Sharps slant breech carbine manufactured in 1853 and delivered to U.S. Ordinance department, issued to Corporal John E. Weige in 1855.
See patchbox inscription to Corporal John E. Weige.
Corporal Weige was commended for "Gallantry in Action" in 1856 by his then commanding officer, then Colonel Robert E. Lee. Corporal Weige served in the 2nd Cavalry from 1855 to 1865, except for three years he was "mysteriously absent" from 1861 to 1864.
The 2nd U.S. Cavalry was one of the premier fighting regiments in the U.S. Regular Army, fighting in the Mexican War in the 1840's and fighting Native American Indians in Texas through the 1850's.
Corporal Weige served under distinguished officers including Albert Sydney Johnston, Robert E. Lee, Earl Van Dorne, William Kirby Smith, John Bell Hood, and George H. Thomas.
There was a contingent of 2nd Cavalry, 2nd Maryland Volunteers, and U.S. Marines under the command of Robert E. Lee, which overpowered John Brown at Harpers Ferry.
Robert E. Lee resigned his commission in the United States Army in April of 1861, he and eight of the twelve commissioned officers of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry joined the Confederacy, along with over half of the enlisted ranks of the U.S. 2nd Cavalry. It is at this time that John Weige "disappears" from the 2nd Cavalry rolls. It is very likely he followed his beloved leaders to the Confederacy, as he was a native Marylander.
There are several leads currently being researched to identify John Weige in the Confederate Cavalry.
Three years later, in 1864, which would have been a standard three year enlistment called for by the CSA government following the Battle of First Manassas, John Weige then resurfaces in Baltimore Maryland, where he rejoins the 2nd Cavalry (possibly returning to U.S. Cavalry service after completing his enlistment with the Confederacy, seeing the writing on the wall and wanting to remain a professional soldier).
He is Captured at the Battle of Weldin Railroad in September of 1864, then exchanged and rejoined his Regiment in January of 1865. Corporal John E. Weige mustered out of active duty in September of 1865.
This Sharps Carbine comes with a wealth of research including Sharps Factory Letter from Dr. Richard Labowski of Philadelphia, Military Service records and additional research leads conducted by professional research Mrs. Nancy Dearing Rossbacher of North South Trader, and a CDV of Robert E. Lee that was acquired from the same source and is believed to have belonged to Corporal John E. Weige, and the fine display case picture, capable of free-standing or wall-mounting.