This is a very nice example of a hard-to-find Civil War era Lindner breech-loading carbine Carbine. These were built by Amoskeag Mfg. Co. but only bear Edward Lindner's (the inventor) name and March 29, 1859 patent date on the breech. Its in 58 Caliber and is loading by rotating a collar between the breech/chamber and the barrel. Once rotated 180 deg, an opening in the top of the collar allows the breech (which is spring loaded to pivot upwards about 30 degrees allowing easy access to the chamber (see photos) Best of all, this is the scarcer 1st Type with the saddle ring on the left side of the stock. Of the two types of Lindners, only the 1st type (892 built) was issued to mounted troops during the Civil War.
Even better, we even know the two units to receive all the 1st Model Lindners with 391 going to the 1st Michigan Cavalry in Nov. 1861 followed by an additional 501 going to the New York Arsenal in Jan. 1863. By Spring, this group of 1st Models had been transferred to the Wheeling, West Virgina Ordnance depot. Many Lindners in this second group were issued to the 8th West Virginia Mounted Infantry in June 1863 which later became the 7th West Virginia Cavalry in Jan. 1864. The 8th saw their first action with the Lindner Carbine on August 26-27 1863 in a skirmish against Confederate Forces near Whilte Sulphur Springs, West Virgina where it suffered 2 killed, 16 wounded, and 3 missing. On September 30, 1863, the 8th West Virginia Mounted Infantry reported the following numbers of Lindners in the field per Company:
Co. A 49
Co. D 41
Co. G 42
Co. H 49
Co. I 41
Co. K 36
In storage 39
Total 297 Lindners
The 8th was involved in another engagement on Droop Mountain in Nov. 1863. After becoming the 7th WV Cavalry, an inventory taken the following year of all Union Cavalry regiements was performed during the summer and fall of 1864. It shows the 8th...now the 7th Cavalry with over 80 Burnsides and only 41 Lindner Carbines remaining in use. It appears that most Lindner's did not stay in the field for very long during the war.
See "Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms" and "Carbines of the U.S. Cavalry 1861-1905" by McAulay.
Sadly, the story for the 2nd type Lindner was not as bright as the first model. After the US Gov't placed a second order for more Lindners in April of 1863 with some suggested improvements, Lindner spent considerable time and effort incorporating the newer changes into the next batch. He completed in April 1864. You'd think the Army would have wanted them but with the War winding down and perhaps lots of other breech loaders to choose from like the Henry, Sharps and Spencer, it may have been convenient for them to give Lindner a cold shoulder. They did so by refusing to provide an inspector to approve the guns resulting in the Army never taking possession of them. Ironically, there were several US Inspectors at the Amoskeag plant where the 2nd Models had just been completed inspecting other contracts. After a lengthy court battle, which Lindner lost, he was forced to sell his forgotten and orphaned 2nd Models most likely to France in 1870 for the Franco Prussian War. As a result, our guess is that you'll probably find more 2nd Models over in Europe today.
Overall condition of this 1st Model grades to NRA Antique Fine with the metal still bright with old dried grease in the corners. Stock is marked "GKJ" opposite the lockplate in small block letters and a fancier 3 letter cartouche in script with an oval border just in front of the buttplate on the top comb of the wood. The breech is beautifully marked "EDWARD LINDNER'S PATENT MARCH 29. 1859." The lockplate has no markings which is correct on a First Model Lindner. Original sights include a block-style post front sight near the muzzle and a small folding 2 leaf combination rear sight adjacent to the hammer at the breech. Very Good screws throughout. The wood remains in Very Good Plus condition...looks like its seen a little action with a few nicks, dings, and wear around the saddle ring but quite nice overall with strong edges and excellent wood to metal fit. Note the small semi-circle shaped cut-out on each side of the stock for accomodating the round bolt attached to the rotating breech collar. This is also correct. The action works perfectly and the bore appears to be in perfect shape with 3 groove rifling...bright and shiny with machine marks still visible in the grooves. The bolster on the breech shows very little spark/ignition corrosion. The wear on this example seems to suggest issue in the field for a short duration. A very nice and rare example of one of the lesser known types of breechloading carbines used in the Civil War. ...that can traced almost exclusively to two sole Cavalry units.