December 14-17, 2021 Collectible Firearms & Militaria
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/14/2021
Andrew Patrick Caraher had more than twenty years of army service. Born in Ireland, he was a 32 year-old manufacturer when commissioned Captain in the 28th Massachusetts, an Irish regiment, on October 8, 1861. The unit served under Burnside on the Carolina coast, joining the Army of the Potomac in the 9th Corps in mid-1862. Caraher was in command of the regiment for the Maryland campaign of 1862 and at Antietam. In November 1862 he was promoted to major and the regiment joined Meagher’s Irish Brigade. For a time, Caraher served as Meagher’s aide-de-camp, and suffered a concussion from a shell fragment in the disastrous bloody charge on Marye’s Heights at Fredericksburg, where Union forces were constantly repulsed by the Confederate Army resulting in high casualties and a Union retreat. Caraher received a post-War brevet to captain for gallant and meritorious service in the battle. He returned from sick leave in April 1863 and was marked present on the rolls for June and July 1863 and after the war received a second brevet to major for “gallant and meritorious service in the Battle of Gettysburg,” where the regiment fought in the Wheatfield, a field contaminated with smoke, blood, and the final battle for General Samuel Zook who was mortally wounded in the fighting. He was compelled to take a sick leave on July 31 from the effects of his old wound and was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps as Major and Lt. Colonel, reportedly being captured on his way to Chicago and was taken to Libby Prison before being exchanged for a Confederate Major. Caraher would later become the commandant of Camp Douglas prison in Chicago. He was subsequently commissioned Colonel in the U.S. Volunteers and was tasked with organizing the 2nd and 3rd U.S. Volunteers and posted to Fort Riley, Kansas, a post in which he commanded for a time. He mustered out of the US Volunteers in late 1865 and the Veteran Reserve Corps in 1867, having taken a commission as First Lieutenant in the 43rd US Infantry, with transfers to the 1st Infantry and then to the 8th Cavalry in 1870, where he was promoted to Captain in 1872. True to his calling as a soldier, he died in the saddle while on patrol near Langtry, Texas, in 1885 during the campaign against Geronimo. Caraher was a true fighting Irishman who served an impressive military career, experiencing battles such as Gettysburg and Fredericksburg, brevets, wounds, time as a Prisoner of War, serving in a regiment which ranked 7th in losses for all Union regiments in the Civil War, and finally giving his life during the Indian Wars. Caraher’s Colt 1862 Police is worn, much like an old soldier who has fought in many battles. The presentation is on the backstrap and reads “Presented to Capt. A.P. Caraher” and continues on the butt which appears to read "Boston Dec. 14th 1861.” The revolver itself is an 1861 vintage Colt 1862 Pocket Police percussion revolver, serial number 8305. 6 – 1/2” round barrel in .36 caliber with Colt New York barrel address, cone front sight, and hammer notch rear. Fluted 5 shot cylinder. 1 piece plain walnut grips. CONDITION: Fair, with virtually all of the original finishes turned an untouched heavy brown patina with consistent heavy storage and handling marks throughout. Brass is turned a pleasing mellow patina with darkness at high edges, but inscriptions remain mostly legible. Grips are good, with age related darkness throughout from handling, crack through right grip panel, and are shy to front strap. Action needs attention as hammer has no spring pressure and cylinder doesn’t advance when hammer is pulled rearward. Bore is dark. The revolver is accompanied by a comprehensive binder of research that details Caraher's service as well as the 28th Massachusetts. JLD/TON
Barrel Length
6 - 1/2"
FFL Status
1862 Pocket Police
Binder of Research
Serial Number
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $3,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $9,000.00
Estimate: $6,000 - $10,000
Number Bids: 17
Auction closed on Friday, December 17, 2021.
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