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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everybody,

Hoping this is in the right area of the forums. I recently acquired an 1860 Army 44 with stamped Walnut grips. I have searched on the internet for information on the pistol but have had not much luck finding anything about it or anything remotely similar. Maybe somebody can guide me in the right direction?? The grips are stamped Co E 8th CAV on both sides. Also in the acquisition, there were a couple of books and a Sharps 50-70 Calvary Carbine also stamped with the same unit in the stock. Any help with the history would be appreciated! Thank you!! Bill
 

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Unit-marked weapons were most common during the Indian Wars.

The 8th Cavalry was issued both for a short time, when stocks of the percussion Colts and 50-70 Sharps Carbines were replaced by the Model 1873 Colt Single Action Army and the Model 1873 Springfield Trapdoor Carbine in the mid-1870s.

The 8th Cavalry was a Regular Army outfit, with a long, distinguished career in the Frontier West and its history is easy to look up - just look up '8th Cavalry' and you'll find all of the battles participated in and duty stations.

The 8th still exists, by the way.

Good Hunting!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank You for the information!!! I did find out that part of the 8th Cavalry was stationed at Ft Churchill NV. Kind of a weird coincidence since were in that area last week and visited what was left of the post.
 

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You now know the unit and time of issue - that's pretty much all you're going to find, since the piece was marked to the 'unit' and not to an individual trooper.

Dig further into who sold it and how far back it can be traced through sales until you find the original family member who'd sold it.

Only then will you be able to possibly put a name to the piece - and remember, they could have been issued to a couple of different troopers before winding up in the hands of the one whose family member sold it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You now know the unit and time of issue - that's pretty much all you're going to find, since the piece was marked to the 'unit' and not to an individual trooper.

Dig further into who sold it and how far back it can be traced through sales until you find the original family member who'd sold it.

Only then will you be able to possibly put a name to the piece - and remember, they could have been issued to a couple of different troopers before winding up in the hands of the one whose family member sold it.
In a weird coincidence and a book, I have a friend in Boise Idaho that remembers these firearms in a collection over 20 yrs ago. He had forgotten the name of the collector but remembers the guy used to dress up in a Mountain Man get up all the time. He has since passed away sadly. I did as you said, researched what I could on the 8th Cav and they were at one time in Idaho. I guess I am having to much fun with this
 

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Start talking, and get your friend to peel back the onion and remember others who knew that man, then go from there.
 

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At the time your revolver was issued, I think you will find that Co E, 8th Cavalry, was primarily stationed at Ft. Wingate, NM. They were in the field against the Apache on a few instances. Previous to their service in New Mexico, they were at Ft. Lapwai, ID (1867-1870) in Idaho and were armed mostly with the New Model Remington .44 percussion revolver. At some point in late 1869, the regiment transferred to posts in Arizona and New Mexico. During this period, Company E was rearmed with Colt's Model 1860s like yours. Yours is very nice and I am envious, as I too, have a Sharps cartridge conversion carbine bearing the same unit stamps. I've been looking for such a revolver for many years to go with my carbine.
 

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It would be very rare to find out the name of the soldier who actually used that 1860, but I would recommend that you dig into the history of the 8th Cavalry in the Civil War as dogface6 suggested. Then make copies and keep with your records on this gun. Some day someone else will really appreciate your efforts plus you'll be able to get a sense of where it's been.
 

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Pate's book gives quite a few examples where guns can be tied by serial no. to the man they were issued to. It may be possible.
 
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