Well-known ‘Trumpeteer Carbine’ Utilized at Small Bighorn up for Auction

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The Trumpeteer Carbine, Forensically Confirmed & Soldier Identified to the Last White Man To See Custer Alive Model 1873 Springfield Trapdoor Carbine (1)

The carbine believed when carried by the man sent by Custer with the renowned “come quick” message to bring reinforcements to the Battle of Small Bighorn in 1876 is now up for auction (Photo: Morphy)

Described as a single of the most historically substantial American guns on the industry, the forensically confirmed carbine of a 7th U.S. Cavalry bugler is headed to auction.

Morphy Auctions subsequent week has a U.S. Model 1873 Springfield single-shot carbine chambered in 45-55 (.45-70) that has been tied to John Martin. Martin, an Italian immigrant named Giovanni Crisostomo Martino, cemented his spot in history as getting “The Final White Man to See Custer Alive,” as he was dispatched at the starting of the Battle of Small Bighorn in 1876 by Col. George Armstrong Custer with a message to bring urgent reinforcements.

While Martin under no circumstances produced it back to Custer’s position till following the battle (he apparently lived till 1922), his carbine, Serial No. 19573, somehow stayed behind as he rode for support and a fired cartridge later recovered from the battlefield was forensically matched to the gun as component of the Custer Battlefield Firearms Identification Project. The project, which reportedly ran from 1984 to 1996, cataloged some two,000 recovered cartridge circumstances and bullets and a single matched the firing pin marks on Martin’s rifle.

Scratched into the rifle is “J. MArTIN,” and the “H” – presumably for “Company H,” the orderly bugler’s unit.

The Trumpeteer Carbine, Forensically Confirmed & Soldier Identified to the Last White Man To See Custer Alive Model 1873 Springfield Trapdoor Carbine (3)

The Trumpeteer Carbine has what is believed to be Martin’s name carved into the furnishings with the theory that he possibly handed it off to a fellow trooper just ahead of he rode off for support on Custer’s orders. (Photo: Morphy)

“This is a single of the only forensically identified trapdoor carbines fired at the Battle of Small Bighorn that can be positively identified to a trooper,” Morphy notes.

The Trumpeteer Carbine, which was featured on the cover of the book, The Trapdoor Springfield by John Langellier, carries a $90,000-$140,000 estimate. It heads to the block as component of Morphy’s 1,267-lot auction of uncommon sporting and collector firearms on April 24-25 at the company’s gallery in Pennsylvania.

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