.32 rimfire. 6" ribbed octagonal barrel. SN: 7376 (mfg. ca1862). Blued finish, color casehardened hammer, varnished two-piece rosewood grips. Single action, tip up revolver with spur trigger. Matching serial number stamped inside the right grip. The matching assembly mating number “21” appears on the left side of the frame under the grip, on the face of the cylinder and on the rear face of the barrel web. One line Smith & Wesson barrel address, standard Smith & Wesson patent markings on cylinder. Bottom of grip frame engraved with the name “D P Kilbourn”. A search of the Historical Data Systems on-line database of Civil War soldiers reveals that a Daniel P Kilbourn from Webster, NH enlisted as a musician on 8/20/1861 and was mustered into Company E of the 1st US Sharpshooters on 9/9/1861 and was discharged for disability on 3/14/1862. On 9/24/1862 he was mustered into H company of the 14th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry and he died of disease on 9/15/1864 in his home town of Webster, NH. During his service with the 14th New Hampshire he was promoted to Corporal on 9/24/1862, the day he was mustered into the regiment. He was subsequently promoted to Sergeant on 1/20/1864. While the identification to this particular soldier is not 100% confirmed, the series of life events and military service line up well with an 1862 production Smith & Wesson No 2 revolver, which was a popular secondary weapon with many Civil War soldiers and some officers as well. It could have been something he acquired upon his reenlistment and promotion to Corporal. The 14th New Hampshire spent most of their early service in and around the defenses of Washington DC, including serving as guards at the Old Capitol Prison. In March of 1864 the regiment was sent to Louisiana to serve during the Red River Campaign, but arrived after it was over and in June of 1864 they returned to Virginia where they served at Fortress Monroe before being incorporated into Sheridan's "Army of the Shenandoah". The regiment saw combat at 3rd Winchester, Fisher's Hill and Cedar Creek in September and October of 1864, but these actions took place after Kilbourn's death. The inscription is certainly worthy some additional research.
Very good. Retains some of the original blue, primarily in protected areas and on the frame behind the recoil shield with flaked loss and wear. The balance of the metal has a lightly oxidized brown patina with scattered surface roughness and some light pitting. Markings remain clear and crisp, butt with some minor impact marks. Mechanically functional, fair bore with moderate pitting and visible rifling. Grips with some nice traces of varnish with moderate loss and wear and with a nominally .5" long by .2" wide chip out of the lower rear of the right grip.
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