Rare UNION DEFENSE COMMITTEE COLT Model 1849 Revolver .31 CIVIL WAR Antique
INSCRIBED to KENTUCKY CAVALRY VOLUNTEER
Here we present a Rare Antique Union Defense Committee Colt Model 1849 Pocket Revolver, made during the American Civil War in 1863 in Hartford, Connecticut. This is one of only approximately 50 Colt Pocket Models to be inspected and issued during the American Civil War. The Union Defense Committee was formed in April 1861 in both Chicago and New York in response to President Lincoln’s call to raise troops and arms for the defense of the Union after the attack on Fort Sumpter. The Union Defense Committee purchased a large variety of arms, both handguns, shoulder arms and edge weapons, and most of the known items are marked similarly to this revolver (there is some variation). The Union Defense Committee chartered the steamship Quaker City and armed her with cannon and a variety of Naval arms.
This piece is inscribed to a Union Soldier with the Kentucky Volunteers, “KY-VOL_ _ _ _ _JOHN VOTAW”. Votaw served for the Union in the 6th Regiment of the Kentucky Calvary as a private. Records show that he enlisted 1 August 1862 in Louisville, Kentucky. On 15 September he mustered into Company F of the 6th KY Volunteer Cavalry. He was only with them until May of 1863, when he was discharged due to disability. His discharge states that his “Youth and frail constitution” made him unfit to serve in any other arm of the service. Despite that, in the short time of his service with the regiment they were involved in several skirmishes and chased General Bragg through Kentucky. Skirmishes with both Wheeler and Morgan followed. Despite his short time in the 6th, Votaw was obviously proud of his service with the unit, evidenced not only by the inscription on this revolver but also his tombstone.
The cylinder is stamped with the inspector initials “P / GG” and the butt strap is stamped “UDCC”, with the first “C” being inverted. This typo is consistent with at least one other that we have observed in which the “D” in “UDC” was first stamped “C” in error. The cylinder has the stagecoach holdup scene. The markings on the Colt are identified as follows: “P” on the cylinder and “GG” on the cylinder is the inspector mark of Guert Gansevoort who was a military inspector for a variety of military arms and edged weapons. He rose through the ranks from mid-shipman in 1823 and retired as a captain in 1867 and died in 1868.
The overall condition is good+. Gray patina. Excellent action. Semi-bright bore with good rifling. The walnut grip is solid, missing a chip on the left toe, and contains an average amount of wear. Cylinder scene remnants remain. The numbers match throughout with the exception of the loading lever. Your chance to own one of the only known martially inspected Colt 1849s!
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Barrel is 6 inches.
Caliber: .31 Percussion
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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