The Smith Carbine was manufactured by the American Machine Works of Springfield, Massachusetts and was one of the most important Federal Cavalry carbines. Designed by Gilbert Smith, the production of this breech loading percussion carbine was almost entirely consumed by government contracts, with limited numbers going to the civilian market. A total of 30,362 Smith Carbines were purchased by the United States during the Civil War. Smith Carbines were considered to be accurate and reliable weapons. Standard three sets of markings on the left side of the frame “MANUFACTURED BY / AM’N M’CH’N. WKS / SPRINGFIELD MASS” (faint), agents’ names “ADDRESS / POULTNEY & TRIMBLE / BALTIMORE U.S.A.” and “SMITH’S PATENT / JUNE 23, 1857”. The left side of the barrel has a U.S. Government inspector’s initials of “LFR”, a “R” at the rear of the lower tang. Dovetail brass blade front sight and folding leaf rear sight correctly absent of yard markings. Breech loading action with barrel release latch inside the trigger guard, freeing the barrel to pivot downward. Casehardened hammer and action with a saddle ring and bar mounted on the left side of the frame with a smooth forearm and straight grip walnut stock with a steel buttplate, with a boxed script “LFR” and oval script “JH” cartouche on the left side of the stock wrist and a small “HDH” on top of the stock ahead of the buttplate tang. A very crisp, near unfired condition Smith.
This particular weapon falls in the known and documented serial number range for weapons issued to several units of both Maryland and Illinois Union Cavalry according to data from Springfield Research Service.