This is a very honest field used weapon recently found in an estate near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with a family history of being used at Gettysburg! Unfortunately, there was noting in writing documenting the actual use but a check of the primary serial number via Springfield Research Service does show it in the exact range of known carbines issued to the 18th Regiment, Pennsylvania Cavalry, early in 1863. The overall condition is very good but the breech block serial number doesn’t match the primary frame, indicating it was field replaced at some point in time to repair damage. The patina overall matches perfectly and there is little doubt that the weapon was not used in the condition it represents. The action is crisp, the bore is good and all markings are clear and legible. Although no positive ID is being offered, the family name associated with the weapon is Adams…but there are a dozen soldiers by that name in the unit.
The 18th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment (also known as the 163rd Pennsylvania Volunteers) was a cavalry regiment of the Union Army during the American Civil War. The regiment was present for 50 battles, beginning with the Battle of Hanover in Pennsylvania on June 30, 1863, and ending with a skirmish at Rude’s Hill in Virginia during March 1865. A majority of its fighting was in Virginia, although its first major battle was in Pennsylvania’s Gettysburg campaign. It was consolidated with the 22nd Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment on June 24, 1865, to form the 3rd Provisional Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment.
The regiment was organized at Pittsburgh and Harrisburg between October and December 1862. Green County was the source of recruits for three companies, while additional recruits came from elsewhere in the state. Companies L and M were late additions to the regiment, and were originally meant to be part of a 19th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment. Recruits for these two companies were mostly from the Philadelphia area.
The regiment served in the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the Shenandoah. Among major battles where it saw action were the Battle of the Wilderness, the Third Battle of Winchester, and the Battle of Cedar Creek. It had five officers and 55 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded. Disease killed two more officers and 232 enlisted men. Captured members of the regiment were kept in Libby Prison in Richmond and Andersonville Prison in Georgia, among others. The regiment was commanded by two colonels: Timothy M. Bryan and Theophilus F. Rodenbough; Lieutenant Colonel William P. Brinton and Major John W. Phillips also commanded the regiment in the field.
1863: Battle of Hanover, Battle of Gettysburg, Battle of Williamsport, Battle of Mine Run
1864: Battle of the Wilderness, Battle of Todd’s Tavern, Battle of Yellow Tavern, Battle of Cold Harbor, Battle of Saint Mary’s Church, Third Battle of Winchester, Battle of Tom’s Brook, Battle of Cedar Creek