Tracing Spencer Serial Numbers

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Major 2:
Still sunny here  :)

Not only is not a Burnside contract, it has no provision for the Stabler cut off , has 20 inch barrel  ...typo
( gun has a 22 inch barrel) woops  ::)
and does not have Burnside contract 3 groove rifling.

it is marked Spencer Repeating Rifle Co. not Burnside.

It falls in the range of Co. D 5th. NY purchases

as you stated "Numbers between ~11K and 25K could be M-1860 Spencer made carbines "
this one is  :)
Thanks though.

Harve Curry:
My Spencer carbine is ser. no. 214XX.  Barrel is 20" , marked M 1865 , and is a 56-50. I've owned it for better then 15 years. It has lots of arsenal type repairs in the forearm and some lesser quality repairs in the stock.
Somewhere I read that this serial number was priduced in 1864, but I cannot find that information now.

Were'nt some of the M 1860, cal. 56-56 Spencers rebarreled to the M 1865 ??

serial no. 21430 - 65C - 072669 - CO E 3RD CAV
So I take it mine most likely was with the same ??

The only book I have on Spencer's is "Carbines of the Civil War" by John D. McAulay., and Cartridges of the World.

Arizona Trooper:
Major, this is odd. M-1860 carbines have 22” barrels, measured from the face of the breechblock, M-1865s are 20”. What caliber is your carbine? Is the barrel bobbed back?

The first deliveries of Spencer made 1865s were also in March of ’65. The first M-1860 carbines were delivered in October of ’63, too late for Gettysburg. Rifles started in Dec. of ’62. Only rifles were at Gettysburg and only in the 5th and 6th Michigan Cavalry, which just a couple weeks before had been assigned to Custer’s Brigade from the Washington defenses. They missed Brandy Station and the Aldie/Middleburg/Upperville push, but were at Hanover, Pa., and a couple days later were engaged at the east cavalry battlefield of Gettysburg.

The 5th New York Cav. was also in the AoP cavalry brigade, but under Judson Kilpatrick (aka Kill-Cavalry) rather than Custer. They were at Hanover but were not in the big cavalry battle east of Gettysburg. They did participate in the ill-advised charge south of Big Round Top against Rielly’s N.C. and Bachman’s S.C. Atty. That's the one that got Elon Farnsworth killed.

The 5th didn’t get Spencers (rifles or carbines) until well after Gettysburg. These were issued by Uncle Sam, so were not unit purchases. I'll have to do some researc to see what the 5th was armed with before Spencers, but most of th AoP Cavalry had Sharps, Smiths and Burnsides.

Major 2:
Quote from: Arizona Trooper on February 02, 2006, 11:11:45 am

Major, this is odd. M-1860 carbines have 22” barrels, measured from the face of the breechblock, M-1865s are 20”. What caliber is your carbine? Is the barrel bobbed back?

DUHHHHHHHHHHH! ...typo it is 22"  old timer disease  ::)

I believe they had Sharps at Gettysburg.

I also pulled out the letter & and your right (dang it ) I hate it when your right !
It states it was with the 5th.,  but nothing about Gettysburg. I musta just put it in my mind knowing the 5th was there.
"The first M-1860 carbines were delivered in October of ’63" that I did not know !

You gotta understand, I bought the gun in 1980 , I haven't looked at the letter in years... just sorta mixed up my memory.
When Marcote was writing the book, he had ad in Gun's and Ammo (I think it was) asking for Serial # of surviving guns... In return he wrote back with a History.

Arizona Trooper:
  Sounds like a great Spencer! SRS records on the 5th appear to be Co. D returns dated 4/22/64. That date was during the pause just before Grant opened his ’64 Richmond Campaign. Spencers could have been issued then, or simply inventoried for the report to HQ on Cavalry Corps readiness for the field.

  There’s a lot of action that your carbine could have seen, including the Wilderness to Richmond push, the North Shenandoah Valley campaign, including Toms Brook and Cedar Creek and finally the fall of Richmond on to Appomattox.

  The 5th NY was a crack unit.


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