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  • 1861 Order for Rifled Muskets and Sabers from Herman Boker

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    1861 Order for Rifled Muskets and Sabers from Herman Boker - Inventory Number: DOC 260

    Important ordnance document from October 18, 1861, regarding the shipment of 5,440 rifled muskets and 2,500 sabers from Hamburg, Germany by Herman Boker. The order is on lined accounting paper and measures 16” by 9.5.” Pinned to the front is an 8” by 10” ordnance receipt confirming the initial document and is signed by Captain. Silas Crispin. Each document is labeled “No.1” which likely means this was the first order placed. A very significant document that highlights the desperate need for imported arms early in the war.

    The Bokers, or Böker/Boeker were a German family, originating in Solingen, Germany and had been involved with tools and weapons making since the 16th century. In 1829 Heinrich and Robert Boker established a business in Remscheid, Germany and produced sabers. Hermann Boker, their brother emigrated to New York in 1837. He quickly founded the H. Boker & Co. which imported large numbers of arms during the Civil War.

    Silas Crispin was admitted as a cadet to the U. S. Military Academy at West Point on July 1, 1846. He graduated with distinction, being third in his class, on July 1, 1850, and was then appointed a Brevet Second Lieutenant in the Ordnance Department, U. S. Army. He was promoted from time to time, finally attaining the rank of Colonel of Ordnance on August 23, 1881. He served at Watervleit Arsenal, New York, Allegheny Arsenal, Pennsylvania, and St. Louis Arsenal, Missouri. He was in command of the Ordnance depot, Leavenworth, Kan., in 1860 and 1861. During the Civil War Colonel Crispin served for some time on the staff of Major-General George B. McClellan, and in charge of the New York Ordnance Agency as a member of the Ordnance Board, and Commandant of the New York Arsenal. He was President of the Ordnance Board for five years. He was Commandant at the Frankford Arsenal, Philadelphia, from June 1885 to June 1886, and the Benicia Arsenal, California, from June 1886, until a short time before his death, which occurred at New York City on February 28, 1889.

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    Inventory Number: DOC 260