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Title: Southern Derringers of the Mississippi Valley
Author: Kirkland, Turner
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Southern Derringers of the Mississippi Valley" ***

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                          Southern Derringers
                                 OF THE
                           MISSISSIPPI VALLEY

                            TURNER KIRKLAND
                      Union City, Tennessee 38261

                   {cover image} F. H. Clark See #217


This booklet is not intended to be the last word on Southern Derringers.
I suspect that it is merely intended to be a guide for someone who has
more patience than I to do the research work that is required on a
complete story.

I am listing 29 different makers all of which are authenticated. This
story does not include pocket pistols, which are of a slightly different
shape nor does it include overcoat pistols or duelling pistols. I think
these are of an entirely different category even if these same makers
produced them.

You may debate the excluding of the following:

  G. Erichson, Houston
  E. Schmidt, Houston
  Schmidt & Kosse, Houston
  H. Trotter, Cameron, Texas
  Joseph Labadie, Galveston
  J. H. Happoldt, Charleston, South Carolina
  M. Dickson, Louisville
  Hodgkins & Son, Macon, Georgia
  Wolff and Durringer, Louisville, Kentucky

Because I live in the Mississippi Valley, the guns that I am describing
are of special interest to me and the others that can be called southern
guns do not fit into my scheme of things.

Thus I have narrowed down geographically this story of the derringers of
the Mississippi Valley to an exclusive group. It is sad that so little
research work has been done in this direction in the past. Careful study
of other books shows that only six or eight of these twenty-nine names
and authenticated guns are spoken of in limited terms.

Since I got my first muzzleloading gun when I was 12 years old, I guess
you could say I have been collecting guns for 38 years. In that length
of time I have met many wonderful people and made numerous everlasting
friends. Among these people are Hume Parks, Hal Swann, Cecil Godman, Dr.
Bill Huckaba, Dr. D. R. Moore, Leon Jackson, Robin Hale, Harry G. King
and Charles Elias all of which ably assisted me with this booklet and
without those efforts, it would not have been possible.

    [Illustration: {Trophy Shelf}]

During the 20 months in 1969 and 1970 that we have been displaying our
derringers at gun shows we have won 25 awards. Our derringers have been
displayed from the East Coast to the West Coast and from the North to
the South. Great acclaim was given them at the National Rifle
Association Convention. Considering the point that awards are won not
only on quality or quantity but on the educational value, we believe
that our display is one of the best. Now that the ice has been broken
towards listing and showing all of the different southern makers, let us
hope that our collector friends will come up with more information and
more details of when these little known gunsmiths and dealers operated
and perhaps new makers that are not now recognized or known.

This chart shows the relative rarity of Southern derringers in the
opinion of several knowledgeable collectors. Position #1 is the easiest
to obtain and position #10 is the hardest to find. The text of this book
takes up each maker in this same order.

    1.  Hyde & Goodrich                    1
    2.  F. H. Clark                        2
    3.  Schneider                          3
    4.  F. Glassick                        3
    5.  C. Suter                           5
    6.  H. E. Dimick                       5
    7.  F. J. Bitterlick                   5
    8.  Lullman & Vienna                   6
    9.  Bitterlick & Legler                7
   10.  S. O’Dell                          7
   11.  Schneider & Glassick               8
   12.  W. H. Calhoun                      8
   13.  L. Swett                           9
   14.  J. A. Schafer                      9
   15.  J. R. Trumpler                     9
   16.  J. B. Gilmore                      9
   17.  Linde                             10
   18.  Folsom                            10
   19.  A. Weisgerber                     10
   20.  J. Mirriman                       10
   21.  Louis Hoffman                     10
   22.  J. Conning                        10
   23.  A. R. Mendenhall                  10
   24.  J. Hausmann                       10
   25.  A. J. Millspaugh                  10
   26.  Holyoake-Lownes                   10
   27.  F. S. Schumann                    10
   28.  E. R. Sieber                      10
   29.  H. G. Newcomb                     10


Henry Deringer of the famed Philadelphia company believed that the
greatest part of his trade was in the southern states. It was only
proper that many independent makers of derringer type guns would spring
up throughout the area where they were so popular. The line from St.
Louis to New Orleans was the starting point for the westward trade and
many of these guns were carried as a hideout weapon to California during
the most popular period from 1845 through 1870. A casual study shows
great differences between the southern made derringers and those of
Philadelphia, each of which has its own peculiar and particular

In the court case of Henry Deringer vs. Plate, Deringer states that he
started producing his celebrated small gun in 1825. A careful study of
the southern manufactured derringers shows that all of them started
around 1855 or later with some of them continuing production until the

There are two kinds of Southern Derringers; those that are made by Henry
Deringer with agent markings and those that are manufactured in the

Henry Deringer pistols bearing agents names and marked with the legend
“MAN^d for” appear to date from the earlier period of his manufacture.

Later pistols omit this stamping and read, for example:

                    LULLMAN & VIENNA MEMPHIS, TENN.

Please note that the Calhoun, Hyde & Goodrich, J. B. Gilmore, Lullman &
Vienna and the two F. H. Clarks are marked with the earlier marking,
while the Swett, the one F. H. Clark and the two Lullman & Vienna’s are
marked with the later type of stamping. These are the only guns in my
collection that are genuine Henry Deringers.

Of those southern made derringers that are manufactured in that area,
only a few have the escutcheon plate underneath the forearm with a screw
through the plate holding the barrel. Most of this type did not use a
wedge but one did use a wedge and this screw. Many used a screw through
the trigger plate to the barrel.

A few of the southern made derringers had flat butts particularly those
of Nashville and Memphis.

About half of the southern manufactured guns had octagon barrels and the
other half had those of the Henry Derringer style with a round barrel
and a rib on top.

Never before have I observed a gun photograph using a mirror to show the
underside of a forearm and the guard. Although this innovation is about
1½ inches out of focus, because of the extra light travel, it does show
these features that are otherwise hidden and that are very important in
identification. All of this photography, and for our catalog, is done
with an ancient Polaroid with portrait lenses.

In 1957 I obtained my first specimen of a southern made derringer from
Nathan Swayze, author of “51 Colt Navies”, at the Jackson Mississippi
Gun Show. This was a Glassick Derringer as was my second gun obtained
later that year at another Jackson Mississippi Gun Show.

About one year later from Horace Tolliver of Manchester, Tennessee I
traded for two more derringers, one a Glassick and the other a Schneider
& Glassick.

By 1961 I had six or eight different guns and I cannot now remember in
what order they arrived and who I obtained them from. About 1962 I
stopped buying Yankee. Deringers and still have thirty odd such pieces.
They were too easy to get.

By this time I began to hear rumors of other makers that were not listed
in any of the gun books and I drifted along for a few years until about
1965 or 1966 gathering together perhaps a total of fifteen or eighteen
of the guns.

My appetite was whetted in 1963 when Theodore Dexter, a prominent gun
dealer of that time, offered for sale a pair of Louis Hoffman,
Vicksburg, Mississippi derringers in awfully nice condition. So, another
pair had turned up that I had never heard of nor had anyone ever seen
before. One of these guns is now in Mississippi near Vicksburg and the
other is in a prominent collection in California and someday I would
like to get these two back together and perhaps in my possession. All of
this information made me real warm towards expanding the collection of
Southern Derringers especially after I saw an O’Dell, a Linde and a
Merriman. Slowing somewhat in my collection of military long guns before
1890, my collection of Kentucky Rifles, Colt Pistols, Confederate
Revolvers, Confederate Veterans Reunion Badges and certain other items,
I began to concentrate more on the Southern Derringers until today I
have over fifty of these guns.

Five guns exist that I do not have. They are A. J. Millspaugh,
Shreveport, H. G. Newcomb, Natchez, J. A. Schaffer, Vicksburg, Louis
Hoffman, Vicksburg and Holyoake-Lownes & Co. One other, F. Schumann is
authenticated by newspaper accounts of that period as having made
derringers but not a single specimen has ever turned up according to my
collector friends. Of great importance though is a derringer barrel,
octagon in shape, marked “F. Schumann, Memphis, Tennessee” that has
never been assembled or made into a gun. This specimen is in Dixie’s
collection and was found 30 years ago in an old Memphis gun repair

By no means have I completed my collection. I do look forward to years
of hunting for additional pieces, adding more information to my papers
and if enough of you good readers are interested in this book so that I
can dispose of the first 1000 copies, I will look forward to the time
when it can be reprinted with additional information.


#2 The vast majority of Hyde and Goodrich deringers are usually of a
bulky undesirable style that I do not like. This one follows that
example. Caliber is .410. Has German silver furniture and with ramrod.
The barrel markings on #2, #255, and #284 use the same single stamp.

The barrel is marked in three lines as follows:

                               Man^d for
                           Hyde and Goodrich
                             Agents, N. O.

In a City Directory of 1853 this company was listed as dealers in “guns,
pistols and military goods.” They imported a number of arms just prior
to the war, marked “Hyde & Goodrich, Agents for the United States

In 1861 the firm was changed into Thomas, Griswold & Company, both
Thomas and Griswold having been former employees of Hyde & Goodrich.

One of the principles of Hyde & Goodrich; A. L. Hyde, withdrew from the
firm on August 23, 1861.


#255 Another Hyde and Goodrich except this one has gold bands at the
breech and sterling silver furniture which makes it somewhat more
desirable. This is one of the fattest and bulkiest Henry Deringer that I
have ever seen. Made without ramrod. Cap box in butt. .380 caliber.

Marked in three lines with one die stamp on the barrel as follows:

                               Man^d for
                           Hyde and Goodrich
                             Agents, N. O.


#284 This is an extremely fine Hyde and Goodrich with 100% original
browning on the barrel and 95% of the original varnish. It has the
excellent quality classic style in the stock contour. Double gold banded
breech. Furniture is German silver. Made with ramrod and capbox in butt.
Muzzle of the barrel is fluted. Caliber is .420.

Remember that all Hyde and Goodrich deringers are genuine Henry Deringer
guns and are not manufactured by Hyde and Goodrich. These four guns and
all that I have ever seen have the pineapple finial on the trigger
guard. Be sure that you note the different kinds of Henry Deringer
barrel markings when the agent’s names is used. For instance, in the
case of Hyde and Goodrich Henry Deringer guns that are in my collection,
there are two different types of barrel stampings.

Marked with one stamp on the barrel only:

                               Man^d for
                           Hyde and Goodrich
                             Agents, N. O.


#3 Still the same is this Hyde and Goodrich gun that is bulky and I do
not think pretty. Made with ramrod and German silver mountings. Caliber
is .390.

Contrary to the other guns, this one is marked with four different hand
stamps as follows:

                               Man^d for
                           Hyde and Goodrich
                           Agents, N. Orleans


This is a fake Hyde & Goodrich, it being a Belgian produced derringer in
what is apparently an original case with accessories. The barrel is
Belgian proofed underneath.

The point in showing this fake gun in this book is that somewhere on the
West Coast someone is running around stamping odd derringers with the
name Hyde & Goodrich as follows in three lines.

                               Man^d for
                           Hyde and Goodrich
                             Agents, N. O.

When the fellow at the Las Vegas Show walked up to my table and showed
me the gun my eyes popped out that here was a cased Hyde & Goodrich and
I did not stop to analyze it. From the contour of the gun and the French
type casing, I should have realized that it was not an American gun. It
was reasonably priced and I shelled out the money within about thirty
seconds after looking at the gun.

Then that night up in the hotel room I got to looking at the gun and
remembered that I had seen the same gun at the Disneyland Show six
months before and it was not marked at that time. Then I examined the
barrel stampings closer and realized that they were new stampings. Upon
my arrival home I compared this stamping with other guns in our
collection and found that this was a good facsimile but the spacing of
the letters was not the same as on the original. And then, there were
other minute differences in the letters that showed it was new.

As in most of these cases, the fellow I bought it from refused to refund
my money and I got stuck with it.

But it is a good lesson to not buy anything too quick or that is rare or
at a high price unless you study it out first to be sure it is not faked
or altered.


#251 This derringer is one of a matched pair manufactured by Henry
Deringer of Philadelphia. The furniture is German silver and the stock
is made without ramrod. Two silver bands at the breech of the barrel add
to their value. This pair is in exceptionally fine condition retaining
nearly all of the varnish and the original smooth brown finish of the
barrels. A desirable small style of an ideal shape. Has pineapple
trigger guard finial. Silver tear shaped inlay at butt. Caliber is .38.

Marked on the top barrel flat in four lines with one hand stamp as

                               Man^d for
                           F. H. Clark & Co.
                             Memphis, Tenn.


#276 A very fine F. H. Clark genuine Henry Derringer pistol with two
silver bands at the breech. Typical trigger guard has pineapple finial.
Made without ramrod. This is a desirable small size gun. .43 caliber.

Marked on the barrel in four lines as follows:

                               Man^d for
                           F. H. Clark & Co.
                             Memphis, Tenn.


#273 Same description as #276 with the exception that this stock is a
little smaller and the grip is slightly different in shape. In general,
a more slender gun. A high quality gun with double silver banded breech
and the same marking on the barrel. Made without ramrod and with a tear
drop for a butt cap. German silver mounted. Caliber is .410.

Apparently one hand stamp was used to mark the four lines on the barrel
as follows:

                               Man^d for
                           F. H. Clark & Co.
                             Memphis, Tenn.


#229 Now, this gun is a little bit different from a genuine Henry
Deringer in that this one was produced by the F. H. Clark Company in
Memphis. Notice the extra stubby bird head grip. German silver mounted
throughout even to the ramrod thimble. Notice that there is no screw
holding the barrel to the forearm and is held in place with the wedge
only. Very coarse checkering. The caliber is .420.

Marked on the breechblock on the top barrel flat:

                           F. H. Clark & Co.


#236 Another original F. H. Clark gun but this one has bag grips, steel
trigger guard, and steel thimble with a silver nosecap. Notice that this
one has a screw in the trigger guard finial holding the barrel to the
forearm plus the wedge through the forearm. Made with ramrod and has a
tear drop butt cap. The stock has been broken at the rear of the barrel
and an ancient steel inlay has been placed in the wood each side of the
stock above the triggerguard. Caliber is .430.

Marked on the breechplug in the top flat position:

                           F. H. Clark & Co.


#280 A fine matched pair of Clark manufactured derringers that I
obtained in 1970 from a gun auction in England. How they got to England,
I don’t know. With them was the original case with all the compartments
broken and loose. The case has been sent to an expert to have it

Notice that it is a bag grip type of gun. No screw in the trigger guard
finial holding to the barrel. The trigger guard and thimble are steel
and the balance of the inlays are German silver. These are apparently
the original ramrods. A matched pair of guns are very, very rare; and
these two are in very nice condition. Caliber is .440.

Marked on the breechblock at the top barrel flat position as follows:

                           F. H. Clark & Co.


#217 This is as fine a pair of matched derringers by Clark as money can
buy anywhere. Beautifully browned barrels with 100% of the fine French
varnish on the wood remaining. Has steel trigger guard and thimble, but
does not have a screw in the trigger guard finial holding to the barrel.
A rather large sized derringer. Bag grips have silver tear drop butt

There is an interesting story about this matched pair of guns and how
they were found. About four years ago a friend from England wrote that
he had these guns in his possession and he had gotten them from a
collection in Norway. How they got to Norway, only Heaven knows. Anyway,
they were so high priced that I passed them up. A friend of mine, Cecil
Godwin, did get the guns and two years later I wanted them so badly that
I paid him a handsome profit so that I could add them to my collection.
They are even so fine that they have the original ramrods intact.
Caliber is .420.

The breechplug of the barrel on the top flat is marked in two lines with
the metal still puffed up around the letters because it is so new and
without any wear. They are marked in two lines as follows:

                           F. H. Clark & Co.


#268 A Memphis manufactured gun by F. H. Clark with steel trigger guard
and thimble. All other inlays are of German silver. Made without screw
in forearm or trigger guard that goes direct to barrel. Any derringer
such as this one with a barrel 4¾” long is considered to be a large
size. Notice that this gun has bag grips and not bird head style.
Caliber is .430.

Marked on the breechblock at the top barrel flat position as follows:

                           F. H. Clark & Co.


#248 A Schneider and Company derringer that is a medium size for this
brand of gun. Barrel is full octagon. Trigger guard and tear drop
buttcap are made of sterling silver and other inlays are of German
silver. Made without ramrod. The stock forearm at the nose is fluted.
Trigger guard finial has a screw going through to the barrel to hold the
gun together, along with the wedge helping to hold the forearm to the
barrel. Most of the Schneider guns have a definite pronounced curve
shape to the lock. Notice how low the hammer is. The lockplate is very
plain with a simple lined border. The caliber of this specimen is .450.

The serial number of this gun is #122, the highest known. Of all the
Southern made derringers, this is the only maker that serial numbered
his guns. Of course this is an assumption that the number on top of the
breechblock is the serial number, but all that we have ever seen had a
similar number in this position. Assuming that the Schneider Company
manufactured one hundred and twenty-two pieces, and that possibly thirty
of these guns are in existence, this means that the survival rate is one
out of four. Bearing in mind that this survival rate is only an
assumption, consider how few guns some of the lesser known makers must
have produced. At this rate, for instance, Siebert should not have
produced many over six or eight guns.

I have known of this gun’s existence for nearly thirty years. In 1943
when I was taking the train from Union City to Chattanooga, I happened
to sit down by a Mr. Fain Taylor from Greenfield, twenty miles away. We
got to talking and found out that we were both interested in guns, and
he told me that he had this gun. Then after the War was over, I went by
to visit him and see his collection. Of course, this gun was not for
sale. At that time and during the years gone by in the 1930’s he used
this little pistol as a training gun for his bird dogs out in the field.

The years went by and I would see him ever so often and ask him about
his gun. Finally, in 1967 he appeared at the store one day and said,
“Well, I’m going to let you have my gun. You like these Southern
derringers so well that I think the best place for this gun to be is in
your collection.” With that, I paid him the going rate for this type of
gun and of course I don’t think that I will ever dispose of it in my

The barrel is marked on the top flat in two lines with one stamp as

                            Schneider & Co.
                             Memphis, Tenn.

Schneider was a gunsmith in the 1850’s and later a member of the
revolver making firm of Schneider and Glassick.


#283 All Schneider derringers that I have ever seen were marked with the
same two line one piece stamp. Clearly seen in the photograph is the
screw in the trigger plate holding the stock to the rear of the barrel.
Butt is nicely checkered and is flat with an oval buttcap. In addition
to the screw, the barrel is held in place with a wedge. The deeply
curved lock is very plain with a simple engraved line border. Full
octagon barrel. The serial number 55 is stamped on the top of the
breechplug flat. On the tang is a #1 which leaves some thought that this
might be #1 of a pair. The nose of the forearm is fluted. Of some
importance to me is the fact that this is a sheath trigger pistol, and
the trigger plate and sheath are of German silver. Bitterlick of
Nashville made this type of gun with a sheath trigger and a flat butt.
The caliber is .380.

The top barrel flat is marked in two lines with one hand stamp as

                            Schneider & Co.
                             Memphis, Tenn.


#275. This Schneider has excellent styling and is typical of many
Memphis & Nashville guns. The screw through the trigger plate extends
into the barrel to hold the gun together. Made with the wedge through
the forearm. The nose of the forearm is fluted. Flat butt with oval
German silver inlay. Deeply curved lock is very plain with simple lined
border. The serial number on the top flat of the breechplug is #8 with a
#1 on the tang which leaves the thought that this might be one of a
pair. Full octagon steel barrel with steel dovetailed front sight. This
is the sheath trigger style with a steel trigger plate and sheath, just
the opposite material from #283.

Marked on the top barrel flat with one hand stamp and two lines as

                            Schneider & Co.
                             Memphis, Tenn.


#267 This Schneider derringer is the third or fourth Southern made gun
that I obtained fifteen years ago. My good friend Horace Tolliver of
Manchester, Tennessee, had the gun. Remember that this Schneider is made
with a regular trigger guard instead of the sheath trigger guard. The
inlays and guard have no engraving with line engraving only on the
trigger plate. Semi-formed bird head grip with a tear drop German silver
butt plate. Notice how low the hammer is on the gun. Someone in years
gone by attempted to dress up the gun by checkering the forearm; but of
course this hurt it some. The nose of the forearm is fluted. There is no
screw through the trigger plate holding the barrel in place. This barrel
is not octagon, but instead is a round barrel with a rib on top similar
to all those made by Henry Deringer. Steel dovetailed front sight.
Caliber is .440.

Marked on the top barrel flat with one two line hand stamp as follows:

                            Schneider & Co.
                             Memphis, Tenn.


#214 This Glassick derringer is German silver mounted throughout and has
a standard derringer style trigger guard. Through the trigger plate at
the finial is a metal screw that attaches the plate to the barrel which
is doubly held in place by another screw through an escutcheon under the
forearm into the barrel. Made without wedge. The lock has the pronounced
downward curve. Full octagon barrel. Butt is flat with an oval German
silver inlay without capbox. Checkering is rather coarse. The German
silver blade front sight is milled into the barrel. Caliber is .400.

Marked with one hand stamp in one line on the top barrel flat. The
barrel is so short and the one line is so long that part of the name is
on the breech-plug on this particular gun. The same hand stamp was used
to mark #209 as was used on this one and is worded as follows:

                   F. Glassick & Co., Memphis, Tenn.

Glassick was a gunsmith circa 1850, whose name is found stamped on
imitation derringer pistols. About 1859 he entered into a partnership to
form Schneider and Glassick.


#209 Glassick derringers are in high demand like the Griswold and Greer
Confederate revolver, though they are relatively easy to get, but
command a good price. I suppose it is because Glassick and Schneider are
so well known that they will bring more money than some of the lesser
known derringers.

This version is a real work of art in some respects. All inlays are of
sterling silver. This model is made with a ramrod and with an oval
sterling silver butt cap with cap box built in. Although this gun shows
75% original varnish, in the past the grip has been broken into two
pieces and is carefully repaired with an inlay all the way around. To
make this grip inlay required a great deal of efficiency on the part of
the person that did it because it is just absolutely perfect the way
that it is put in with steel screws. Then the forearm apparently is
cracked underneath the wide inlay that is highly engraved. These two
silver inlay repair jobs, in my opinion, add quite a bit of value to the
gun because of their beauty and quality of workmanship. This gun has a
full octagon barrel and its breech is gold banded. The front sight has a
steel dovetailed base with a sterling silver blade. The lock may not be
curved as much as other Memphis guns, but it does have the low profile
hammer. Glassick derringers are not serial numbered. This beautifully
executed piece is a real man stopper in that its caliber is .510. I
obtained this gun from Bernie Braverman of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
about 1959 at a Columbus, Ohio gun show.

Marked on the top barrel flat with one hand stamp as follows:

                   F. Glassick & Co., Memphis, Tenn.


#210 This is the second Southern made derringer that I had in my
collection and this is one that I obtained in Jackson, Mississippi.
Notice that it has a bag type grip and the lock plate is not very deeply
curved. Has standard trigger guard and the nose of the forearm is
fluted. The full octagon barrel is not serial numbered and has a dove
tailed steel base front sight with a German silver blade. Hammer sets
rather high. Through the trigger guard plate is attached one screw that
holds the barrel in place and then on the forearm forward is another
screw plate holding the screw in position that attaches the forearm to
the barrel in the second position. Caliber is .510.

The markings on this top flat of the barrel on this gun are in two lines
with letters about the same size as my other specimens. The markings are
as follows:

                           F. Glassick & Co.
                             Memphis, Tenn.


#211 My first Southern derringer was this Glassick derringer that I
obtained at one of the early Jackson, Mississippi gun shows about
fifteen or sixteen years ago. My good friend Nathan Swazy brought the
gun in and I traded him two old Civil War swords and a Colt pistol. You
cannot tell it now, but the forearm was shattered and my good friend
Frank Hitchings of Memphis replaced the forearm in such a manner that
the joint in the new wood cannot be distinguished from the old. This gun
is German silver mounted throughout and has a fluted forearm nose. There
are two screws holding the barrel in position through the trigger plate
and the nice escutcheon under the forearm. Flat butts are rather common
to many of the Memphis and Nashville guns. Full octagon barrel with a
brass front sight milled into the steel barrel. Its caliber is a
tremendous .510.

The barrel markings on this gun are made in one line, but contrary to
#209 and #214 in which case one stamp was used, two stamps were used on
this one. “F. Glassick & Co.” is a different stamp from “Memphis, Tenn.”
The same stamps were used on #210 as are used on this one with exception
that #210 has the stamps in two lines and this one is in one line as

                   F. Glassick & Co., Memphis, Tenn.


#274 Little is known about this maker, Suter. No guns made by Henry
Deringer with Suter’s name on the barrel are known.

This particular piece is a small size and has characteristics of styling
that make it desirable. It is German silver mounted throughout with a
pineapple finial on the trigger plate. There is no screw through the
trigger plate holding the barrel in position. The wedge and the tang
screw are the only attachments to the barrel. No provision for ramrod.
Round barrel has rib at top flat. The front sight is German silver
dovetailed and the rear of the barrel has two gold bands which enhances
its value. The condition of the gun is extra nice with real sharp
original checkering. The extra thin barrel at the muzzle is caliber .42.

The barrel is marked on the right hand side below the top flat “steel.”
The top flat of the barrel is marked in two lines with two different
hand stamps as follows:

                               C. Suter,
                              Selma, Ala.


#4 This is a photograph of a genuine Wurfflein Deringer made in
Philadelphia. The sideplate of German silver is absolutely identical to
those of most Suter Deringers. This will leave some room for thought
that Suter Deringers are made by Wurfflein. Notice there is some
similarity in the shape and contour of this Suter #274 and the
illustrated Wurfflein. Both of these guns are often but not always
marked with the word “steel” on the right hand barrel flat immediately
below the top flat but always with different size stamps.

                               C. Suter,
                              Selma, Ala.


#264 I have seen Suter derringers in many sizes and this is about as
large as they come. Although the barrel is slightly over 4”, other
derringer makers made them even longer. The stock is German silver
mounted and has provision for a ramrod. The buttcap is a German silver
rosette held in place by a steel wood screw. Typical derringer German
silver trigger guard with pineapple finial. Suter was good at copying
Henry Deringer’s trigger guard. Two gold bands are at the breech of the
barrel and the front sight is completely made of German silver that is
dovetailed into the flat. Barrel is round with a rib at the top. Caliber
is .410.

All markings of Suter guns that I have seen appear to be marked with the
same two hand stamps with the name and the town in different stamps.
This specimen is marked in one line with two different stamps as

                         C. Suter, Selma, Ala.


#243 Again we have an extra small derringer by Suter of Alabama. German
silver mounted throughout and there is no screw through the trigger
plate holding the barrel to the stock. No provision for ramrod. Round
barrel has two bands at the breech in gold and in silver with a
dovetailed German silver front sight.

The barrel is marked on the right hand side below the top flat “steel.”
The barrel is marked in two lines on the top flat as follows:

                               C. Suter,
                              Selma, Ala.


#272 H. E. Dimick of course is so well known that a description of his
history of operations is not necessarily of interest in this little book
but we are going to use it anyway. In the course of several years of
collecting, I have seen no less than 10 or 12 H. E. Dimick derringers,
all with the same type of small markings on the top barrel flat.
Invariably the lock plates are not marked but do have a floral pattern
engraved in place. They are always long and slender and are not large
guns and are not heavy. This piece is made without ramrod and with
German silver mountings throughout. The trigger plate finial is in the
shape of a pineapple. The barrel has a brown twist steel imitation
finish. The German silver front sight is milled into the barrel and is
not dovetailed. Caliber is .390.

The barrel is marked on the top flat at a slight angle showing hand
stampings with one die stamp and one line as follows:

                              H. E. Dimick

This name will be noted in all of the 1859 Saint Louis City Directories.
Dimick was probably the best known and prolific of all the secondary St.
Louis riflemakers and his guns stood on their own reputation. He came
from Kentucky to establish the St. Louis Gun Shop at 38 North Main
Street in 1849. From 1849 through 1864, the firm was known as H. E.
Dimick & Co. From 1865 until Mr. Dimick’s death in 1873 the listing was
simply H. E. Dimick. Thus, here is a clue towards dating your guns with
this mark.

There has been a great deal of confusion about the associates in the H.
E. Dimick & Co. plant. Henry Folsom may have been a partner for a few
years; he was at least important enough in the firm to be listed along
with H. E. Dimick in a City Directory.


#261 Contrary to most derringers made in the South, Bitterlick marked
his on both the barrel and the lock. All furniture is of plain, not
engraved, German silver and the escutcheon plate under the forearm
embraces the screw that attaches the forearm to the barrel. The forearm
nose is fluted. The barrel is full octagon, and its caliber is .400.

The markings are to be found identically on the lock and the barrel in
two lines with one hand stamp marked as follows:

                           Fr. J. Bitterlick
                            Nashville, Tenn.

Franz J. Bitterlick was born July 16, 1829 and died July 12, 1880 at 51
years and 6 days old. His daughter Ann Elizabeth married Charles Evers
and their descendents and great grandchildren are living in Nashville
today, 1971.

Joseph Legler was born October 21, 1837 and died June 15, 1931 at the
age of 93 years and 8 months. His descendents by the name of Legler
still live in Nashville today.

Franz Bitterlick and Joseph Legler were brothers-in-law, having married
sisters Mary and Helen Lochmann respectively.

There is no record of when Bitterlick first started operating but if he
was born in 1829 and started the business when he was 25 years old, that
would mean that the Bitterlick Company started about 1854.

The first record of a business using either of these two names is found
in King’s City Directory of 1867, the earliest available, and is listed
as Bitterlick & Legler, Gunsmiths, 22 Deaderich Street. No City
Directories are available before 1867 so it is entirely possible that
the combination of the two names originated before that date.

Considering that in 1867, Legler was 30 years old and considering the
point that he could have been a partner of Bitterlick as early as 25
years of age means that the Bitterlick & Legler Company could have
started around 1862.

In an interview in 1970 with Mr. Bernard Evers, Sr., the grandson of
Bitterlick, he stated he believed the gunsmith business started in 1854,
give or take a year, and that Bitterlick made himself scarce during the
War Between the States by taking a four year “Round the World” trip.

All in all it would average up that the company of Bitterlick operated
from perhaps 1854 to 1862 or 1865.

Bitterlick and Legler without a doubt operated from 1862-65 til the last
listing of the combination company in the King’s City Directory of 1879.

In 1880 Joseph Legler is listed as a gunsmith and Frank Bitterlick as a
grocer at two different addresses.

Thus from these dates that we have accumulated here you can tell
approximately when your gun was made according to the name on the
barrel, and that no derringers were produced after 1879 because none are
known marked “Legler.”

According to a news clipping dated March 1, 1963 of the Nashville
Tennessean newspaper, the J. Legler, Gunsmith business was sold on that
date and it is noted that the operation was started 95 years ago on
Deaderich Street which would make the business starting in 1868. To me
this does not quite add up since the City Directories state that they
were operating in 1867. I would say that the business started sometime
between 1854 and 1867.

Joseph Legler is buried in the Mt. Olive Cemetery near Nashville,

It is interesting to note that the Legler descendents with the same name
operated this business as a gunsmith at 321 Deaderich Street until
December 31, 1962 when the business was closed out. The building was
sold to a real estate agent on March 1, 1963.

All their pistols were high quality. In addition to derringer type
pieces it is known that Bitterlick produced and manufactured shotguns
and a few target rifles marked “FR. J. Bitterlick & Co., Nashville,
Tenn.”. Early double breechloading shotguns with outside hammers are
known that are marked “J. Leghler, Nashville, Tenn.” and will you please
note the new spelling of Legler in this later breechloading period.


#285 This is a small sized derringer by any standards and is made by
Bitterlick. I have never seen a Bitterlick smaller than this one. This
gun also has the escutcheon screw plate underneath the forearm attaching
that part to the full octagon barrel. The forearm nose is fluted as is
common to many of these Nashville and Memphis guns. All furniture is of
German silver and is plain, not engraved.

The barrel markings are slightly different from #261 in that the
expression “& Co.” has been added as follows:

                        Fr. J. Bitterlick & Co.
                            Nashville, Tenn.


#285A This is a real old foot powered metal turning lathe that is in our
collection here at Dixie Gun Works. It was obtained from the current
Snodgrass Gun Shop in Nashville and Mr. Snodgrass states that many, many
years ago he got it from the old Legler Gun Shop. There is an awfully
good chance that parts such as screws for the Bitterlick or Bitterlick &
Legler Derringers were made on this same lathe. Incidentally, Hal Swann
of Nashville has a large quantity of Bitterlick or Bitterlick & Legler
tools such as files, bullet mould cherries, screwdrivers and even a die
stamp reading “Bitterlick & Co.” This die stamp is not the same one that
is used on the derringers though. This die stamp has never been seen on
a gun.


#266 Lullman and Vienna apparently was a retail store dealing in guns,
watches, and jewelry. I have never seen a Lullman and Vienna marked gun
except for those that are genuine Henry Deringer guns. Or, in other
words, they did not make their own guns.

This specimen is German silver mounted throughout, without ramrod and
with a tear drop buttcap. Typical round Henry Deringer barrel with a
flat rib on top. Full dovetailed German silver front sight. The breech
of the barrel has two silver bands which enhances its value.

All guns by this maker were invariably marked with the same die stamp
and two lines with one stamp manufactured as one unit. The stampings
reads as follows:

                           Lullman & Vienna,
                             Memphis, Tenn.


#258 A very desirable sized derringer with a short barrel and many
people call this the Abe Lincoln model which is true except for the
marking on the barrel. This gun is German silver mounted throughout, and
made without ramrod. Solid German silver front sight is dovetailed into
position. The rear of the barrel has two silver bands. Has typical Henry
Deringer markings on the lock and on the breechplug. The caliber is

The barrel markings are typically as follows:

                           Lullman & Vienna,
                             Memphis, Tenn.


#254 An even smaller sized Lullman and Vienna derringer is this genuine
Henry Deringer gun that is marked with this agent’s name on the barrel.
German silver throughout and you will notice that this gun does not have
a ramrod like all the others by this same maker in my collection. I
wonder if all were sold to Lullman and Vienna without ramrods? Solid
German silver front sight dovetailed in place along with two silver
barrel bands at the breech. Its caliber is .380.

The barrel markings are typically as follows:

                           Lullman & Vienna,
                             Memphis, Tenn.


#262 This Bitterlick specimen is typical of his earlier guns except for
the later markings on the barrel. The full octagon barrel is held in
place by two screws through the forearm and through the trigger plate
directly into the barrel. The escutcheons and furniture are all of plain
German silver with no engraving whatsoever. Has German silver pin type
front sight with gold band at the breech. The breech is marked with the
number “I.” All metal parts show old milling marks and file marks
because of its excellent condition. Caliber is .470.

The identical markings are to be found on both the barrel and the lock
and two different hand stamps are used as follows:

                       Fr. J. Bitterlick & Legler
                            Nashville, Tenn.


#222 O’Dell guns are often times easily recognized by their
characteristic European influence. The grips are a little different in
this shape gun in that they are the flat bag type instead of a rounded
bag type which is more of an English style than American. The round
faced hammer does not follow the characteristics of Southern derringers.
All furniture is of German silver and of the highest quality casting and
are fully engraved with English line scroll engraving. The trigger plate
has a pineapple finial and through the trigger plate is the typical
Southern style screw that attaches the forearm to the barrel along with
the barrel being held in place by a wedge.

I need to mention that there are several known Henry Deringer made guns
that are marked in one line on the barrel and with a hand stamp “S.
O’Dell.” In this specimen that we present here that is marked on the
lock plate, the name is hand engraved in and is not stamped.

This ornate specimen has five gold and silver bands at the breech. The
barrel is rounded with a rib flat on top. The silver front sight is
machined into place. The lockplate is filed down to fit the wood with
more of a cross curve than Henry Deringer guns show. The caliber is
unusually small, it being only .330.

This gun is marked on the lock only as follows:

                               S. O’Dell

O’Dell came from New York State probably in the late 1830’s or early
1840’s and according to newspaper accounts of that period was murdered
in the early 1860’s at Natchez. Although his derringers had bag shaped
grips and not bird head grips, I am classifying them as a derringer
rather than a pocket pistol. Halfstock rifles with his name are known.


#215 Schneider and Glassick derringers have characteristics of both of
these earlier companies that merged to form this one. All furniture is
very plain German silver without even the least line engraving. There is
a screw through the trigger plate holding the barrel into position along
with the typical wedge. The full octagon barrel is rather plain with no
embellishments at the breech. The caliber is .450.

The markings are in one line with one stamp on the top flat of the
barrel as follows:

                  Schneider & Glassick, Memphis, Tenn.

Schneider & Glassick, gunsmiths, formed about 1859 by William S.
Schneider and Frederick G. Glassick, both of whom had previously
operated independently. They early secured a Confederate contract to
manufacture revolvers, this being in addition to the repairing of other
types of firearms. They advertised in March, 1862, advising persons who
had left “guns or pistols longer than three months” to call, as they
intended delivering all such arms to the Confederate government as of
March 15th.

Shortly after this advertising date of March 7, 1862, Memphis was
evacuated by all Confederate Ordnance activities, and the firm was not
heard from again.


#6 Although in deplorable condition, this Schneider and Glassick can be
restored and I am going to spend upwards of $200 to have the trigger
guard and the hammer made new. Notice the extra long length of the grip
and of the bird head shape. The barrel is held in place both by a
trigger plate screw and a wedge. The front sight is a brass blade milled
into the steel barrel with no engraving or ornamentation at the breech.
Notice the heavy downward curve of the lock. Caliber is .500.

The barrel markings are done with the same stamp as used on gun #215
which is a one piece stamp in one line as follows:

                  Schneider & Glassick, Memphis, Tenn.


#225 W. H. Calhoun was a fancy goods merchant in Nashville, Tennessee
during and well before the Civil War. Fancy goods merchants sold
jewelry, watches, and guns which sort of fitted together in those days
and times. Calhoun never made guns himself as far as I know and was not
a gunsmith. This is a genuine Henry Deringer gun surcharged or marked
with the agent’s name on the barrel. This gun has typical Henry Deringer
characteristics such as German silver furniture and a pineapple finial
on the trigger plate. The stock is made without ramrod. The caliber is

The barrel markings are in four lines on the top flat and appear to be
marked each line individually as follows:

                               Man^d for
                             W. H. Calhoun
                            Nashville, Tenn.


#282 L. Swett was a dealer of guns and general merchandise in Vicksburg,
Mississippi and as far as I know never made guns himself. The guns that
I have seen by this maker were all Henry Deringer agent marked guns.
This speciment is very typical of a genuine Henry Deringer such as with
ramrod, German silver furniture, and pineapple finial on the trigger

The barrel markings are in three lines and it appears to be one stamp
because each line is so perfect when compared with the other. The
markings are as follows:

                                Made for
                             L. Swett & Co.
                            Vicksburg, Miss.

This name represents an agent primarily since no guns not of Henry
Deringer manufacture are known. Newspaper advertisements of that period
show he operated in the late 1850’s. It is interesting to notice that
Mrs. Jefferson Davis carried a Swett derringer in her purse. The gun is
now on display in the old capitol museum in Jackson, Mississippi.


J. A. Schafer. Vicksburg, Mississippi, is one gun that I do not have and
I would like to obtain. I have heard of three of these guns and they are
always Henry Deringer guns surcharged with this agent’s name and without
a doubt all will be typical of Henry Deringer manufactury.


#204 Trumpler of Little Rock does not make a gun that looks like a Henry
Deringer or a Southern Derringer. His guns are entirely different.
Notice the funny nosecap, the tall hammer, and the extra narrow trigger
guard and trigger plate. Although the trigger plate ends in a finial of
a pineapple, it is not a Henry Deringer type of pineapple. This
derringer has a silver band at the breech with a small amount of
engraving. The barrel is round with a rib on top. Its caliber is .430.

The only markings are on the barrel as follows in one line:

                     L. F. Trumpler, L. Rock, Ark.

#278 J. B. Gilmore, Shreveport, Louisiana, produced guns by his own hand
and he also used Henry Deringer guns that were surcharged with his own
name. This particular gun is rather slender and it has a nice appealing
style, it being manufactured by Gilmore himself. Notice the turned down
forearm nose. The gun is mounted with German silver furniture lightly
engraved. The barrel is round with a flat rib on top. Its caliber is

The only markings are on the top of the barrel flat as follows:

                             J. B. GILMORE

Jerome Bonaparte Gilmore was born in Jefferson County, Kentucky, in
1827, and came to Shreveport, La. in 1849. There is a strong possibility
that he was the son of J. Gilmore, of the firm J. Gilmore and Moses
Dickson, Gunmakers, of Louisville (1848-1860), as, according to the
census of 1840, J. Gilmore, Sr. had a son of about this age. J. B.
Gilmore worked for David Pobst, gunmaker, until about 1853 when young
Gilmore went into the gun business for himself. The 1850 census lists
both Pobst and Gilmore in the same recorders visit which usually means
that they were members of the same household, possibly roommates.
Advertisements for both Pobst and Gilmore appear in the Caddo Gazette in
1853, and seem to indicate that they are competitors. An ad in the Caddo
Gazette, 3 Feb., 1855 is as follows:

  J. B. Gilmore, Gun Manufacturer,
  Shreveport, La., two doors below the City Hotel on Texas St.

To my friends and customers. After an absence of four months, I am again
at my post, during which time I have visited the best Gun Manufacturers
of the West and South, that I might make myself acquainted with the more
recent and valuable improvements in gunnery. And can now assure my
customers that any work entrusted to me will be finished in the best
style, with such valuable improvements as have been made in the work. I
will keep constantly on hand Shot Guns, Pistols of all kinds, including
Colt’s celebrated repeaters of all sizes, Game and Shot bags, Powder
Flasks and Horns, Bullet bags, Capprimers, Tubes and tube wrenches,
Bullet-moulds, Gun Barrels, Locks, Triggers, Ribbs, Mounting, Baldwin &
Anderson’s Patent Wadding, Eley’s wire Cartridge, Cox & Eley’s caps,
also Colt’s metal lined for his repeating pistols, and a good assortment
of all other kinds. Hazard & Dupont’s powder, both keg and canister of
the finest quality. A few of the celebrated patent-muzzle Rifles for
long shooting, these guns are far ahead of all others that are made, on
account of the great distance as well as the accuracy with which they
can be fired. Rifles of all sizes and qualities made to order. All kinds
of guns and pistols repaired in the neatest manner, and shortest notice,
warranted to stand.

As Gilmore’s shop was located on the trail to Texas (highway 80 today),
it is likely that he furnished many settlers and frontiersmen with guns.

In 1860, Caddo Parish had 1153 registered voters. In 1860 Caddo Parish
sent 1500 men to war. On the 17th day of May 1861, J. B. Gilmore entered
the military service of the Confederate States of America as Captain of
“F” Company, Shreveport Rangers, 3rd Regiment, Louisiana Infantry. His
regiment was transported by the steamer “Grand Duke” to New Orleans and
then proceeded to Fort Smith, Ark., reporting to General Ben McCulloch,
commanding the Army of the West. He served with his command in all the
skermishes and fights including the battles of Oak Hills and Elk Horn in
Ark. and Mo. On the 1st of May 1862, his regiment arrived at Corinth,
Miss., where it was reorganized on the 8th of May. As a result of this
reorganization, Gilmore was elected Lt. Colonel. Lt. Colonel Gilmore
participated in the skermishes at Farmington and other points near
Corinth. Col. F. C. Armstrong was appointed a Brigadier General, and on
6 July took leave of the regiment. Soon after Gilmore was appointed to
full Colonel by President Davis and assumed command of the regiment. At
the battle of Iuka, Miss., on 19 Sept., 1862, Col. Gilmore was severely
wounded and, not being able to withdraw with his regiment, was captured.
He was paroled on the 23rd of Sept., and rejoined his regiment at
Snyder’s Bluff. He was with the regiment during their investment at
Vicksburg, Miss., but being very weak did not assume command. He
resigned his command on 7 July, 1863 and was paroled with his regiment
but never exchanged.

Upon his return from the war he joined a cotton firm as a buyer. It is
probable that his wound prevented him from carrying on his gun business.
In 1860 he had purchased three lots from Leroy M. Nutt for $2300, and in
1872 built a substantial residence on this site. The first City
Directory (1878) lists him as residing at 506 Cotton St.

Gilmore’s wife’s name was Emma and he had a son, Edwin Vincent. During
the carpetbagger era he was Mayor of Shreveport, and was known as a man
of fine character. He was a member of the “General LeRoy Stafford Camp
No. 3, United Confederate Veterans” and it was men from this camp that
served as pall bearers at his funeral in 1900. Jerome Bonaparte
Gilmore’s tombstone lies in lot 22, section 33 of the Greenwood
Cemetery, Shreveport, La., just 20 steps from the graves of his
Confederate comrades in arms.


#258 This is a Gilmore gun that is manufactured by Henry Deringer. It
has typical derringer markings on the lock plate and the breechplug. It
is mounted in German silver in a typical fashion. The only difference in
this and most Henry Deringers is that the trigger plate finial is not a
pineapple. Made with ramrod. Its caliber is .440.

Marked on the top barrel flat as follows in three lines:

                               Man^d for
                             J. B. Gilmore
                            Shreveport, La.


#205 Linde is a lesser known gunmaker of Memphis and he is authenticated
through newspaper advertisements of those days. Little is known of his
history. This particular gun has a different shape stock and notice the
turned down forearm nose that is fluted. The furniture is not engraved.
Notice the different shaped hammer. The barrel is round with a top
barrel flat. The front sight is German silver dovetailed into place.

The only markings are on both the barrel and the lock as follows:

                                A. Linde


#220 Folsom was a well known manufacturer and dealer of New Orleans,
Memphis, and St. Louis. This particular handsome little gun with its 1⅞”
barrel was manufactured by him and is not a Henry Deringer product
although it has characteristics exactly like old Henry of Philadelphia.
All furniture is of German silver. This is the size of derringer that I
would call a gambler’s vest pocket special. Its caliber is .390.

The only mark is on the lock itself as follows:

                               H. Folsom

He was a gunsmith and military outfitter who in the late 1850’s was
located in St. Louis, Missouri, and who for a time was there connected
with H. E. Dimick, a gunsmith and dealer in imitation Colt Navy

Folsom was entirely Southern in feeling and about 1859 left St. Louis
for New Orleans, Louisiana. There he opened up a shop at 55 Chartres
Street. Imported revolvers are occasionally found bearing his name.

Also to be found with his name and the St. Louis address are various
types of swords.

Some rifles are known that are marked “H. Folsom & Co., St. Louis.”

He is first listed in 1866 in the St. Louis City Directory and again in
1870 as a dealer and gunsmith.

It is known that Folsom worked in Memphis at some time and it is
possible and reasonable that he made deringers there and in St. Louis
but with a different marking, leaving off the St. Louis in the case of
the Memphis guns.


#256 Weisgerber was an authenticated maker according to newspapers of
those days of derringers, shotguns, and rifles. To date, I know of one
rifle and two derringer pistols, one of which is in my collection.
Notice the heavy bag grip and the unusual shaped hammer. The forearm
nose is fluted. All parts are German silver, not engraved, and the
inlays are held in place with wood screws which is contrary to the vast
majority of the others in my collection. Its caliber is .440.

The only markings are on the top barrel flat as follows in two lines:

                          A. Weisgerber & Co.
                             Memphis, Tenn.


#219 Again we have a Memphis maker, whose name was Merriman, that little
is known of but he is authenticated as a derringer maker by newspaper
accounts. This gun has a rounded face European style hammer that appears
to be original with the gun and all furniture is German silver. There is
some engraving on the inlays. There is no provision for a ramrod. Its
caliber is .410.

The only markings are on the barrel in two lines as follows:

                          J. F. Merriman & Co.


As far as I know Hoffman was a derringer maker himself and did not use
any Henry Deringer guns that were surcharged. I only know of two of
these guns and I am sorry that I am not able to obtain them for
photographing. I can tell you that they are highly ornate similar to the
O’Dell manufactured guns. Hoffman was located in Vicksburg.

Louis Ferdinand Alexander Hoffmann was born in Berlin, Prussia in 1823.
His father was an officer in the Prussian army but died when Louis was
9. His mother died when he was 11, leaving five orphan children. Louis
came to America in 1852 settling for a short time in Patterson, New
Jersey, then moving to St. Louis, Missouri and on to Vicksburg in 1854.

During his early years in Europe he was brought up in the machine shop
of Borsig of Berlin, then the largest of its kind in Europe. This fact
later may explain the heavy European influence on Mr. Hoffmann’s guns.

From 1854 til 1857 he worked in Vicksburg at the Zimmerman and Reading
Foundry, learning the art of metal craft. In 1857 at the age of 34 he
had saved enough money to start his own business.

His first ad in the Vicksburg Daily Whig dated October, 1857 states:
“New gun shop—Louis Hoffmann takes pleasure in informing his community
and the public generally that he will carry on the gunsmith business and
all its branches. It will make rifles to order, stock guns and pistols,

The 1860 Vicksburg City Directory list six gunsmiths working for him,
One of these was Adam Schafer who later went into the retail business
himself and Philadelphia Henry Deringers are known to be marked with his
agency’s name.

Hoffmann’s earliest known address was listed in 1857 as China Street and
later on Washington Street. The Washington Street store burned in 1879
and new buildings were erected on Clay Street. This became known as the
famous “Hoffmann Block.”

In 1886 the former Louis Hoffmann or Hoffmann Hardware Company was
incorporated and the name changed to Louis Hoffmann Hardware Company,
Inc., Hoffmann Block, Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Depending of these mentioned names and addresses, you can date your guns

The successors of the Hoffmann Hardware & Gun Company is in business
today under the name of O’Neill McNamarra Hardware Company.


#241 Generally this Conning derringer follows the description of a
genuine Henry Deringer gun in both style and makeup but is not a Henry
Deringer. The trigger guard and other furniture is of German silver and
there is no provision for a ramrod. Notice the turned down lip at the
forearm nose. The round barrel is made with a barrel rib at the top. The
only barrel markings underneath the barrel are a cryptic assembly number
cut in Roman numerals so this gun is apparently American made because
there are no proof marks. I have never heard of another such gun. Its
caliber is .410.

The only markings are on the barrel in two lines in script and engraved
as follows:

                                Made for
                           J. Conning, Mobile

This maker advertised that his shop was open for business at Dauphin and
Water Streets in Mobile, Alabama. This will leave the impression that he
operated a retail store but so far no actual proof of this has been
noted except that on October 21, 1862 he advertised “military buttons
just received a few gross of very fine military gold staff buttons, sold
by the gross or the set.”

He had some facilities for manufacturing and is well known for his
Confederate swords. There is a record of an important contract with the
state of Alabama for sabres.


#259 Mendenhall of the little town of DesArc, Arkansas produced
derringers that had no characteristics of either the Mississippi
derringer makers, those of Nashville or of Memphis. His were entirely
different. Notice the heavy walnut stock, the long slender hammer, and
the pewter nosecap. Has provision for the ramrod in the nosecap. The
trigger guard is of steel and all other furniture is of German silver
held in place with pins. There is a screw through the trigger guard that
attaches to the barrel along with a wedge to hold the barrel in place.
The barrel has two bands of gold and silver at the breech and the front
sight is dovetailed German silver. The lockplate is plain with no
engraving whatsoever as is the hammer. The grips are checkered with a
bird head style. The caliber is .500.

The only markings are on the barrel with a one piece machine made hand
stamp in two lines as follows:

                            A. R. Mendenhall
                              DesArc, Ark.

From Charles Elias, North Little Rock, Arkansas comes certain
information on this deringer maker that he has dug out of the U.S.
Census files of Arkansas taken every decade.

In 1836, the year Arkansas became a state in the Union, the present
location of the town of DesArc was known as McNulty’s Bluff and was
nothing more than a ferry crossing the White River at this point—the
most eastern edge of what was then Pulaski County. It wasn’t until the
early 1840’s that the townsite was laid out and became known as DesArc.
Today the population is about 500.

A R. Mendenhall was born in 1836. It is realistic to assume that at the
age of 25, in 1860, this young man could have had the capabilities of
fashioning this type of weapon.

In the year 1860, this man, along with a wagonmaker named John Langford,
resided with the family of William H. Harvey whose occupation was listed
in the U.S. Census of that year as a “grocery keeper.” Mendenhall was 24
years old and single. His native state was Michigan; his occupation,
gunsmith. He owned no real property, but assessed $200.00 in personal

Mendenhall’s name appears again in the U.S. Census of 1870. By this
time, he had married a young Tennessee woman and gave his native state
as Ohio. In both real and personal property, he listed his net worth as
a little less than $1,000.00. Residing with him was another man whose
occupation was listed as “grocery keeper.” William H. Harvey had
disappeared from the scene.

Other sources state that a Mendenhall worked in the “Confederate States
Ordnance Works” at Tyler, Texas which operated from 1862 to 1865.
According to this book in my library, Mendenhall was the best workman in
the armoury and was engaged in some capacity with pistol making. Could
this be the same man?

It is reasonable to assume that any Mendenhall Derringer was produced in
1860 or later.


#242 J. Hausmann was an arms dealer before the Civil War in New Orleans.
Little is known about him. Notice that this gun has definite Southern
characteristics of some of the Memphis and Nashville guns in the screw
plate under the forearm that holds the barrel to the forearm, the fluted
nose of the forearm, and the full octagon barrel. All furniture is
likewise plain as is characteristic of many of these guns. The grips are
bird head shaped and are protected at the butt with a tear drop inlay.
There is a screw through the trigger plate holding to the barrel. The
caliber is .410.

A friend in Memphis has in his collection an identical gun marked #1 on
the tang. Mine is marked #2. I got my gun from Bob Elz of California and
the #1 was found in Ohio. Neither of us will sell his gun and we are at
a standstill about getting these two identical guns into one collection.
No other derringers by this maker are known.

The only markings are on the lock plate itself, hand engraved, as

                              J. Hausmann


A. J. Millspaugh operated in Shreveport, Louisiana. I have never seen
one of his guns nor heard of anyone that had one except in one book a
mention is made that Philadelphia derringers are known with his name. I
do not personally believe he would be any more scarce than a Linde or a


Holyoake-Lownes of Memphis, Tennessee was an importer of English made
derringer type guns with his name surcharged on the barrel. I have heard
of one gun only with this marking and it of course has English proof
marks but has positive features of a genuine Henry Deringer gun.

A description of the only known gun is as follows: The round barrel with
the rib on top is rifled and is caliber .490. Barrel length is 3⅝” and
the overall length is 7¾”. Two silver bands at breech. Oval silver wedge
escutcheons. Monogram plate in the shape of a rectangle with clipped
corners. German silver fore end cap is made for loading rod. Eight
cornered daisy design German silver butt cap.

This company advertised guns for sale in the “Memphis Daily Appeal” of
Wednesday, May 4, 1853.

The top flat of the barrel is marked in one line with one die stamp
“Holyoake-Lownes & Co. Memphis.”


#201 F. Schumann is identified as a maker of derringers by old newspaper
accounts. None of my collector friends or dealer friends have ever heard
of or seen a genuine Schumann derringer and I am indeed fortunate in
obtaining this specimen of a barrel whose caliber is .410 and is full
octagon. This barrel turned up in Memphis about twenty-five or thirty
years ago in an old gun shop where it was obtained and kept in a
collection thereafter. It has never been on a gun and still shows the
old original file marks.


#286 Sieber of Nashville, Tennessee is virtually unknown among my gun
collector friends and dealers until this gun turned up in Norman
Flayderman’s catalog in 1970. It is definitely Nashville made with the
characteristics of those guns in the full octagon barrel, the escutcheon
plate under the forearm holding the screw to attach the barrel, and the
lack of engraving. The buttcap, sideplate, nameplate on the wrist, and
escutcheons are of German silver. The trigger guard, believe it or not,
is of brass and appears to be original. The barrel is a little different
in that the bottom half is rounded with the top half octagon. To say
this another way, there are three octagon flats at the top of the barrel
with the other part underneath rounded. There is a gold blow-out plug on
the breechplug. Two bands at the breech are of gold and silver and one
silver band at the muzzle. It is a shame, but someone in the past has
sand-papered the barrel which is in extra fine condition. They saw the
old brown color and thought they were removing rust when actually the
gun had original browning on the barrel and some smart fellow removed
all of it. I would call this a high quality but plain derringer. Its
caliber is .440.

The only markings are on the top barrel flat as follows:

                             E. R. Sieber,
                            Nashville, Tenn.


H. G. Newcomb is a little known maker of Vicksburg, Mississippi who made
his own derringers. I have only heard of two guns by this maker and they
are in a collection in Mississippi and maybe sometime we can obtain this
specimen for photographing and describing.

Apparently Newcomb was active about the same time as O’Dell but he lived
into the early 1870’s. Two of his derringers are known and one is even
more ornate than O’Dell produced guns while the other is very plain. It
is rumored that some genuine Henry Deringers were agent marked with
Newcomb’s name but I have never personally seen one of these guns.


#221 Here is an unmarked derringer that could have been made either in
Nashville or in Memphis according to the sheath trigger and the flat
butt. Bitterlick produced guns of this style and marked them but I do
not have one for my collection. Notice that this is made of curly maple
rather than like all the rest of walnut. The full octagon barrel has one
silver band at the breech. The tang is marked with “#1”. There is no way
to determine whether this gun was made in Nashville or Memphis. Its
caliber is .480.


#212 Having no characteristics whatsoever of any other known Southern
derringer maker is this specimen from my collection that I have had for
ten or twelve years. The tear drop buttcap, the wedge plate escutcheons,
the silver inlay under the barrel and the left hand sideplate and name
plate over the wrist are all plain with no engraving which is typical of
Southern guns. There is no provision for ramrod. Notice the forearm nose
is fluted and that it is turned downward somewhat. The trigger guard is
steel and does have the Southern type of screw through the trigger plate
attaching to the barrel. The lock plate has a very high radius curve to
make it fit the curve of the wrist. The round barrel is flat on top. The
dovetailed steel base front sight has a German silver blade. Notice that
the hammer is not derringer style in that it has a slightly rounded
face. No proof marks under barrel. This gun is in exceedingly fine
condition, and I would say almost like new. Its caliber is .450.


#206 Here is an unidentifiable hand made Southern type derringer with
markings on the barrel that are hand cut and very crude as follows: “J.
E. B.” The wood is curly maple and the trigger guard and trigger plate
are steel with no butt cap on the flat butt. There is a screw through
the trigger plate attaching the forearm to the barrel. This can be seen
in the photograph. The rifled bore is caliber .500.


                          Transcriber’s Notes

—Silently corrected a few typos.

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—Re-ordered text “continued on bottom of next page” into a natural
  flowable order.

—Added text {within curly brackets} to several captions.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by

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