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Re: tracing history

Posted by Dick Hosmer on Friday, 17 December 2010, at 2:28 p.m., in response to Re: tracing history, posted by JaDub on Thursday, 16 December 2010, at 8:01 p.m.

The rifle (313027) was made late 1885/early 1886. While its' number is not listed, those nearby saw use by volunteer troops in the SAW. An 1873 block is perfectly normal - in fact correct - for that date. The arm was PROBABLY refinished at Rock Island.

Regular Army soldiers were not supposed to mark their rifles, nor in fact were they supposed to dismount the buttplate.

My GUESS would be that it was used by an Iowa unit - it may or may not be significant that Mr. Bidwell did not state his regiment. Perhaps the Benton reference means something in that regard, perhaps not. More likely it was his hometown.

Sorry, but when I saw the 7th Cav being invoked, as well as time frames WELL outside the possible date(s) of that rifle's service, I thought it necessary to say something to avoid wild speculation.

With just the initials it's tough to be sure - William IS the overwhelming choice, of course, but it could be Wayne, or Walter, or even Wilburforce! I'd look for a man born in Iowa around 1875. It's not going to be easy (and you will likely never be 100% sure) but good luck!!


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