FALL 2022 PREMIER FIREARMS & MILITARIA AUCTION!
1ST MODEL COLT DRAGOON REVOLVER CARRIED BY WILLIAM ROWE, 2ND ARKANSAS CAVALRY AND IMAGE OF HIM HOLDING REVOLVER AND PROVENANCE
Bbl. 7 1/2″ standard configuration, blue & case colors, silver plated grip frame.
This is a very nice well documented example known. Soldier personalized revolver with iron tack design, small star on left grip, and his initials W.R. on right. William also scratched his initials on backstrap “WFR”, “W” on left ear, “F” on top, and “R” on right ear. This was a very valuable gun even in its day and William wanted his name on it. It is very rare to see a photograph of a soldier holding the weapon he carried and he is proudly holding it across his breast in 9th plate tintype wearing enlisted cavalry shell jacket and forage cap with crossed saber insignia. It would be quite interesting to know how he came about this early Dragoon made in 1848. William F. Rowe (1843-1917) Born in Prussia, left his mother and father, immigrated by himself to America, landing in Fort Smith Arkansas December 7, 1859 at 16 years old. Enrolled in Company H, 2nd Arkansas cavalry September 7, 1863, and was mustered out Memphis Tennessee, August 1865. He lived his lfe, died and is buried at Fort Smith where he originally enlisted. When William mustered out in August 1865, he was charged $8 for retaining “pistol”, could this have been the pistol? This revolver was originally a civilian purchased from Colt in 1848. Could it have been captured during the war from Confederates and inventoried as US government property and reissued? There is indiscernible lightly scratched name on the butt with last initial “H” and a pair of initials scratched on the triggerguard “EH”. So, who had this gun originally with different last name? There is a wonderful article written in the Fort Smith Historical Society Journal in 1980 that is included with this lot. It details all the effects of William F Rowe. The article was written by his grandson who was 9 years old when William died, but still had vivid recollections of the war stories he was told. Nicholas J Kelly (1908-1982) the grandson died not long after this wonderful article was published, he had sold this pistol and other items for $3000 in 1970. Accompanying this lot along with pistol and 9th plate tintype are US oval belt plate, GAR membership badge, GAR hat insignia, and GAR program from San Francisco 1886, all in shadowbox type frame. Revolver is nicely displayed in beveled casing with accessories.