The Museum's superb military collections document the history of the men and women of the armed forces of the United States. The collections include ordnance, firearms, and swords; uniforms and insignia; national and military flags and banners; and many other objects.
The strength of the collections lies in their enormous depth. Some 3,000 military small arms and 2,400 civilian firearms document the mechanical and technological history of the infantryman's weapons from the beginning of the gunpowder era to the present. Among the 4,000 swords and knives in the collection are many spectacular presentation pieces. The collections also include Civil War era telegraph equipment, home front artifacts from both world wars, early computers such as ENIAC, Whirlwind, and Sage, and materials carried at antiwar demonstrations.
"Military - Overview" showing 1 items.
- Physical Description:
- This .54 caliber smoothbore flintlock pistol 2nd Model was made by the Virginia State Armory in Richmond Virginia. It is wedge fastened, has an iron rib under the barrel, a walnut half stock, and a swivel type ramrod with button head. It has a brass ramrod pipe, buttplate and trigger guard.
- The lock plate is stamped “RICHMOND” under the flashpan and “1815” at the rear. “77” is stamped on the left side of the barrel. The inside of the lock plate is stamped “V”.
- The Virginia Manufactory is also known as the Richmond Armory and the Virginia State Armory. It was established by the Act of 1797 to manufacture arms for the state militia. It was built along the James River and was initially in production from 1802 through 1820. The man who was in charge of the armory was James Haslett. He was formerly employed by McCormick. He was recommended for the job by Colonel John Shee, a surgeon from Philadelphia who served in the Third Pennsylvania Battalion. He wrote to the Governor of Virginia that the state would “be enabled to engage Haslett…for the Richmond Armory.” The Armory reopened in 1860 for production during the Civil War.
- The Virginia Manufactory was one of the only companies to issue only one pistol. This practice was called the single pistol theory. It was based on the economy and the belief that a sword was more important to a cavalryman than a pistol.
- This pistol has two differences from other pistols with this date. It has a thicker and straighter grip and the lock marking lacks the typical “VIRGINIA” stamp.
- Flayderman, Norm. Flayderman’s Guide to Antique American Firearms…and their Values, Gun Digest Books, Iola, 2007. 9th edition.
- Gardner, Robert E. Col. Small Arms Makers: A Directory of Fabricators of Firearms, Edged Weapons, Crossbows and Polearms, Crown Publishers Inc, New York: 1963, p. 200.
- Smith, Samuel E. and Edwin W. Bitter. Historic Pistols: The American Martial Flintlock 1760-1845, Scalamandre Publications, New York: 1986, p. 246.
- Currently not on view
- date made
- Virginia Manufactory
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- collector/donor number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center