Specializing in Authentic Civil War Artifacts
  • Smith and Wesson Revolver, Model 1, Identified to Thomas Roney, Company F, 23rd PA Vol Infantry Birney's Zouaves / SOLD

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    Smith and Wesson Revolver - Inventory Number: HAN 046 / SOLD

    With Factory Letter from the Office of Smith and Wesson researching the history of this specific revolver and placing it's date of sale on November 5, 1861 by purchaser J. W. Storrs, Smith & Wesson's Sole agent from 1856 to 1869.  The revolver is engraved "CO. F / 23/ P.V." the reverse "T. R. R."   Identified to Thomas Roney of Company F, of the 23rd PA Volunteer Infantry, Birney's Zouaves who was killed in action at Fair Oaks.  This Model 1, Second Issue, caliber .22 rim fire shot revolver has the patent date stamped on the cylinder, "PATENTED JULY 5, 1859 & Dec. 18, 1860.  The serial number 38086 is stamped on the butt of the revolver. 

    Includes photo copies of numerous identifying documents including Co. F, 23 Pennsylvania Infantry Muster Roll of Roney, Thomas.  Causality Sheet of Thomas Roney, U.S. Pension Agency documents addressed to Winifred Callahan, mother of Thomas Roney, and document from the Adjutant General's Office. 

    Thomas Roney:

    Residence Philadelphia PA;

    Enlisted on 8/2/1861 as a Private

    On 8/2/1861 he mustered into "F" Co. PA 23rd Infantry

    He died of wounds on 5/31/1862

    He was listed as:

    * Wounded (Fair Oaks)


    The campaign in the Shenandoah Valley had scarcely terminated, when the Twenty-third Regiment was re-organized for three years or the war.  In the three months' service it formed part of the Brigade commanded by Colonel Thomas, and was a well drilled and efficient body.  Lieutenant Colonel David B. Birney, with the approval of Colonel Dare, then suffering from a disease from which he soon after died, had received authority from the Secretary of War to recruit its ranks, and the Governor had given permission to retain its former number.  The old regiment was mustered out on the 31st of July, and two days thereafter three Companies were mustered in for three years. 

    By the 14th of August it as filled to the maximum number, and went into camp near the Falls of Schuylkill.  David B. Birney was commissioned Colonel, Charles Wilhelm, Lieutenant Colonel, George C. Spear, Major, and John Ely, Junior Major; James E.Collins was made Adjutant.  Remaining but a few days in camp, it was ordered to Washington, and reported to General Burnside, in command of troops stationed in the neighborhood of the Capital not brigaded.

    On the 8th of September the regiment was transferred to Camp Graham, on Queen's farm, four miles north of Washington. Here, by authority of the War Department, it was recruited to fifteen companies, twelve of which were from Philadelphia, one from Pittsburg, one from Wilkesbarre and one from Columbia.  Its first colors were presented by friends in Philadelphia, before proceeding to the field in the three months' service.The State flag was presented on the 14th of December, on behalf of Gov. Curtin, by Hon. Galusha A. Grow, Speaker of the Lower House of Congress, and was responded to by Hon. Wm. D. Kelley, of the same body, from Philadelphia, and by Col. Birney.  Extensive preparations had been made for this ceremony, the camp having been elaborately decorated with evergreens, an elegant dinner provided, and the occasion was honored by the presence of the Secretary of War, distinguished members ofCongress, and influentia1 citizens of Philadelphia.

    The Twenty-third was assigned to the First Brigade, First Division, Fourth Corps, and received careful instruction and discipline from Colonel Birney.  The Division was drilled in evolutions of the line once a week by Gen. Buell, while he remained in command.  In these exercises the regiment always paraded as two battalions, each battalion numbering as many men as any other single regiment in the Brigade.  In addition to regular drill, the men were employed in building fortifications, cutting timber, and doing picket and guard duty.  Forts Lincoln, Totten, Stevens and Cedar Hill, are witnesses of their industry.  About the middle of December typhoid fever prevailed, and one ofiicer and fifty men died. Subsequently the camp was moved to high and airy ground, near Bladensburg, and the disease disappeared.  A large number of blankets and stockings, and fifteen hundred pairs of woolen mittens were presented to the men by their friends in Philadelphia.

    On the 17th of February, 1862, Colonel Birney was appointed a Brigadier General, and Captain Thomas H. Neill, of the Fifth Infantry, succeeded him as Colonel.  He assumed command on the 20th, and almost immediately after, was ordered to detach five companies, and to transfer four of them, L, O, P and R, with Major Spear as Lieutenant Colonel, to the Sixty-first Pennsylvania, Colonel Rippey, and to disband company M, distributing the men among the remaining ten companies, and mustering the officers out of service.  This order was obeyed with much reluctance and under protest.

    On the 10th of March the regiment made its first march, in the direction of Vienna, with the intention of turning the enemy's left flank at Manassas; but after proceeding as far as Lewensville, it was ascertained that he had fallen back, and the command returned to camp.  On the 26th it marched to Alexandria, where it embarked on the steamer Vanderbilt for Fortress Monroe.  In the advance of the army on the Peninsula, the enemy were first encountered at Warwick river, where the Twenty-third had one man shot - its first loss.  The command was engaged until the 4th of May, on picket, and fatigue duty on rifle pits and roads, when orders were received to storm a rebel fort on the south side of the river.  The charge was made, but the line after floundering a while in the mud, ascertained that the enemy had retreated.  The loss during the operations before Yorktown was eight wounded.

    The Division made a forced march to Williamsburg, on the 5th of May, and arrived upon the battle ground late in the afternoon.  The Twenty-third did not become engaged, but was under a heavy artillery fire, in which it had five men wounded. On the following day the enemy retreated, and the regiment skirmished with his rear guard and formed in line of battle on the south side of the town.  On the 10th it advanced and was engaged with the enemy, losing five men wounded.  Proceeding through New Kent Court House and New Baltimore to Bottom's bridge, the enemy were found in form on the south side of the Chickahomony, with artillery so posted that the column was obliged to fall back about two miles, the Twenty-third losing four men, and encamped on the farm of the rebel General Garnett.  On the 23d, a detachment consisting of the 7thMassachusetts, Twenty-third Pennsylvania, and the Eighth Pennsylvania cavalry, was ordered to proceed on a reconnoissance towards Richmond.  Four miles out, the enemy were met and driven, and the position thus gained was held during the night.  On the following day the detachment had heavy skirmishing to the left of the Richmond road, which was continued till late at night.  The object of the reconnoissance having been attained, the command retired to Seven Pines, and threw up breast-works.  On the 28th it moved with the brigade, now under command of Brigadier General Abercrombie, to the Richmond and York River railroad.  The battle of Fair Oaks commenced on the 31st of May, the enemy attacking General Casey's Division holding the advance of the Union army, in overpowering force.  Unable to withstand the storm, it broke, and Couch's Division, which was sent to its relief, soon became engaged.  The Twenty-third was separated from the rest of the Brigade, and directed to take position on the Nine Mile road, west of the railroad.  At two o'clock in the afternoon it met the enemy, and drove him back to, and quite through a piece of wood in front.  The ground was difficult, the woods swarmed with the enemy, and this the first engagement in which it was under heavy infantry fire; but several charges were successfully made, in which three color bearers were shot and many brave men lost.  Late in the afternoon it was hotly attacked, in position beyond the road, and barely escaped capture by a column of the enemy which swept down in the rear. Colonel Neill had his horse shot under him, but fortunately succeeded in retiring to the line of the First Long Island, Colonel Adams, and formed on his right.  In this engagement, the loss in killed and wounded was seven officers and one hundred and thirty-six men.

    Inventory Number: HAN 046 / SOLD