This is a solid example of a well used cavalry weapon, serial number 59418, which falls directly in the range of weapons issued to the 18th New York Cavalry in early 1864. All original parts are present and the bore is decent. The metal parts have scattered light to moderate pitting and overall the weapon is a smooth gray to deep brown patina. The action is tight but the stop mechanism for the loading/ejector mechanism is worn from use, so if you open the breech too far, sometimes it will hang up slightly. At some point in time somebody put in a small iron tack near the barrel band, perhaps to help hold it in place. The walnut stock is solid and free of any major cracks or chips.
Eighteenth Cavalry.—Col., James J. Byrne; Lieut.-Cols., Stephen W. Stryker, John Tracy, Jr., Edward Byrne; Majs., Gaza Haraszthy, Edward Byrne, John Tracy. Jr., William H. Davis, Brockholst L. Power, Albert A. Pitcher, John F. Porter, Jr., John Ennis. The 18th, known as the Corning Light Cavalry, was organized in the summer of 1863 at New York city for three years’ service. The companies of which it was composed were largely recruited in New York city, though the counties of Albany, Jefferson, Lewis, Franklin, Herkimer and Erie also contributed men. The various companies were mustered into the U. S. service at Staten island, Fort Columbus in N. Y. harbor, and Elmira, between July i8, 1863, and Feb. 3, 1864. The regiment left the state by detachments from Sept., 1863, to Jan., 1864. It was stationed in the defenses of Washington until Feb., 1864, when it was ordered to the Department of the Gulf and was there assigned to the 5th cavalry brigade, Arnold’s division, 19th corps.
It took part in the Red River campaign, in which it was repeatedly in action, meeting with its severest losses at Sabine cross-roads and at Yellow bayou. At the Battle of Sabine cross-roads a squadron under Capt. William Davis was warmly engaged, fighting bravely, and losing 12 in killed, wounded and missing, and at Yellow bayou the regiment sustained a loss of 40, of whom 33 were reported missing. On its return from this expedition the regiment was stationed at La Fourche, La., until the following spring. Cos. A and F were on detached duty in Texas part of the year 1864. The regiment was active during this period at Morganza, Centerville and Franklin, La.; Parish Vico, Pattersonville, Rancho San Pedro and Clarksville, Tex. It was dismounted in Jan., 1865, and in March was ordered to Bonnet Carre, La. After the close of hostilities the regiment was on duty in Mississippi and Texas until mustered out at Victoria, Tex., May 31, 1866. Its losses during service were 1 officer and 14 men killed and died of wounds; 2 officers and 202 men died of disease, accident, in prison, etc., the total number of deaths being 219. One officer and 23 men were drowned by the foundering of the steamer North America off the coast of Florida on Dec. 22, 1864. The only commissioned officer lost in action was 1st Lieut. Alvaro Hammond, who was killed at the battle of Sabine cross-roads.