IDENTIFIED 7th INDIANA CAVALRY NEW MODEL 1863 SHARPS CARBINE

$3,750.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 2021-946

This New Model 1863 Sharps Carbine with iron patch box is serial numbered C12870 and is identified by number to William R. Schendel (also carried as Schindel and Schendahl) in company order books of the 7th Indiana Cavalry (see Coates and MCAulay, page 63.) He enlisted and mustered in as a sergeant in Company B of the 7th Indiana on 8/28/1863 and served until mustered out on 2/18/1866, having been transferred 7/21/65 from Company B to Company D. His appointment as sergeant is likely explained by prior service in Co. K 46th Ohio, in which he enlisted at age 19 on 11/20/61, mustered in 12/27/61, and was discharged for disability on 3/13/63 at LaGrange, TN. He is carried there as Rodolph Shendel, likely using his middle name. In 1890 he was living in Park River, North Dakota. Further research might turn up some interesting service details.

The regiment was organized at Indianapolis in summer 1863, mustered in by company through October 1, and reported to Louisville in December, moving from there to Union City, TN, where it joined Grierson’s 1st brigade, 6th division, 16th army corps. It took part in numerous expeditions, scouts, small actions and a few larger fights. In late December it moved into Mississippi to cut off Forrest in his retreat from Jackson, Tenn., and fought at Paris, Egypt Station, and Okolona, where it covered the retreat, saving a supply train and an abandoned battery at a cost of 11  killed, 36 wounded and 37 missing.  It was later engaged in scouting, fought Forrest again at Guntown, and was in a number of fights with guerillas while guarding railroad lines. In November 1864 it pursued Price in Arkansas, operated in Missouri, and returned to Tennessee where it again fought Forrest, with better outcome at Vernon and Egypt Station. The regiment was actively engaged in scouting and provost duty near Memphis until June, 1865, when it moved to Alexandria La., and then to Texas, where it mustered out Feb. 18, 1866. During its service it lost 1 officer and 47 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded, which is fairly high for a cavalry unit.

As the most used carbine of the Civil War, the Sharps needs no introduction to most collectors. We recommend the books on Sharps by Marcot et al., Sellers, Coates and McAulay to those interested. This is a good example of the New Model 1863, the successor to the popular New Model 1859. Serial numbers for the NM1863 run from about 71000 to C49000, with the Sharps Rifle Company’s peculiar use of C-prefix to indicate 100,000, introduced in Spring 1864, giving a rough time frame for this one. It is unusual in being numbered that high and still carrying an iron patchbox, the omission of which is an identifier of the pattern starting around August 1863, but there was a good deal overlap and use of parts on hand by the company, so we can’t be too doctrinaire about it. The only other real change from the 1859, aside from the barrel marking, was a larger clean-out screw in the breechblock.

The wood has good color, edges, and a tight fit to the metal. There are light handling marks overall, some light and dark stains, and few areas of light abrasion such as the lower wrist and more dings under the sling bar from sling ring beating against it while carried so the cartouches are not visible. The metal is generally strong. The barrel show gray with some dark gray spots from the muzzle back to the forend and shifts to brown toward the breech. The rear sight is complete, but both the sight and right side of the barrel immediately below it show pitting and crustiness making the Lawrence patent markings on the sight base tough to make out, and the screw shows a chewed up slot, the only indicator anyone ever tried to mess with it. The barrel is better both behind it, with the NEW MODEL 1863 legible, and forward, where the SHARPS’ RIFLE / MANUFG. CO. / HARTFORD CONN. is partially visible.

The receiver is smooth metal and mostly gray mixed with some brown, the mechanics are good and the nipple is not battered. There is actually some faded case color on the lockplate behind the hammer and on the left side in the same position and patchbox screws show some faded thin blue. The cartouches in the wood are not visible, but standard markings in the metal are: the serial number on the wrist tang is sharp. The R.S. LAWRENCE PAT. / APRIL 12th, 1859 behind the hammer is rubbed but visible but C. SHARPS’ / OCT. 5th 1852 on the lockplate, and SHARPS PAT / SEPT 12th 1848 on the left receiver are good. The top of the barrel is marked NEW MODEL 1863 in front of the breech and SHARPS’ RIFLE / MANUFG. CO. / HARTFORD CONN. in front of the rear site. The rear site base is marked in three horizontal lines: R.S. LAWRENCE / PATENTED / FEB. 15th 1859.

This is carbine is in attic condition, shows legitimate field use, and is quite scarce in being identified with certainty to a specific cavalry trooper with an active service record. [ad] [ph:L]

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