Rugged old war horse here, showing plenty of actual honest field wear and use—if this one could only talk! Based on information in the Springfield Research database, the serial number of 77,416 puts in directly in the range of carbines issued to Company E, 2nd Kansas Cavalry (77409 Carbine, Company E, 2nd Kansas – 77435/Carbine, Company E, 2nd Kansas).
The 2nd Kansas Cavalry was organized at Kansas City, Kansas beginning on November 8, 1861, but its designation was changed to 9th Kansas Infantry on February 4, 1862. It was changed again on March 5, 1862, to 2nd Kansas Cavalry. It was mustered in under the command of Colonel Alson C. Davis.
The regiment was attached to Department of Kansas November 1861 to August 1862. 2nd Brigade, Department of Kansas, to October 1862. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, Army of the Frontier, Department of Missouri, to February 1863. District of Southwest Missouri, Department of Missouri, to December 1863. 2nd Brigade, District of the Frontier, to January 1864. 2nd Brigade, District of the Frontier, VII Corps, Department of Arkansas, to March 1864. 1st Brigade, District of the Frontier, VII Corps, to April 1864. 3rd Brigade, District of the Frontier, VII Corps, to January 1865. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, VII Corps, to February 1865. Unattached, VII Corps, to August 1865.
On May 22, 1862, an order was received from District Headquarters for the 2nd Kansas Cavalry to provide a 150-man detail to man a battery of six 10-pdr Parrott rifles at Fort Leavenworth. This battery became known as Hopkins’ Battery and remained in service until August 1, 1862. Some officers were ordered to return to the regiment, while the remaining men were mounted and ordered to reinforce Major General Don Carlos Buell in northern Alabama. This detachment ultimately participated in the Kentucky Campaign, saw minor action at the Battle of Perryville and captured a rebel flag and 24 prisoners at Lancaster, Kentucky, in a skirmish there. These men returned to the regiment by January 1, 1863. The 2nd Kansas Cavalry mustered out of service on August 17, 1865.
This battle veteran turned up in Northern Montana at an estate sale—you can bet it likely saw some western Indian action, for sure, after the War!