Saturday, January 07, 2017

Charlotte and Stonewall Jackson's LeMat

   In the January issue of America's Civil War, there is an interesting piece on the LeMat revolvers, written by Michael G. Williams. The LeMats are fairly rare nine-shot .42 caliber revolvers that also had a small 20-guage shotgun barrel underneath. Imported during the war, they were owned by the likes of J.E.B. Stuart, Braxton Bragg, Richard H. Anderson, and P. G. T. Beauguard (Serial #8). The article has a sidebar about Stonewall Jackson's LeMat. But as the sidebar states, we don't actually have any proof that Jackson owned a LeMat. Maybe J.E.B. Stuart gave him one, about the same time that he presented him with a new coat, right before Chancellorsville.

The article includes a picture from the collection of the Virginia Military Institute. The photo is of a sitting room or parlor at the home of Mary Anna Morrison Jackson, taken in Charlotte, North Carolina. Mary Anna was from the area and lived in Charlotte twice after the war (she died there on March 24, 1915). In post-war newspaper accounts, she is frequently mentioned exhibiting some of Stonewall's personal effects. A visitor coming to the annual bazaar held each January to raise money for indigent Confederate soldiers could see Jackson's sword and other mementos.  When the national reunion of the United Confederate Veterans was held in Charlotte in 1929, visitors could stop by the home of Jackson's granddaughter and see these same relics.

Pictured in the image are a clock, field classes, epaulettes, sword, and two pistols. One pistol is identified as a British Tranter. The other bears striking resemblance to a LeMat, with its shotgun barrel under the main barrel, ornate trigger guard, lanyard, and "subtle slope atop the gun's frame..." Williams poses the question: "If Jackson owned a LeMat, where is it?"

Jackson's cased Beaumont-Adams revolver, his Lefaucheaux pin-fired revolver, field glasses, and Model 1850 US Field and Staff sword are all held at the former Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond. But where is Jackson's LeMat?

Is this Jackson's LeMat? (VMI/America's Civil War)

As a side note, Williams describes the  sitting room as being in Jackson's former home in Charlotte; however, Jackson never actually lived in the home where Mary Anna resided after his death.

No comments: