pitting. Front and rear sights are present and correct. The original nipple is present. Well below nipple base is black with dirt. Breech area of the barrel shows light pitting as does the bolster. Breech is clearly stamped “1862” on the top flat with government proof marks of “P” with eaglehead on the left facet. The letter “V” has worn off. Bore is good with only light dirt and should scrub to very good.

Lockplate is sharply stamped with “U.S. / SPRINGFIELD” under the bolster with a strong spread-winged eagle beside it under the hammer. Strong stamp “1862” is present behind the C-shaped hammer. Lockplate surface is semi-bright to match the barrel and also shows some light mottling. Action is crisp. Hammer has some dark areas of light rust and pitting.

Black walnut stock is in good condition overall. Some dings, scratches and nicks are visible. Two government cartouches are present on the flat opposite the hammer. Butt plate has nice dark patina.

The weapon’s original tulip-head, swelled shank, steel ramrod with threaded tip rests in the groove in the forend of the stock. All barrel bands and sling swivels are present. Screw heads are good.

With the weapon is a file of information that contains basic information on the 25th Massachusetts, military and pension records for James Drennan, emails and letters passing between a former owner and researchers and laminated sign for display.  [ad]

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