Hosted by

Civil War Antiques

The Second Mass and Its Fighting Californians

A Reference site of images, articles, artifacts of the Second Massachusetts Cavalry including the Cal 100 and the Cal Battalion.

Home History Personnel Images Artifacts Cal. GAR Today's 2nd Mass Articles/References

California Hundred Burnside Carbine

Burnside Markings.jpg (715205 bytes) 
 click image for more detail

Burnside.jpg (384439 bytes)
click image for more detail

This Burnside carbine is in good condition showing moderate use and saddle wear. It exhibits characteristics typical of a 3rd model Burnside whose manufacture took place in 1862. The hammer has a long nose with a vertical thumb spur as seen on the 1st and 2nd model Burnsides, and not the typical shape found on 4th models.  The forestock is small in size and tapered at its front. The release clip for the falling breechblock is the slender variety typical of the 2nd model Burnside, yet it is hinged like the 4th models.

All parts are original to the gun and all serial numbers are correctly placed and matching. The patina on all metal is consistent, and conforms to the usage and wear on the stocks. Some faded case color remains on the receiver.  Of particular note are the markings on the cheek side of the buttstock. Stamped in 1/8" high letters is 1862. Below those markings in 5/16" high uppercase letters, is stamped "CAL 100" with "53" in " high letters. Close examination indicates that these letters are contemporary to the era of manufacture of the carbine. The lockplate is marked "Burnside Rifle Co/ Providence , R.I. "  Forward of the breechblock, the top of the frame is marked "Burnside Patent/March 25TH/1856" and serial number 10198 which appears on both the receiver and the breechblock. The same serial number is stamped on the underside of the trigger tang, inside the lockplate, under the breech tang plate, under the top of the buttplate and in the wood on the forward end of the buttstock.  Significant wear appears on the opposite side of the buttstock, and at its heel near the buttplate.  The carbine received some type of force across its center, creating a stress in the buttstock along the tang, reaching to the comb of the stock. 

            Members of the Cal Hundred were known to have been issued a mix of Burnside and Sharps carbines in late 1862 and early 1863.  No other Cal 100 carbines included in this first issue have been seen for comparison.  

Write-up and photography courtesy of Mike Sorenson