Author Topic: Gun flint found on Civil War site  (Read 3925 times)

Offline jwhiteker

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Gun flint found on Civil War site
« on: June 09, 2020, 03:37:26 PM »

Can anyone help me identify this flint and possibly the type of rifle or gun it could've been used with.  I'm hoping it's identifiable since it is new, or only fired a small number of times.  I found it while looking for arrowheads on what is believed to be the site of a fort from the Civil War.  The area also had a huge Native American starvation during that time as well.  It seems odd to me that someone would've been carrying an old flint lock rifle in Civil War times, but I'm far from an expert on the time period.  It seems to me this would have been closer to Rev. war time?  Possibly a French or Britian imported flint?  Any help would be greatly appreciated.






Online Stoner creek

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2020, 04:17:26 PM »
French Honey Amber flint. We see more of these in historic context here in central Kentucky than the black English flints.
Remember what got us here.

Offline wweedman

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2020, 01:33:58 PM »
Blade flint (not spall) so post 1770 ish

Offline Pukka Bundook

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2020, 04:16:21 PM »
Stoner,
Yes they call these French flints, but just wanted to say that back in our part of the UK,(N Yorkshire), we used to find a lot of flint this colour, that had been   napped in Neolithic times.
As the big reserves of flint from further south were the good black flint, you Now have  me wondering if the flint shards and tools we found were made from flint imported across the North sea?

Nice find, Mr J! 
It looks rather used to me, (I think)

Offline jwhiteker

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2020, 05:11:38 PM »
Thank you guys for the response.  It's all good information and adds to my research on this item.  I know the answer to the origin of this piece will end up being formed from much speculation.  I'm just thrilled with the location I've found it.  I feel that the limited recorded history missed the mark on where this Civil War fort was located.  I believe I'm in the right neighborhood for sure. 

Offline James Rogers

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2020, 06:19:21 PM »
During the early part of the war flint guns were being issued out of war of 1812 stocks to various confederate units.

Offline mr. no gold

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2020, 09:40:07 PM »
These flints are also found in various ghost towns, mostly old mining towns, from the late 1800s out here in the West.
That includes some that were locally knapped. It is supposed that the Indians and some poor, or traditional Euro folks kept these archaic weapons in use.
Dick

Offline AZshot

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #7 on: June 10, 2020, 09:58:50 PM »
I wouldn't assume it is from the Civil War period, just because you think there is a civil war fort there.  It could have been built on top of an older settlement, camp, or even open ground where someone dropped the flint.  For example, I've found artifacts in built up areas with modern developments.  But I wouldn't say the 1150s era Hohokam pottery sherd is from the quickie mart built in 2004. 

Offline jwhiteker

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #8 on: June 10, 2020, 10:35:58 PM »
During the early part of the war flint guns were being issued out of war of 1812 stocks to various confederate units.

Great tidbit James.  I was unaware of this fact for sure.  Probably very likely in this case.

Offline jwhiteker

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #9 on: June 10, 2020, 10:40:45 PM »
I wouldn't assume it is from the Civil War period, just because you think there is a civil war fort there.  It could have been built on top of an older settlement, camp, or even open ground where someone dropped the flint.  For example, I've found artifacts in built up areas with modern developments.  But I wouldn't say the 1150s era Hohokam pottery sherd is from the quickie mart built in 2004.

Thanks for the humor and the very sensible explanation.  It is farm ground and has flooded hundreds of times.  There's not really a way to tell which time period it came from.  I know lots of Native Americans died right out there.  I'm dying to explore this place further, but right now beans are sprouting and poison ivy is thick around the river.  Planning a three day trip out there in late summer/early fall.  I'll have to check back in with what I find. Hopefully they don't build a quickie mart there.  LOL

Offline jwhiteker

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2020, 10:42:55 PM »
These flints are also found in various ghost towns, mostly old mining towns, from the late 1800s out here in the West.
That includes some that were locally knapped. It is supposed that the Indians and some poor, or traditional Euro folks kept these archaic weapons in use.
Dick

Makes good sense Dick.  I'm fairly new to artifact hunting, so any time I find anything, my mind immediately starts putting together a romantic story to go with the piece. 

Offline jwhiteker

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2020, 10:59:07 PM »
I have read that some confederate soldiers were carrying Springfield 1816 muskets.  Does this flint match that weapon at all?

Offline MuskratMike

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2020, 11:24:27 PM »
Great post and read. Thanks all who responded.
"Muskrat" Mike McGuire
Keep your eyes on the skyline, your flint sharp and powder dry.

Offline Keith Zimmerman

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #13 on: June 10, 2020, 11:36:08 PM »
How can you tell what kind of gun it was used with??  Its a flint.  They were carried on all flint guns.

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #14 on: June 11, 2020, 12:55:02 AM »
The size of the flint can give some indication of the size lock it was on, with smaller locks often being civilian rifles and larger locks often muskets. Nothing is written in stone with this over-simplified analysis, but the width of this flint suggests a civilian rifle to me.  Shelby Gallien

Offline James Rogers

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #15 on: June 11, 2020, 01:06:53 AM »
During the early part of the war flint guns were being issued out of war of 1812 stocks to various confederate units.

Great tidbit James.  I was unaware of this fact for sure.  Probably very likely in this case.

In my grandfather's cavalry unit they started out with 1812 "reaphook" sabers, flintlock pistols and shotguns brought from home. They soon were re-supplied by the opposition  ;)

Offline Keith Zimmerman

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2020, 01:53:03 AM »
But a small flint can be used in a big lock.  And a big flint can be used in a small lock.  Like trying to guess the size of a buck from a buck rub.  Too many variables without more information.  Still a nice find.

Offline Clark Badgett

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2020, 06:00:35 AM »
Many confederate units had flintlocks early in the Civil War. In fact the Battle of Mills Springs near Somerset KY, was fought by CS troops largely armed with flintlocks and Union and Kentucky troops armed with percussion arms, both sides mostly with .69 smoothbores. It was rainy, foggy and the Kentucky infantry was wearing their "neutrality" sky blue uniforms and the CS general confused them for his own troops. A mistake that cost him his life. Needless to say it was a total route of the CS forces who had a hard time getting their flintlocks to fire, and the Union leadership was far better anyway. This battle was my GGG uncle's first combat with the 1st Ky Cav (US) and they didn't even have uniforms yet.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2020, 07:41:58 PM by Clark Badgett »
Psalms 144

Offline Molly

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2020, 12:21:56 AM »
Did you ever read a thread and have a thought but then said to yourself, "better not post it"?  Interesting discussion 8)

Offline D. Taylor Sapergia

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #19 on: June 19, 2020, 01:00:19 AM »
Molly:  I've posted things that I wish I hadn't.  Bless you for having premonition.
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Offline Molly

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #20 on: June 19, 2020, 03:46:11 AM »
I'm working on it!

Offline jrb

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #21 on: June 28, 2020, 04:41:26 PM »
no idea why anyone would guess that's civil war.  most archaeological sites are multi- component.

Offline will payne

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #22 on: June 28, 2020, 04:42:51 PM »
Thatís a French flint.
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Offline Bob Roller

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2020, 05:49:01 PM »
no idea why anyone would guess that's civil war.  most archaeological sites are multi- component.
? >:(

Just WHAT is 'civil" about getting shot at and worse yet,getting hit by that shot >:(?
Bob Roller

Offline WESTbury

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Re: Gun flint found on Civil War site
« Reply #24 on: June 29, 2020, 03:19:54 AM »
The musket in the photo below belongs to a friend. Would that it were mine! It is an 1829 dated Springfield M1816 in about as close as one can get to mint condition for these old flinters. The musket even has an original sling from the period.

In any event, in the jaw is a flint wrapped in an original lead flint cap. This is how flints were mounted in U.S. Military Flintlock muskets, not in pieces of leather. Note that the flint is not particularly thick. The original lead flint cap is extremely brittle and just the slightest touch can damage it. There is not much left of it outside the upper and lower jaws of the cock.

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