95th ILLINOIS VOLUNTEER INFANTRY Antique CIVIL WAR Springfield 1863 MUSKET
Henry H. Rowe of Hebron, Illinois
Here we present an antique Springfield U.S. Model 1863 Type I Rifle-Musket, manufactured at the Springfield Armory in Springfield, Massachusetts circa 1863. This tack decoration could possibly be referring to the 95th Regiment Illinois Volunteer Infantry, which was an infantry regiment that served in the Union Army during the American Civil War. The 95th Illinois was formed as a result of President Abraham Lincoln’s call for 300,000 volunteers in the late summer of 1862. All ten companies were formed out of Boone and McHenry Counties and they were mustered into federal service on September 4, 1862.
The only soldier from the 95th Illinois with the initials “H.H.R.” was 18 year-old farmer, Henry H. Rowe of Hebron, Illinois. He enlisted 11 August 1862 in Richmond, Illinois as a Private. He mustered into H Company at Camp Fuller at Rockford, Ill., was promoted to Corporal at some point, and made it through the war to muster out 3 years and 6 days later, 17 August 1865, at Camp Butler in Springfield, Illinois. Per the roll record, his physical description was 5’8”, light complexion, blue eyes, light hair, and born in Syracuse, New York.
The 95th Illinois spent much of the war in Tennessee as you can see from their unit history. During those long 3 years, they lost 8 officers (7 to combat) and 281 enlisted men (77 to combat).
At the beginning of the American Civil War, the South and North both relied heavily on imported rifles. The M1861/63 is representative of the “everyman’s” rifle during the war. About 1.5 million rifle-muskets were made in the U.S., over 800,000 of which were made by the Springfield Armory. This was the last hurrah of the rifle-musket as arms development and tactics rapidly advanced during the short period of the American Civil War. Nevertheless, the 1861 represented new technology as it was made for use with the Minié ball, a hollow based, conical projectile that was small enough to quickly push down the muzzle of a rifled barrel, and expanded to create a good gas seal unlike a solid, round ball. This musket also featured, for the first time in the arms market, static iron sights. Almost immediately after the war, the US military switched from the old muzzle loading type weapons to the newer breech loading rifles, bringing an end to the musket as a standard frontline firearm in American history.
The overall condition is good. Strong action. Smoothbored long ago, probably for use as a shotgun after the war. The stock is sloid throughout with neat brass tack designs on the right buttstock. “1863” dated lock. This example has a replacement brass nipple. A cartouche remnant remains on the left wrist: ESA for Erskine S. Allin. A neat Civil War musket with provenance!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 40 inches.
Caliber: .61 Percussion (Smoothbored)
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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