May 18, 2022 Extraordinary Firearms
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/18/2022
William Willis Blackford was born on March 23, 1831. He was a Confederate Army officer, Civil Engineer, and a native of Fredericksburg, Virginia who studied engineering at the University of Virginia. He worked as acting chief engineer for the Virginia and Tennessee Railroad. Blackford was 1 of 5 sons of a Virginia editor and banker, all of whom served in the Armies of the Confederacy. At the start of the American Civil War, he was 30 years old. Blackford was married, had 4 children, and was opposed to secession, but nonetheless, in 1861 shortly after Virginia seceded, he enlisted in the 1st Regiment Virginia Cavalry and became aide-de-camp for its commander James Ewell Brown (J.E.B.) Stuart. He was appointed Adjutant of the 1st Virginia Calvary by Stuart on the battlefield of 1st Manassas on July 21, 1861, and a few months later was made Captain. Later on, he held the same rank in the Engineer Corps on Stuart's staff, became a Major of the 1st Regiment, Engineer Troops in 1863 and a Lieutenant Colonel 3 months later. He saw action at Mechanicsville, Cold Harbor, Malvern Hill, Antietam, the great Pennsylvania raid around McClellan's Army, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg. Fought in many skirmishes during the siege of Petersburg, and was present at Lee's surrender at Appomattox. Blackford died in 1905. While the events of the Civil War were fresh in his mind, Colonel Blackford, urged by his mother, wrote down his wartime experiences and his relationship with J.E.B Stuart. The manuscript remained in the possession of his descendants until it was published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 1945 in the book "War Years with Jeb Stuart". An original copy of the well-acclaimed book accompanies this lot. Colonel Blackford's documented Colt 3rd Model Dragoon revolver, serial number 15187 was manufactured in 1854 and is inscribed on the backstrap "Capt.W.W. Blackford Nov. 5th 1861" This inscription coincides with Blackfords enlistment with the 1st Regiment Virginia Cavalry and is believed to be the revolver he carried throughout the Civil War. Serial number 15187 is a "Civilian" 3rd Model Colt Dragoon with round trigger guard, and rectangular locking bolt slots found on the cylinder. 7 - 1/2" round barrel chambered in .44 caliber percussion. 1-line block letter address found on top of barrel lug marked, "-ADDRESS SAML COLT NEW YORK CITY-" German silver blade front sight. Blue with case hardened frame, hammer, and loading lever. 1-piece varnished walnut grips. Roll-die Texas Rangers and Indian fight scene on cylinder. Left side of frame marked 2-lines "COLTS / PATENT". Matching serial number 15187 is found on the barrel, frame, trigger guard, backstrap, cylinder, loading lever, bottom of cylinder arbor, and the barrel wedge. Brass, silver plated trigger guard, and backstrap. Complete with correct period military-style flap holster. CONDITION: Very fine, turning a pleasing overall gunmetal grey patina, clean overall. All original screws. Faint cylinder scene. Traces of original blue found on barrel lug. Grips show moderate to heavy wear, however, are sound with rounded corners. Action is tight and crisp. Bore is turning dark with strong rifling and scattered abrasions. Holster is fine overall with tight stitching and pliable leather. Overall an incredible Confederate used revolver with remarkable American Civil War history. Belonging to a staff officer of famous Confederate Cavalry General, J.E.B. Stuart. -MKS-
Barrel Length
7 - 1/2"
.44 Percussion
FFL Status
Book, Binder
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $10,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $31,980.00
Estimate: $20,000 - $50,000
Number Bids: 12
Auction closed on Wednesday, May 18, 2022.
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