A Feast of Colts

by Fred Ray on September 3, 2011 · 0 comments

One of the most significant collections of CW-era Colts is up on the block, and worth a look for anyone interested in period weapons. Many of these firearms disappear into collections where they are seldom if ever seen. Field & Stream magazine has a a nice slide show with commentary on each gun and the there is more on the auction web site. One of the more interesting pieces is a fancy engraved revolver owned by Col. F. M. Milliken of the 1st Ohio Cavalry, who was killed during a charge at Stones River. The prices, as you would expect, are astronomical.

Up on another site is a cased pair of Smith & Wesson #2 pistols that belonged to Gen. Grenville Dodge, USA.

Dodge (1831-1916) was an important general officer in the Union Army during the Civil War and the Chief Engineer for the Union Pacific Railroad in the years that followed the war. “UPRR/GMD” almost certainly stands for “Union Pacific Railroad/Grenville M. Dodge”. Grenville Dodge was born in Danvers, Massachusetts, and studied civil engineering at Norwich College. He surveyed for what became the Union Pacific Railroad before the Civil War and moved to Council Bluffs, Iowa, in 1854. With the outbreak of the Civil War he was appointed Colonel of the 4th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. He was a key figure in the Federal victory at Pea Ridge, Arkansas, and was wounded in action. As a general officer he fought in the Vicksburg and Chattanooga campaigns. He was promoted to Major General in 1864 and commanded XVI Corps in the Army of Tennessee. Dodge was instrumental in the capture of Atlanta and was wounded during the siege.

Unlike most fancy pistols of this type these look like they were actually used. As I mentioned in a prior post the S&W #2 was quite popular as a private purchase item, and high-ranking officers like Ambrose Burnside and George Custer often sported elaborately engraved versions.

Full disclosure: Other than having bid on and won a few items on these auction sites I have no connection with them whatsoever.


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