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Thread: 1742 British Pattern

  1. #1
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    1742 British Pattern

    Gentlemen I recently ran across this and offered to help the young man that found it and the cannonball to identify it if possible. In context it was found by a 9 year old boy in his Grandmothers garden in the Sierra Nevadas. It is possible it was a 20th century loss however being found with a cannonball does make one wonder. There were Spanish in the area duing 18th century and Americans early 19th. Fremont went through this area. If one of you familiar with 19thcentury British could shed some light on the regiment markings on spine it would give me a start. This type 1742 pattern with high copper content I understand was issued to American troops during 7 Year War or French and Indian War. Any help or comments would be most welcome. Eric
    Found on private property in the Sierra Nevadas. The cannon ball was found with sword.

    Markings on spine of blade: 3 AC 9 31 BN N 123
    Not sure about 123? I do believe it is 122.
    Attached Images Attached Images       
    Last edited by Eric Fairbanks; 04-10-2019 at 08:27 AM.
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

  2. #2
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    An interesting find and one instance a more thorough "dig" of the area We can probably dismiss Fremont's troops and gear as regular army.

    Any other bit of metal turned up there might be another clue. The numbering for sure should ID it conclusively. These hangers lingered in Scandic countries into the 19th century, virtually unchanged from the previous century. Danish, Swedish. I can never find my museum links and they seem to change but two more country's possibilities.

    I'm thinking more likely kids playing war but one never really knows in these isolated finds. Why just a sword and a single ball?

    I've tried to analyse Lewis&Clark's stuff a bit and someone went ahead with pulling parts out of the journal and then discussing particular guns and eleven shots to kill a "resting" grizzly. His book shares only a few bits from the journal regarding the swords. However in that case, aside from Clark's personal sword, most all of the rest of the equipment is fairly well manifested but without the detail we'd love to see.

    Otoh. as mentioned, Fremont was regular army in the 1840s. Good luck finding those troop's gear information but most certainly issued swords, if any, in most cases.

    Cheers
    GC

    I'll look for those museum links

    https://digitaltmuseum.se/search/?aq...F%3A%22S-AM%22
    Last edited by Glen C.; 04-10-2019 at 06:37 PM.

  3. #3
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    The blade markings are quite interesting and will be hopefully a short mystery. The guard deteriorating before the ferrous blade is a curiosity for me. I'm sure there is an interesting reason for this.
    As for cannon balls, I always look for roundness. Balls that seem to have wear or flats are not cannon balls but industrial grinder balls. From the one photo the ball does look round and authentic. A cannon ball of about the same size was found in the 1970's in a bag of South American coffee beans, presumably to add weight and profit. My uncle at the time was president of Nabob and the cannon ball was given to him and later he gave it to me.
    Hopefully you can find some history of a small cannon being in the area where the ball and sword was found.

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    I am presently reading "Thirty One Years on the Plains and on the Mountains" by W.F. Drannan, a mountain man who learned hunting and trapping from Kit Carson. In the mid-1850s Drannan scouted for Col. Elliott as his troops every year crossed the Sierra Nevadas from their fort outside San Francisco to protect immigrant trains crossing the Great Basin heading for California. A number of Elliott's men were killed at various times, several disappearing without a trace. Drannan mentions them being armed with pistols and sabers, but no cannons are mentioned. However, it could be possible they had one or two light cannon with them and left them to help guard camp since they operated out of two camps. No battles took place at the camps, the troops leaving to fight Indians that were discovered while scouting.

    All that being said, while it's a possibility I don't think the chances these were lost by Elliott's troops is likely. More likely I think they could be from a California militia or volunteer outfit operating against the Indians during the Civil War after regular troops were sent east for the war. How much does the cannon ball weigh? If we know the type of cannon it may help narrow things down.
    Last edited by Brock H; 04-11-2019 at 12:08 PM.
    "Courage is fear holding on a minute longer."--Gen. George S. Patton

  5. #5
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    The deterioration of the guard might be caused by bronze disease. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronze_disease

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    Max, your observation makes a lot of sense in that the grip and pommel seem unaffected. The east side of the Sierra Nevadas all the way past Death Valley is rich in Trona, Borax and different substances that are alkaline and or saline. Will, the ball was nearly perfectly round. I see quite a few grinding balls in antique stores but very few cannon balls. The boys Grand Mother told me there were lots of other finds in the area but no one shares much info. If the unit markings are from a previous use it may be difficult to pin point this group. I just do not recognize them as US and cannot read British or Spanish markings. The cannon is possibly from a swivel gun reused here as they were small and easier to pack. Eric
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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    I was really hoping maybe an old hellofacopter pilot, army officer or master chief could help a little ole 3rd class petty officer out. The markings are distinct and I have been told they are not British. In my mind they have to be because of sword and timeline it was made. We were after all British when this sword was made. While I read and study early US makers I sadly have limited knowledge of units and markings.Is there a resource for early US or British unit markings? Am I barking up the wrong tree? Could they be another European country? Eric
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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    I don't think the US marked their swords this early on, more a European idea. The marks do not appear to be British, far too many marks of odd letter/number combinations.
    Probably a European mercenary's sword. There must be some very interesting history to this sword. This type of sword was copied by various countries in the 1700's.
    I would try Vikingsword.com forum as they tend to have European collectors.

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    https://www.the-saleroom.com/en-gb/a...5-a91800ef9787
    The markings are looking to be Prussian in my opinion.

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  12. #12
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    Will I believe you are right on the markings. The pattern of marking is very similar and I think likely one of the german states. Here is one close to this hanger
    https://www.worthpoint.com/worthoped...word-401575496
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    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

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