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    Tyler Underwood

    Re: 3 Acres at Franklin

    Ken, I haven't seen any updates on the CWT page. I will see what I can find out though.

    Tyler Underwood Yesterday, 07:41 AM Go to last post
    Ken Cornett

    Re: 3 Acres at Franklin

    Any updates on these 3 acres?

    Ken Cornett 02-27-2015, 01:16 AM Go to last post
  • THE FRONT PAGE

    Published on 01-18-2015 06:27 PM  Number of Views: 46 

    THE FALL OF FORT FISHER
    The End of Confederate Trade
    By Daniel Landsman
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    The Battle of Fort Fisher was the largest amphibious operation of the Civil War. (Library of Congress)

    By 1864, Wilmington, North Carolina was the Confederacy's last connection to the trade with the outside world. Realizing the importance of this coastal city to the Confederate war effort, Union forces launched an amphibious attack on Wilmington's lone defensive structure, the heavily fortified Fort Fisher during the winter of 1864.

    One of the weaknesses of the Confederacy was its agriculturally based economy. While this provided Southerners with ample amounts of cotton and tobacco, they lacked the industrial means of their Northern opponents. To account for their lack of access to necessary war supplies, the Confederacy would trade cotton and tobacco with the British for the items they needed to sustain their war effort. Due to the coast-wide Union blockade, and the loss of a number of the Confederacy’s key ports, Wilmington, North Carolina was the last major Confederate port by the end of 1864. This essential port was defended by the uniquely designed Fort Fisher. Inspired by the design of the Malakoff Tower in Ukraine, the fort was made predominantly out of soil mounds and sand, which proved to be more effective in absorbing cannon blasts than the traditional brick and mortar. The importance of Fort Fisher was stressed by Robert E. Lee who told the commanding officer, Colonel William Lamb, that if he was to lose control of the fort, Lee would not be able to supply his army.

    Realizing that a loss at Fort Fisher would deliver a crippling blow to the Confederacy, Generals Adelbert Ames, Alfred Terry, Charles Paine, and Admiral David Porter, devised a plan to take the fort. In December of 1864, the Federals, led by Major General Benjamin Butler, launched an amphibious attack on the fort, beginning with a Trojan Horse-esque surprise attack. In the middle of the night on December 23rd, the Union Navy floated the USS Louisiana, disguised as a Confederate blockade runner, near the shore of Fort Fisher filled with gun powder. Once they felt the Louisiana was a few hundred yards away from the shore, they ignited the ship. However, due to a serious miscalculation, the ship was more than a mile off shore and the explosion did no damage to the fort. The next morning the Union forces began their bombardment, firing more than 10,000 shells towards the fort. Despite firing such a large amount of shells, the bombardment was “diffuse and not calculated…so wild that at least one-third of the missiles fell in the river beyond the fort or in the bordering marshes” according to garrison commander, Colonel Lamb. During the poorly executed attack, a team was sent to scout out the land face of the fort and assess the effectiveness of a land invasion. Despite being poorly defended, the Federals ultimately decided not to carry out a land invasion and by the 25th of December, the ill-fated attempt to take the fort was suspended. The naval bombardment only resulted in minor damage to the fort’s sea face.

    Weakened Confederate forces attempt to ward off the Federal attack on land. (Library of Congress)

    Refocused and now under the control of General Alfred Terry, the great Union fleet returned to the shores of Fort Fisher the night of January 12th, 1865. Colonel William Lamb recounts of their arrival, “From the ramparts of Fort Fisher, I saw the great Armada returning…sunrise the next morning revealed to us the most formidable armada the world had ever known, supplemented by transports carrying about 8500 troops”. That morning, armada opened fire on the land face of Fort Fisher. The long line of floating fortresses rained shells down on Fort Fisher, causing the very earth to tremble. Unlike the previous attempt, this attack was calculated and methodical, and the majority of the shots hit their mark. This relentless bombardment went on through out the day and night of the 13th and 14th, making it impossible for the soldiers inside the fort to repair damages to both the land and sea face. As the sun rose on the morning of the 15th, the Union armada redoubled the efforts. By noon that day, the Union attack had rendered all but one gun unserviceable on the land face and and reduced the garrison to only 1200 men.

    A desperate Colonel Lamb began gathering every soldier still alive to assist in the defense of the fort, including those who were sick and wounded. During the Union attack on land, Brigadier General Adelbert Ames lost control of his men and the attack became wildly disorganized. Nevertheless, Ames and the rest of the Union forces had gotten such a significant hold on the fort, taking all of the batteries on the sea face and maintaining a hold on most of the northern wall, that the remaining Confederate forces raised the white flag and approached the Union lines to surrender the fort. A month after the Union forces captured Fort Fisher, Union soldiers rode into Wilmington. On February 22, George Washington’s birthday, the mayor surrendered Wilmington to the Union. From then on, the Confederacy's days were numbered.

    Click Here For the Original Article at the Civil War Trust
    Published on 09-28-2014 10:46 AM  Number of Views: 112 

    THE PARKER-HALE ENFIELD
    By Craig L Barry
    --------------------------------------------------------------


    1st generation Birmingham made Parker Hale before de-farbing, serial number 5556, probably manufactured about 1980 or 1981, note type IV “British service” oval rear sling swivel and P-H stamped under the crown behind the hammer, case colored lock, etc. (collection of author)

    While the history of the US Civil War is an area of great interest to hobby participants there is also a historical piece to the (re)enactment hobby itself which dates back at least fifty years. In the early 1970s, the Birmingham gun-maker Parker-Hale began selling reproduction Enfield rifles to both (re)enactors and live fire enthusiasts, or “skirmishers.” The company ceased production (in England) of muzzleloaders in 1990. These are considered among the highest quality reproductions of Civil War-era rifles and rifle- muskets ever produced. The first reproduction Parker Hale Enfields became available for sale beginning in 1972, starting with the 1861 Artillery carbine. This was followed by their Enfield long rifle (P53) in 1974, Naval rifle (P58) in 1975 and later a .451 “Whitworth” target rifle. The P53 was by far the most popular Parker Hale product, and the one most widely used by (re)enactors. The Birmingham Parker-Hales are now gone but not forgotten. A bit of background discussion about the history of the Parker-Hale enterprise is in order.

    First of all, Parker-Hale was an English gun-maker founded in the Gun Quarter of Birmingham England, but not until well after the US Civil War ended. Although the name sounds reminiscent of many Civil War-era gun-makers in the Birmingham Small Arms Trade, obviously, the company never produced Enfield rifles on commercial contract for either side in the US Civil War. [1] Alfred Gray Parker and Arthur Hale founded the business to provide shooting supplies to the British Volunteer companies and the marksmanship (target shooting) clubs in England around 1880.

    Over the years the firm primarily produced small caliber bolt-action target rifles. Parker Hale’s Production Manager John Le Breton decided in the early 1970s that he wanted to make an exact reproduction of the Enfield black powder muzzle loading rifle, and that he wanted the gun to reflect the exact specifications of the original Enfield rifles. He assigned an engineer named Tony Kinchin to the project.

    An expert on the history of US Civil War arms noted, “In an attempt to meet Le Breton's request, Tony Kinchin traveled to the (Royal Armoury) museum at Enfield to record the dimensions of original rifle-muskets and the tooling used to manufacture them. To his delight, the museum director allowed him to take a set of original Enfield master gauges back to Parker Hale.” [2] What this means is that Parker-Hale copied (almost exactly) from original gauges the specifications for the machine made P53 British service rifle. This is the so called type IV Enfield that was manufactured at Royal Small Arms Factory by the British War Department to supply their own troops. This particular version of the Enfield rifle was an improved design over earlier models still being commercially manufactured using individual craftsmen as they had for centuries in Birmingham and London. The two types were close in overall design, but not exactly the same in detail.

    Some of the variation between British service rifle (which Parker Hale copied) and the earlier type III widely used during the US Civil War included different stock contours, lock plate screw washers and lock engraving, a rounded screw head design, along with different sling swivels and barrel bands. There has always been considerable confusion in particular about the front or “top” sling swivel on the Parker Hale, which is offset and does not resemble any type of Civil War-era Enfield sling swivel ever made. The company decided to make “a minor concession to historical accuracy” and used readily available surplus sling swivels from the World War II-era Lee-Enfield SMLE, which were less expensive than making their own in the correct center stud configuration front swivel. This decision by Parker Hale would impact the Italian made Enfield reproductions down the road. Ironically, when the Italian reproduction gun makers decided to add an Enfield model to their Civil War product line, rather than copy an original P53 they merely copied the successful Parker Hale…mistakes and all. This included the inaccurate, oddly offset front sling swivel.


    Parker Hale purchased inauthentic offset front sling swivels for their reproduction Enfield


    While there were differences between the Parker Hale and the original US Civil War P53 Enfield, there were also a number of details which were identical, for example the barrel which featured a 1:78 twist and progressive depth rifling. The rifling in the period correct .577 caliber bore tapers from .015 at the breech to .005 at the muzzle. All original Enfield long and short rifles manufactured after 1858 featured progressive depth rifling. In addition, Parker Hale used modern manufacturing methods to recreate this old-style rifling. Progressive rifling in Parker Hale barrels was cold hammer forged around a sliding mandrel to insure the proper depth. [3] Taking it a step further, Parker Hale lock plates were case hardened through the bone charcoal method, which results in the unique swirling color pattern. All other modern reproduction locks are not actually case hardened but have a chemically induced surface color. The Parker Hale percussion cone uses the same pattern 5/16 x 18 bolster threads as the original Civil War-era Enfield rifles.

    Therefore, while the Parker Hale reproduction was very well made, especially compared to the various reproductions which followed, and got a number of things right, it was not quite the same as the earlier commercial version most widely used during the US Civil War. However despite all that, it was an immediate sales success among both (re)enactors and skirmishers.


    Barrel marking from Birmingham made 1st generation Parker Hale Enfield (collection of author)

    The net result was the Birmingham Parker Hale was the best reproduction Enfield available for most of its almost twenty year production run. When Parker Hale stopped making muzzle loaders, they sold the naming rights to Euroarms Italia, SrL. For a period of time, Euroarms produced and sold what was essentially their own reproduction Enfield with a Parker Hale barrel for about twice the price. These “2nd generation” Enfields were not of the same high quality as the Birmingham made Parker Hales, though they shared all of the same faults. [4] Euroarms went out of business in 2011 and there are currently no newly manufactured Parker Hales of any type currently available.

    Part of the Parker Hale legacy is that in the void created by their absence, demand for a quality reproduction of the P53 Enfield has remained strong. After Euroarms went out of business, there has been a marked improvement in the form of newly available “de-farbed” Enfield offerings from both Italian gun makers Armi Chiappa (Armi Sport) and in particular D. Pedersoli. [5] Existing 1st generation ‘made in Birmingham’ Parker Hales in good condition still come up from time to time. If you happen to find one of those, they are well worth the cost. [6]

    NOTES

    [1] Some examples of well-known firms from the Birmingham Small Arms Trade in the 1860s include Cooper & Goodman, Bentley & Playfair, etc.
    [2] Joe Bilby, Colt Six Guns and Parker Hale,
    www.civilwarguns.com. February 1996.
    [3] Ibid, Bilby
    [4] The Italian made Parker Hale Enfields are easily distinguished by their lock plate markings which read Parker Hale in front of the hammer with no date. The Birmingham made version reads “1853” over “ENFIELD.” Neither one is period correct but besides an early four digit serial number, the lock plate is a quick way to identify a 1st generation Birmingham made Parker Hale.
    [5] Armi Sport offers both a defarbed and (believe it or not) what they call a “farbed” version. Their defarbed version has a few of the worst historical accuracy mistakes corrected. D Pedersoli makes a very good quality reproduction Birmingham Tower 1861 P53 Enfield which is historically accurate pretty much right out of the box. It still requires refinishing w/ linseed oil, etc.
    [6] My Parker Hale Enfield was over thirty years old when purchased, and virtually in unfired condition. It has since been “defarbed” as a LA Co P53, which it closely resembles being that like the Parker Hale, the Civil War-era LA Co was a parts interchangeable copy of the RSAF Enfield. An original LA Co 1862 lock assembly dropped right into the lock mortise and works perfectly.

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  • Bully Buy

    MARCH BULLY BUY!
    LD Haning & Co.



    CLICK HERE FOR INFO
  • Vendor Announcements

    Canebrake Rifle Guards

    CS Script A buttons now available

    Available now, coat sized script A buttons. These are a copy of the English import buttons. They have correct shanks and a gilt finish.

    For information on how to order, email

    Canebrake Rifle Guards Today, 11:51 AM Go to last post
    Eric Tipton

    MARCH BULLY BUY! - From LD Haning & Co.

    L.D. Haning 15th Anniversary Sale

    Actually I had been making items for a few years, but officially L.D. Haning was launched in 2000. To celebrate we are offering a number of items on sale as a Bully buy this month. I chose a number of items that over the years have been popular with our customers as well as a new item or 2. You only need to go to our site www.ldhaning.com and use

    Eric Tipton Yesterday, 10:50 PM Go to last post
  • The Market Place

    pvt_dirty

    Re: Tyler Goodrich/Authentic Reproductions

    Hello Bob,

    My cell service has been not the best up here in Vermont. Ive have taken a new job at work and have been crazy busy. I have

    pvt_dirty 02-25-2015, 08:38 AM Go to last post
    Dave Hull

    Bristol Hollow

    I like to support the small and up and coming sutlers and came across Bristol Hollow this morning when search for some obscure bit of kit. Any feedback

    Dave Hull 02-17-2015, 04:29 PM Go to last post
    Eric Tipton

    Re: Please Do Not Post in this General Folder

    If you had a thread in this folder it was either moved or deleted based upon your subscription status. Do not post in this folder. All transactions

    Eric Tipton 02-03-2015, 01:40 PM Go to last post
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