M 1861 Springfield Rifled Musket with Welch Stock Marking; Found in a Confederate Soldier’s House near South Boston, Va.
M 1861 Springfield Rifled Musket with Welch Stock Marking; Found in a Confederate Soldier’s House near South Boston, Va. – This Model 1861 remains in reasonable condition; it has a dirty bore, but evidences traces of rifling. There is significant burnout behind the bolster, indicative of very active use during the war. On the flat of the stock, opposite the lock plate, is stamped:
Welch, of Norfolk, Connecticut, was an early war, arms contractor, delivering some 16,000 Model 1861 rifles to the Federal government (see the information enumerated below about Welch); Welch had a conflict with the US Government regarding payment for his muskets and only 4,000 were fully paid for, with the remaining guns accepted at reduced prices, as inferior arms. This example of Welch’s Model 1861 contract rifle-musket exhibits, as enumerated above, the requisite stock markings. Welch manufactured Model 61s that do not have these stock stampings have either been re-stocked, had the markings worn down by use or sanded off. The lock plate is stamped – “Springfield”, eagle and the date “1862” – the Springfield stamping may indicate that this was one of the “inferior” arms bought from Welch, with the original “Norfolk” stamped lock plate replaced, by the Government, with a “Springfield” lock plate. There is no date or VP stamped on the barrel, near the breech plug, although the stock exhibits a government inspector’s cartouche. The gun’s action is operable, although will only cock in the safety position; the correct, swell-tipped ramrod is present, although the tulip head has long been, skillfully removed, leaving a well-rounded knurl. In addition, the rear, leaf sight is no longer present. There is no significant pitting or surface rust on the weapon, although the gun could use some cleaning – we have chosen to leave the rifle in the same condition as it was found, about three years ago, by the war period owner’s, great, great grandson. We obtained the gun from the great, great grandson, and we have a note, signed by him, that he did indeed find the gun in the original family home, built in the 1830s by his great, great grandfather, prior to the war; in his and our notes, the ancestral lineage and associated provenance is firmly established; in the note, the line of descent, progresses to him. We have included here a picture of the house, wherein the gun was found, as it looks today; it is in Halifax County, Virginia, near where the gun’s original owner, Clement A. Gordon, lived and enlisted in Penick’s Company, the Pittsylvania Virginia Light Artillery, as a private. This regiment would serve throughout the war, with Gordon as a member throughout, as well; the regiment was actively engaged at Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and Appomattox. This Model 1861 definitely saw significant action, during the war, and was apparently the weapon of choice of a Confederate private.
WELCH, W. W.— William Wickham Welsh, Norfolk, Conn. Civil War arms contractor. Organized a concern for the manufacture of percussion rifle muskets Model 1861. Nov. 6, 1861, for 18,000 at $20.00 each. 16,000 delivered. Jan. 12, 1864, for 2,500 at $18.00 each. 1,000 delivered. The rifle-muskets were made in the long stone shop of the Empire Company. After the war the same company undertook the manufacture of “revolving pistols” under the name of “The Connecticut Arms Company.” Dr. Welch was born Dec. 10, 1818, in Norfolk, Conn. Graduated from Yale Medical School in 1839 and represented his town in General Assembly during years 1848, 1850, 1879 and 1881. Was State Senator from 17th District in 1851-52 and Representative in Congress from 4th Congressional District of Connecticut in 1855-57. In addition to his interest in rifle-musket contracts, Dr. Welch was active in a number of other enterprises, including services as vice-president of Norfolk Bank from 1862 until his death in 1892.
Clement A. Gordon
|Residence was not listed; Enlisted as a Private (date unknown). He also had service in: “Penick’s” Co. VA Pittsylvania Light Artillery|
Pittsylvania VA Light Artillery Battery
|Organized: Pittsylvania County, VA on 4/3/62
Mustered Out: 4/9/65
|Sep ’62||Jun ’63||Artillery||R.H. Anderson’s||1st||Army of Northern Virginia|
|Jun ’63||Jul ’63||Artillery||Heth’s||3rd||Army of Northern Virginia|
|Jul ’63||Sep ’64||Garnett’s/Richardson’s||Artillery||3rd||Army of Northern Virginia|
|Sep ’64||Apr ’65||Poague’s||Artillery||3rd||Army of Northern Virginia|
CONFEDERATE VIRGINIA TROOPS
Penick’s Company, Virginia Light Artillery
Lewis’ Battery [also called Pittsylvania Artillery] was organized during April, 1862. For a time, part of this company served with the 59th Virginia Regiment. It was assigned to J.J. Garnett’s, C.Richardson’s, and W.T. Poague’s Battalion of Artillery, Army of Northern Virginia. The unit served with the army from Fredericksburg to Cold Harbor, was active in the defense of Petersburg, and ended the war at Appomattox. At Gettysburg 4 officers and 86 men saw action, and during April, 1864, there were 3 officers and 72 men present. That September about half (30) the battery was sick, and in April, 1865, it surrendered 2 officers and 68 men. The battery was commanded by Captains John W. Lewis and Nathan Penick.
Penick’s Company, Virginia Light Artillery (Confederate)
Penick’s Company, Virginia Light Artillery (Confederate)
Penick’s Company, Virginia Light Artillery (Confederate)(also called Pittsylvania Artillery) was organized during April, 1862. For a time, part of this company served with the 59th Virginia Regiment. It was assigned to J.J. Garnett’s, C.Richardson’s, and W.T. Poague’s Battalion of Artillery, Army of Northern Virginia. In April, 1865, it surrendered 2 officers and 68 men. The battery was commanded by Captains John W. Lewis and Nathan Penick.
Clement A Gordon
|Name:||Clement A Gordon|
|Muster Regiment:||Pittsylvania LA|
|Muster Regiment Type:||Artillery|
|Side of War:||Confederacy|
|Title:||Index to Compiled Confederate Military Service Records|
|NAME:||Clement A. Gordon|
|REGIMENT:||Penick’s Company, Virginia Light Artillery|
|Birth Year:||abt 1835|
|Home in 1860:||Southern District, Halifax, Virginia|
|Post Office:||Halifax Court House|