Very solid example of the famous weapon often confused with the Henry Rifle that the Confederates said you could load on Sunday and shoot all week. The most effective and most highly produced of all of the Civil War breech loading cartridge weapons, this famous gun was pushed by Lincoln to arm troops with but he met with resistance from old school officers who felt the soldiers would waste ammunition. Chambered in a powerful .52 cartridge noted as the 56-56, this weapon held 7 self primed metallic cartridges which had an effective range of 500 yards. The weapon could be accurately and effectively fired 14-20 rounds per minute as compared to a standard percussion muzzleloader, which could do the same job at 2-3 rounds per minute. Over 200,000 rifles and carbines were produced.
This particular weapon, #53084, is complete and original but is missing a wood screw from the bottom tang and the buttstock sling swivel was removed. Other than for those minor pieces, the weapon is mechanically tight and fully functional. Overall it exhibits a smooth gray brown patina with minor oxidation and at some point in time, someone applied a light varnish to the stocks. According to the Springfield Research Database, it falls in the range of carbines issued to the 3rd Kentucky Cavalry in 1863.
The 3rd Regiment Kentucky Cavalry was organized in Calhoun and McLean Counties, Kentucky, under Colonel James S. Jackson in December 13, 1861. These men participated in the Battle of Shiloh as they marched through Tennessee to Pittsburg Landing.
After three years of service, the veterans of this unit formed the 3rd Kentucky Veteran Volunteer Cavalry at Nashville, Tennessee in March 1864. They mustered out on July 15, 1865, at Lexington, North Carolina after the surrender of the Confederate forces.