Dug Model 1854 Austrian Lorenz Musket – Dug at the Battle of Bentonville, NC
Dug Model 1854 Austrian Lorenz Musket – Dug at the Battle of Bentonville, NC – We have had many excavated muskets and pistols, but this is the first Austrian 1854 “Lorenz” Rifle-Musket we have had; indeed, they are extremely rare to dig, like this example, in such near complete condition. The Austrian was a popular European weapon used by both the Union and the Confederacy. During the Civil War, 226,924 such arms were imported to the Union while 100,000 muskets went to the Confederacy. Developed by the Austrian army to replace their older infantry muskets, the accepted design in 1854 utilized an advanced percussion ignition system by Josef Lorenz, a Viennese gunsmith. This fine dug example retains all of its original parts, with the exception of the butt plate and ramrod. It is in overall excellent dug condition; it has been treated and stabilized and is not flaking whatsoever. This is a rare, excavated weapon, dug at one of the last major battles of the Civil War.
The Battle of Bentonville (March 19 – 21, 1865) was fought in Johnston County, North Carolina, near the village of Bentonville, as part of the Western Theater of the American Civil War. It was the last battle between the armies of Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman and Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston.
As the right wing of Sherman’s army under command of Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard marched toward Goldsboro, the left wing under command of Maj. Gen. Henry W. Slocum encountered the entrenched men of Johnston’s army. On the first day of the battle, the Confederates attacked the XIV Corps and routed two divisions, but the rest of Sherman’s army defended its positions successfully. The next day, as Sherman sent reinforcements to the battlefield and expected Johnston to withdraw, only minor sporadic fighting occurred. On the third day, as skirmishing continued, the division of Maj. Gen. Joseph A. Mower followed a path into the Confederate rear and attacked. The Confederates were able to repulse the attack as Sherman ordered Mower back to connect with his own corps. Johnston elected to withdraw from the battlefield that night.
As a result of the overwhelming Union strength and the heavy casualties his army suffered in the battle, Johnston surrendered to Sherman little more than a month later at Bennett Place, near Durham Station. Coupled with Gen. Robert E. Lee‘s surrender on April 9, Johnston’s surrender represented the effective end of the war.