M1842 Pistol Id’d to J.M. William of the 7th Texas Infantry
M1842 Pistol Id’d to J.M. William of the 7th Texas Infantry -This Model 1842, single shot percussion, pistol was manufactured by Henry Aston of Middletown, Connecticut. Aston manufactured around 30,000 pistols between 1846 and 1852. His lock plate markings are a US/H.ASTON from 1846 through 1850 and US/H. ASTON & CO in 1851 and 1852. All are marked with MIDDtn/CONN/(date) vertically in the rear. All are .54 caliber smoothbores with 8 ½ inch round barrels. Barrels are marked with US, date on the tang and inspectors initials. The ramrod is a swivel type with a button shaped head. Back strap, trigger guard, barrel band and front sight are made of brass. All metal parts were originally blued, with the exception of the trigger. This example is marked with the 1850 Aston date and associated markings on the lock plate. On the barrel breech, only “JH” (inspector’s initials) are discernible. The bore exhibits firing wear and is in the correct, .54 smoothbore, caliber. The iron elements are somewhat pitted. Significantly, into the right side of the walnut grip is crudely carved: “J M William”. William enlisted as a private, at the onset of the Civil War, into the 7th Texas Infantry. The 7th Texas was active and heavily engaged throughout the entire war, finally surrendering on April 26, 1865.
This pistol is in overall very good condition. It does exhibit some wear, but the wood and metal surfaces, despite some minor dings and slight pitting, is in very good shape. Interestingly, the brass extension of the trigger guard, extending to just behind the barrel breech, shows a lot of verdigris, indicative of the original owner’s thumb placement during the period of use. This is a fine example of a rarely found, Id’d, Confederate used weapon.
7th Regiment, Texas Infantry (Gregg’s)
7th Infantry Regiment, organized at Waco, Texas, during the early summer of 1861, contained men recruited at Waco, Gilmer, Marshall, and Fairfield, and in Freestone County. Sent to Tennessee it became part of the garrison at Fort Donelson and was captured in February, 1862. Exchanged and assigned to J. Gregg’s Brigade, Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana, it fought at Raymond and Jackson. Later the unit was attached to J. Gregg’s, J.A. Smith’s, and Granbury’s Brigade, Army of Tennessee. It participated in the campaigns of the army from Chickamauga to Atlanta, moved with Hood into Tennessee, and was active in North Carolina. This regiment reported 20 killed and 39 wounded of the 305 at Fort Donelson, lost fifty-two percent of the 306 at Raymond, had 177 in action at Chickamauga, and totalled 170 men and 122 arms in December, 1863. Few surrendered on April 26, 1865. The field officers were Colonels Hiram B. Granbury, John Gregg, and William L. Moody; Lieutenant Colonel Jeremiah M. Clough, and Major Khleber M. Van Zandt.