Springfield 1852 Cadet - Inventory Number: RIF 118
Only four thousand Model 1851 Cadet muskets were made at Springfield in 1852 and 1853. Following the same lines as the Model 1841 cadet musket, they were smoothbore and look like scaled down 1842-pattern muskets but are .57 Caliber and use the smaller 1847 musketoon pattern lock. This example has sharp lock plate markings: “Springfield 1852” in three lines behind the hammer and a crisp Springfield eagle over a US forward of the hammer. The barrel shows the correct “V / P/ eaglehead” barrel proofs at left breech and the breechplug shows a matching 1852 date, fully legible.
The barrel and mounts are smooth and in the bright, as would be expected in a military academy arm, subject to more than ordinary “spit and polish.” The wood shows good finish, a tight fit to the metal, and good edges, with just a little rounding to the forward lock apron from handling. As is natural in a cadet gun, however, there wood has some light scratches, dings and displays beautiful. Lacking ramrod.
The 1851 Cadet is, of course, well known as the weapon carried by VMI cadets at the Battle of New Market. This is a very scarce U.S. regulation percussion musket in very good condition that was likely in the hands of many future Civil War officers.
Inventory Number: RIF 118