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UCF-0001 M1860 Spencer Rifle ID'd to a 2nd LT William Lewis in 37th Massachusetts

This item is listed for historical interest only. It is not for sale.
Item #17743

M1860 Spencer .52 Caliber Seven Shot Repeating Infantry Rifle with ID to 2nd LT William Lewis of the 37th Massachusetts Infantry serial number #7888, in good + Condition. All metal surfaces have a dark blue/ brown patina, with barrel displaying a pleasing plum brown patina with traces of blue. Vestiges of case colors visible on frame, lever, hammer and breech block. .52 caliber rifled bore dark with light/moderate amount of pitting. Wood is excellent, just showing some honest use/ scuffs with good inspectors marks and a nice dark patina. Military records show that the 37th Mass. was armed primarily with Spencer rifles in 1864 on their way to the Shenandoah Valley Campaign. Lewis enlisted in Company F, Massachusetts 37th Infantry Regiment on 30 Aug 1862. Promoted to Full Sergeant. Promoted to Full 1st Sergeant. Promoted to Full 2nd Lieutenant on 26 Jun 1865. Mustered out on 21 Jun 1865 at Washington, DC. Lewis was wounded during the Battle of Spotsylvania but returned to duty to carry this rifle. While the regiment was waiting for the final settlement of its affairs and formal disbanding, Governor Andrew issued commissions for heroism, which gave the regiment a nominally complete roster of officers, but the promoted were of course never mustered in the new rank. William Lewis was one of these men promoted from 1st SGT to 2nd LT. The unit, served as part of the 6th Corps, through the fighting at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. The regiment was engaged in the Wilderness and at Spotsylvania and Petersburg through 1864 and 1865, and the culminating Appomattox Campaign. Lewis was slightly wounded August 2, 1864 and served with the 37th until it was mustered out in June of 1865. The family made and installed a brass plate to the butt of this rifle and there are some inconsistencies with the plate, which the family member we purchased it from acknowledged. The plate says that he carried this rifle during the battle of Spotsylvania Court House, Wilderness Campaign. The 37th Mass did not receive these rifles until more than a month after the campaign while they were on their way to the Shenandoah Valley. Lewis returned to the regiment while they were in Shenandoah Valley campaign and only once the war was completed did he receive his commission to the regiment. The brass plate is well made and has been carved and nailed into the stock. Overall this rifle is an exciting and rare piece of history and one that is a once in a lifetime purchase. The rifle will also come with research documentation including a copy of a picture of William Edward Lewis and information regarding his service and promotion.

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