French Charleville Model 1763 Flintlock Musket, Surcharged "US"

French Charleville Model 1763 Flintlock Musket, Surcharged "US"

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Usage conditions apply
Physical Description
French Charleville Model 1763 musket, surcharged "US" with bayonet.
Specific History
This French Charleville musket is stamped "US" on the metal lock plate.
General History
During the American War of Independence the French government supplied large quantities of muskets to the Continental army. Several arsenals in France produced muskets but the Charleville Model 1763 was the most common and soon all French muskets were referred to as "Charlevilles." In March 1777, some 25,000 Charleville muskets were received from France. George Washington implemented a resolution by the Continental Congress to stamp firearms as United States property to reduce theft.
Object Name
Other Terms
musket; Firearms; Army; Flintlock;.70 In; Smooth Bore; Muzzle Load; Sa
place made
made at
United States
associated place
United States
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
wood (part material)
overall: 59 1/2 in; x 151.13 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
collector/donor number
Credit Line
Adriana Scalamandre Bitter and Edwin Ward Bitter for the Bitter Family Collection
Revolution and the New Nation
See more items in
Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Military
Price of Freedom
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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I own a 1763 that DOES have the US as well as the stamp of the inspector for the Continental Congress ... No bayonet
I have a 1763 French (Charleville?) musket with a 1746 hammer that has a mismatched upper clamp. It is also marked "B" on the lock. Could this be an inspection make of Bellegarde who according to Madame Campan (Marie Antionette's Lady-in-Waiting): "Messieurs de Bellegarde and de Monthieu. The first, a colonel and inspector of artillery, and the second, proprietor of a foundry at St. Etienne, were, under the Ministry of the Duc d’Aiguillon, condemned to imprisonment for twenty years and a day for having withdrawn from the arsenals of France, by order of the Duc de Choiseul, a vast number of muskets, as being of no value except as old iron, while in point of fact the greater part of those muskets were immediately embarked and sold to the Americans."
You write that 25,000 Charlevilles were received in March 1777, do you own the details of these importations, for the only delivery I found was 5,000 aboard the Mercury?
We have a 1763 Charleville carried by our distant grandfather, Sgt. Simon Giffin of the 9th CT Regiment (Col. SB Webb). I has been in the family continuously since the end of the War. Curiously it does not have any Armory markings, French or American. I can send a picture of the lock mechanism and the metal is free of stamping. Is it unusual that there are no French markings?
I have the same model with no markings from either government so I’m curious if that is more common than not.
I own an authenticated original 1766/74 Charleville Musket. It's only visable markings are a reversed capital E and a rack number 45. The E stands for St. Etienne arsenal in France. It's bayonet is American done by a local forge.
"I was wondering about the significance of the "IN " on the side of the stock. Inspectors mark? Also, is there a "V " on the other side with an "x " over it. Do you know whose marks these would be and if this was Revolutionary War used? I have a 1766 Charlesville with the same markings.Thank you,Chris Wieser"

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