This is a good example of a Civil War Imported Pattern 1856 Cavalry Carbine built by Barnett of London. Standard 1856 Carbine with 21" barrel, 2 bands, carbine sights, and brass furniture. Lockplate is marked "Barnett London" in the early style script. Behind the hammer is a crown over the word "Tower". London barrel proofs are there but weak. "25" gauge marking is located on the bottom of the barrel...typical of most London-made Enfield patterns.
When it comes to Civil War era Enfield Pattern Cavalry and Artillery Carbines imported from Great Britain, the Confederacy was by far the largest importer of these short models during the War. The Union only imported a few hundred. They simply had little use for them given the broad range of breech-loading carbines they had on hand such as the Smith, Sharps, Maynard, Burnside, and Spencer to just to name a few. Couple this with Barnett's association with Confederate imports and the strong liaisons formed between Confederate Purchasing agents and London Gunmakers, and you will begin to get an idea of which side of the Mason-Dixon line the vast majority of these belonged to. We know for a fact that over 8,000 carbines shipped South based on one officer's notes he took while stationed at a Confederate port from Mid-1863 to Jan. 1865. That's only a 1 1/2 year period from a single Southern port...so there were almost certainly more that came prior to 1863 and other open ports.
Overall, NRA Antique Good condition with dark brown patina that's mostly smooth with typical light pits around the bolster area from sparks and fulminate residue. Soldier's initials carved lightly on the stock about 1/4" high...."JT". Carved initials are another indication of Confederate usage. Given the wide variety and even lack of weapons, theft among the ranks of good serviceable weapons is possibly what fueled this fad of Confederate soldiers placing their initials or name in the stock of their rifles. The only modification to note is that this carbine does not have the saddle bar running between the two lock plate screws on the left side. It has the iron mounts just like it should...but appears to never have been made with the bar running across. It looks like its always been that way with a dark patina that matches the rest of the gun. Very good wood still shows much of its original varnish with nice wood to metal fit. If you're looking for an affordable piece of Civil War History with a strong Confederate Vibe, these Pattern 56 Carbines are hard to beat. Unfortunately, true commercially-mfd P56 carbines imported during the Civil War are becoming harder and harder to find with each passing year!