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Old September 8, 2009, 03:09 PM   #1
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A Little Family History (Picture heavy)

I finally got a replacement battery pack for my digital camera. If you're looking to buy a new camera, don't make my mistake and get one with a proprietary battery. Yuck.

Anyway, I put it to good use. My great great grandfather, George H. Dunn, served in the 27th Michigan Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the Civil War. They did a lot of traveling, from Port Huron down to deep in the south and eventually to Washington, DC as part of the Grand Army of the Potomac. Then, after four years of service, the regiment was disbanded back at Port Huron, Michigan.

I guess that in those days, a soldier could either keep or buy his rifle. I say that because I'd hate to think that a relative of mine would actually steal it! So it's been handed down through the generations and now it's in my hands.

Here's my great great grandfather:

And a few pictures of the rifle, a contract 1861 made by Lamson, Goodnow and Yale after the Colt Special 1861 pattern:

The 27th Infantry mark in the stock, above

The armory cartouches in the two photos above are fading away. Part of that is because my great great grandfather used this rifle for hunting until at least the late 1880s when he replaced it with a Colt Lightning in .38-40 (I've got that one, too). The other part is that I remember playing with it when I was a child. It was a piece of history, but it was also a toy, as long as we didn't bang it around. Also, the white spots that you see here and there are paint. Don't ask me how or why. I guess that at some time somebody painted and didn't cover everything up. I've been carefully cleaning paint off of guns for the past month.

Even with all that (ab)use, it's still completely functional and shootable. The rifling is strong, all of the original parts are still there and solid and it works perfectly. It's a really nice link back to the past!
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Old September 8, 2009, 07:20 PM   #2
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That's incredible. Thanks for sharing that.
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Old September 8, 2009, 07:54 PM   #3
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yea until kinda recently you could keep your rifle, I know you could in WW2 Im not sure about 'nam, I Know a guy that knows a guy that said after grenada all the US soldiers had duffle bags full of captured ak 47s, " thier officer told them there would be a search for such items "in 30 minutes." so everyone goes to the back of the boat (they were going home) and threw everything off. but there never was a search of any sort
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Old September 9, 2009, 01:56 AM   #4
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My dad was strip searched when leaving Vietnam and he also got a nasty letter for sending home some poncho liners and a few other items. Some items if purchased can be brought home if you go through the right channels.
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Old September 9, 2009, 07:28 AM   #5
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Beautiful old relic!

I wish mine came with the history attached.
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Old September 9, 2009, 08:32 AM   #6
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When I took it out to the range for the first time last week, nobody really paid too much attention to me. They were all kind of wrapped up in their own business. Until the first round went downrange. Smoke. Fire. Noise. Then I was the coolest kid in school!

I'll tell you what, though...I can't imagine having to shoot that rifle in the heat of a battle. The other guys might have been just as hampered as me in reloading and ducking, but no matter how fast great great grandad could load that thing, it was a truly cumbersome job. Those guys had some serious stones.

There's some perspective to be gained...I was in the Persian Gulf in 1988. We engaged an Iranian warship and destroyed it with the push of a button. I could just see it near the edge of the horizon from my .50 cal station. *Poof*, it and about 100 guys are gone. Now think about Gettysburg or Vicksburg. Wow.
Well we don't rent pigs and I figure it's better to say it right out front because a man that does like to rent pigs is... he's hard to stop - Gus McCrae
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Old September 10, 2009, 09:41 AM   #7
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Nice writeup, thanks.
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Old September 19, 2009, 07:14 PM   #8
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officers could buy guns in WW2 but troops had to turn them in.
the civil war was different as many soldiers took there guns home with them,and some owned there guns like spencers and henrys.and others.
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Old September 19, 2009, 09:15 PM   #9
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great write up and pics
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