Lot 2010: Historic Winchester Third Model 1866 Lever Action Musket Associated with 1876 South Carolina "Red Shirts" and the Election of 1876
6th May 2017
This is an attractive example of a Winchester Model 1866 Musket that was manufactured in 1869. This musket has the Third Model features which include visible serial number stamped behind the trigger on the lower receiver tang, single upper tang screw and receiver flare at the junction with the forearm. The musket has the distinctive features that include: (1) 26 1/2-inch round barrel, (2) extended forearm, (3) 3/4 length, 17-shot magazine, (4) three barrel bands,(5) sling swivels on the stock and middle barrel band and (6) steel block front sight base that serves as a lug for a socket bayonet. The stock has a brass, carbine style, buttplate with sliding brass trapdoor. The barrel has a folding leaf rear sight with 900 yard ("9") center notch. The barrel, magazine, barrel bands and loading gate are blued, and the hammer, trigger and lever are color casehardened. The stock and forearm are oil-finished, straight grain, American walnut. The top of the barrel is roll-stamped: "WINCHESTER'S-REPEATING-ARMS. NEW HAVEN. CT./KING'S-IMPROVEMENT-PATENTED-MARCH 29, 1866, OCTOBER. 16. 1860" in two-lines between the lower barrel band and the rear sight. The serial number, "32198", is stamped in block numerals on the lower tang behind the trigger. The musket is accompanied by a copy of a handwritten document dated September 7, 1874, that states it was the property of the author's grandfather "Geo. L. Dial" who "carried this rifle with Hampton's Red Shirts". The South Carolina Red Shirts were a white supremacist group organized in the early 1870s to intimidate black Republican Party voters. The Red Shirts played a major part in the election of former Confederate General Wade Hampton as the Democratic Party state governor in 1876. The election of Wade Hampton ended the Republican party control of South Carolina for 90 years.
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