This is a beautiful 3 band Tower Enfield rifled musket in Caliber .577 that was imported by the firm of Schuyler, Hartley, and Graham. This rifle just came straight from a Wisconsin family where it was passed down for 4 generations dating back to 100 years ago. Unfortunately, the family no recollection of a confirmed Civil War provenance. Nonetheless, it has been well-cared for and stored so well that it has survived with both its original bayonet and original US Gov't marked black leather sling still intact. We've sold dozens of Enfields over the years but I can't recall ever finding one still with this much original equipment.
The Union imported approximately 500,000 Enfields during the Civil War during the first couple years of the conflict from 1861-1863; a time weapons were badly needed on both sides. George Schuyler and Marcellus Hartley were sent to Europe as purchasing agents by the Union to compete directly with Confederate agents like Caleb Huse who were scouring Europe in search of weaponry to arm their cause. The New York based HG and Co.'s proofmark is located just in front of the buttplate with a small crown over the letters "SH" followed by "G1" underneath (See Photo). A Union inspector's proof is also located on the left side of the stock in a small oval. The barrel is also stamped "S.W." in addition to the Birmingham proofs and gauge markings.
An interesting note on this rifle....as it bears some interesting markings. When it comes to commercially mfd Enfields used in the Civil War, we usually encounter these with double stamped "24" or "25" gauge marks that correspond to .58 and .577 caliber respectively. On rare occasions, we've even found a few marked with both a "24" gauge and "25" gauge marking. However, this is the very first Enfield we've ever come across marked with a "25" and a "26" gauge proof. That's right...a 26" gauge stamp. We've seen a lot of Enfields over the years and this is the only one we've ever seen with this marking.
Lockplate is dated "1862" and "Tower" with a crown at the rear of the plate sans the VR...correct for an Enfield imported during the civil war. Lockplate and hammer are border-line engraved. 39" round barrel complete with an excellent bore that still has its original 3 groove rifling intact. This gun is 100% original down to the smallest screw and unlike most Enfields, its 100% complete. Original 3 bands, original ramrod, swivels, everything is there right down to the washers on the barrel band screws.
Overall condition is NRA Antique VG+ to Fine with sharp metal, excellent markings, and nice walnut that shows no burnout from spark erosion around the nipple and bolster areas. The metal has turned to a smooth light brown patina with no pitting or corrosion. Wood to metal fit is perfect, tight, and even throughout. The wood has some slight tiger striping towards the bottom of the butt with what looks like an inverted letter "V" deeply etched into the wood on the left side. Brass furniture has turned to a rich mellowed patina. Excellent screws throughout. Sling is in good shape overall with some crazing but still flexible. The leather is nearly intact...with the exception of a small piece that broke off and someone carefully sewed the end back to the front sling swivel (see photo). Original triangular Bayonet is in Fine condition and matches the gun exactly in both degrees of wear and patina. A beautiful example of a confirmed Union-imported and issued Civil War Enfield.