Tuesday, December 27, 2016

The Confederate Dickson, Nelson & Co. Rifle.

The Dickson, Nelson rifle has been often referred to as "The Holy Grail" of Confederate Arms.

The rifle pictured was manufactured by Dickson, Nelson & Co. at their Macon or Dawson, Georgia factory.

With the outbreak of the war in 1861, William Dickson (a planter from Alabama), Owen Nelson (an attorney from Tuscumbia) and Lewis Sadler (a physician) started the Shakanoosa Arms Company. Operations began at there first plant in Buzzard Roost, Colbert County, Alabama. They received a $7000.00 advance funding to manufacture U.S. Model 1841 “Mississippi” type rifles for the state of Alabama. The rifles were to conform to the U.S. Model 1841 Mississippi pattern, having 33” barrels of .58 caliber and stocks 48” in length. Brass hardware on these rifles included a straight butt plate, two piece trigger guard, barrel bands and nose cap. In the summer of 1862 the Shakanoosa Arms Company was forced to move its operation to Rome Georgia in fear of the nearing Union forces, after a short time at this location the factory was destroyed by fire.

At this point they moved manufacturing to Adairsville, Georgia under the name Dickson, Nelson & Company. On August 1863, once again, Union advances forced them have to move further south to Macon, Georgia.

Finally in February of 1864 the company moved to its final home in Dawson, Georgia.

 These rifles were manufactured in very limited numbers and relatively few known survivors exist today. Estimates on the number of rifles manufactured range from 645 and up. Estimates of dates of manufacturing range from 1862 thru 1865. However, I have not seen documentation to prove any of those figures. 

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