This is an older item with a newly revised description...initially, this carbine had a repro captive ramrod assembly...since then, after some extensive searching, we were extremely fortunate to find a rare original P56 captive rammer assembly that is an perfect match for this gun...they both had the same wear and patina. We have a thin margin on this rifle and have raised the price offset only the cost of the rammer assembly.
This is very late 1864 dated Confederate imported Enfield Pattern 56 Cavalry Carbine with the rare and mysterious Anchor "S" symbol on the wood just in front of the top of the buttplate. Knowledgeable Collectors and Dealers have been quietly putting these Anchor "S" Enfields away for years waiting for the day when a book finally reveals this marking as a Confederate viewer's proof. Just like the JS Anchor, it took several years for this marking to finally be accepted as Confederate through a series of books, like Wiley Swords excellent book on Confederate Enfields...now prices have skyrocketed making these extremely hard to get. I am confident the Anchor "S" Enfield will one day be right up there too once someone assembles enough information and I'll go into this briefly to explain some simple facts based on a few years of my collecting Enfields. Until then, the values will be reasonable so this would make a great investment.
Every Enfield rifle and carbine I've seen with this marking has been dated 1863 or 1864. Keep in mind the 1864 date and this is a carbine as this is the perfect example to prove my point. Since there is documented proof the Union stopped importing Enfields in Mid-1863, its impossible for an 1864 date to have gone to the North. Furthermore, the Union, with the exception of a very few early in the war, never imported Enfield carbines in quantity throughout the war. Thus, an 1864 dated Enfield carbine is not something that would have gone to the Union...As a sidenote.... this makes perfect sense when the Union produced more modern breechloading carbines towards the end of the war than they could issue to men with tens of thousands of Spencers, Sharps, Ball Carbines, Palmer Carbines, Maynards, Smiths, Starr's that were left in storage or sold to foreign Gov'ts for decades after the war ended.
On the other hand, we know the Confederacy imported Enfield carbines and rifles throughout the war including 1864 after the Union was out of the picture. Thanks the Payne Papers (Payne was a Confederate Ordinance officer stationed at the port of Wilmington, NC) we know that between the period of July 1863 through Jan. 1865 when Fort Fisher fell effectively sealing off the Cape Fear River which lead to the Port of Wilmington, that no less than 8100 Enfield Carbines successfully ran the Blockade and came through the port with 5140 delivered in 1864 alone. The only thing we don't know is the breakdown between Cavalry carbines and Artillery Carbines as Payne was not that specific. Still, we even know the names of the blockade runners who delivered these carbines and to which commands they were sent. Here's an example, on June 6, 1864, Payne received 35 cases of "Enfield Carbines" delivered by the Confederate blockade runner S.S. Lilian. Interestingly enough, 2 days later on June 8, 1864, Payne sent 35 cases of "Enfield Carbines" to Maj. Trezevant in Columbia, SC. See page 140-151 of FIREARMS FROM EUROPE 2ND EDITION BY Whisker, Hartzler, and Yantz.
Description: Lock is marked TOWER 1864. Crown at the back of the lock has no "V.R." which is correct for an import as well as the double "25" gauge stamps (.577 caliber) on the left side of the barrel. The stock has a faint BSAT Cartouche which stands for "Birmingham Small Arms Trade". The top of the comb next to the buttplate has an Anchor Symbol with what looks to be the letter "S" underneath. Every Enfield I've seen so far with this marking has been dated either 1863 or 1864. There is also a stamping on the left side of the stock opposite the lock which appears to read "S&S 49". Overall, this carbine shows typical hard Confederate usage but is still in fairly good condition. The metal has turned to a dark brown patina with some pits around the bolster area but otherwise, fairly smooth. The rear sight was knocked off which is typical on these carbines as they were only silver soldered to the barrel. The result was not many have survived due to hard use by Confederate Cavalry units. You can still see the outline of where the base of the short squared sight originally was located. The front sight is intact. The brass furniture is in good shape with the correct solid triggerguard with no hole for the sling swivel. Saddle bar is intact with the original ring. The wood is solid with no chips or cracks. The letter "W" is neatly cut on both sides of the wood near the muzzle just behind the forend cap. The wood crossing over the top of the lock shows some burn erosion from repeated percussion ignition but is solid an intact. Action still works at both half and full cock. All in all, this is just a good solid example of a Tower Enfield Cavalry Carbine that would make a great future investment.