Rare Dug Unfired LeMat Revolver Bullets from the Sayler’s Creek Battlefield Area
Rare Dug Unfired LeMat Revolver Bullets from the Sayler’s Creek Battlefield Area - We have recently obtained a large group of Civil War artifacts excavated by an early relic hunter, during the 1960s and 1970s, in Amelia County, Va. The vast majority of the artifacts were dug along the April of 1865, Retreat Route; most of the relics were dug either in Jetersville, Deatonville, Amelia Courthouse and Sayler’s Creek, all areas that saw the passing and engagements of Union and Confederate troops. We have several artillery shells, some already posted on our site, as well as several U.S. box plates, belt plates and Eagle breastplates. In addition, we have a large selection of whole Spencer cartridges, as well as many spent Spencer and Henry cartridge casings. Finally, we have a modest array of buttons, as well as insignia, musket tools, lock plates and more; we will be posting some of the latter on our site soon. Amongst this large group of artifacts excavated in Amelia, we discovered these extremely rare .36 caliber, LeMat Revolver bullets; all are in wonderful, dug, unfired condition. These bullets were in a labeled box, placed there by the original digger; the label indicated that the bullets had been excavated on or near the Sayler’s Creek battlefield. Among the several Confederate generals engaged in the final days of the war, along the Retreat Route, was General Richard H. Anderson of South Carolina. Anderson, along with a few other Confederate officers and generals, most notably, Generals JEB Stuart, PGT Beauregard, Braxton Bragg and Major Henry Wirz, carried a LeMat revolver. Anderson would have been, of the aforementioned officers, the only LeMat owner known in Amelia County, in April of 1865. Were these bullets from Anderson’s LeMat? No one will ever know for sure, yet in consideration of where they were dug, it is a highly conceivable supposition. Regardless, these are extremely rare bullets, especially in such fine, unfired condition. *Price listed is for one bullet*
The LeMat revolver, manufactured in both .36 or .42 caliber iterations, was invented by Jean Alexandre LeMat of New Orleans; it featured an unusual secondary 20 gauge smooth-bore barrel, located beneath the rifled pistol bullet barrel, that was capable of firing buckshot. This unique revolver saw service during the Civil War, principally in the hands of several Confederate officers; it also saw additional service in the Army of the Government of National Defense during the Franco-Prussian War.
Richard Heron Anderson (October 7, 1821 – June 26, 1879) was a career U.S. Army officer, fighting with distinction in the Mexican War; he also served as a Confederate general during the Civil War, principally, in the Eastern Theater of the conflict and most notably during the 1864 Battle of Spotsylvania Court House. In the Fall of 1864, When General James Longstreet returned from his convalescence on October 19, 1864, General R.E. Lee created the new Fourth Corps, which Anderson led through the Siege of Petersburg and the retreat towards Appomattox Court House, in 1865. During the retreat out of Petersburg, with multiple attacks by Federal cavalry nipping at his corps, Anderson’s troops, acting as the army’s rear guard, was forced to slow and even stop, from time to time, to fend off the attacking Federals. These delays caused many units in his command to become isolated from the rest of Lee’s westward moving army. The corps finally halted and fought at Sayler’s Creek, on April 6, 1865; the Confederate troops engaged suffered great losses, sustaining many casualties with a large number being captured by Union forces. General Lee, as he witnessed this demise of his once proud army, famously exclaimed “Has the army been dissolved?” As the remnants of Anderson’s corps’ survivors reformed and rejoined the army, they merged with the Second Corps, on April 8. Left without a command, Anderson, now without a command, proceeded home to South Carolina, where he assumed command of M. H. Hannon’s Cavalry Brigade, after Hannon was wounded at Monroe’s Crossroads. Richard H. Anderson was pardoned on September 27, 1865.