This rare Confederate carbine was manufactured by Bilharz, Hall and Company, Pittsylvania Courthouse, Virginia. (known today as Chatham)
The first deliveries made to the Confederate Ordnance Department by Bilharz, Hall & Company were in the late summer or early fall of 1862, and on September 16 of that year they were paid $4,500 for “100 Breech-loading carbines”.
Research indicates that no other breech loading carbines were manufactured, as shortly after Bilharz received a new contract to manufacture Confederate copies of the US M-1855 Rifled Carbine.
Coined as a "Rising Breech Carbine" by collectors, it is an iron frame single shot breech loading percussion carbine in .54 cal. with a 21" round barrel.
The breech consists of a breech block, frame, lock plate and side plate with a hinged lever which doubles as a trigger guard. The breech block rises vertically when the trigger guard/lever is lowered at which time a paper cartridge is inserted into the block from the front.
This blog is filled with interesting weapons from the 19th Century so be sure to look through the "Blog Archive".