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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
On July 3, 1863, as the Army of Northern Virginia prepared for one last mighty assault on the center of the Union Line on Cemetery Ridge, Major General Jeb Stuart and his gray horsemen once again circled around behind the Federal Army, intending to wreck havoc in their rear and enabling Pickett's Charge to break through. But on the Rummel Farm to the East of Gettysburg, Stuart was met by Union cavalry, including the Michigan Brigade commanded by newly-minted Brigadier General George Custer. In both mounted and dismounted actions, supported by their respective horse artillery, it was the blue horsemen who stopped Stuart from succeeding in his mission.
Among the Michigan Cavalry regiments, the 5th Michigan was the only regiment entirely armed with the new seven-shot Spencer Repeating Rifle. At Gettysburg, the 5th - and a portion of the 6th Michigan - were armed with Spencer RIFLES, not the shorter cavalry carbines that became associated with mounted units. (Many of the cavalry monuments at Gettysburg show the Spencer carbine, even for units that were not armed with Spencers at the battle.) The 5th and 6th acted as dismounted skirmishers and their Spencers were put to good use until they exhausted their ammunition.
The Spencer is a lever-action weapon with a tube magazine in the butt-stock. The soldier would fire his weapon, then quickly reload another copper cartridge by working the lever, then cocking the hammer and firing. The Chief of Ordnance fought to keep these weapons OUT of service, fearing the cost of supplying ammunition for them. But being able to lay down a high rate of fire often proved the deciding factor in battle, even to this day.
Here then is a private of the 5th Michigan. Every fourth man took the other's horses to the rear, allowing our soldier to move forward in a line of skirmishers. He is seen working the action on his Spencer rifle, pushing the next round into the chamber, with two fired casings on the ground at his feet.



The cavalryman is made with a shortened DML body and modified hs. His uniform is entirely BGT except the SST boots and spurs. He has unbuttoned his jacket in the heat of the day. His belt is mine, with a BGT belt plate and infantry cartridge box. The Spencer is a modified BGT carbine, made with a BGT Sharps rifle barrel, and a modified breech to show it "open".
http://www.onesixthwarriors.com/forum/sixth-scale-action-figure-news-reviews-discussion/772741-more-bgt-weapons-mods-sharps-spencer-wip.html
The sling is also BGT. The cartridge in the action and the casings are brass tube with a pin head glued in one end. The cap insignia and chin strap buckle are mine.

Like my Lincoln figure, the trooper is currently on loan to the Lincoln Train Museum, 425 Steinwehr Ave., Gettysburg, PA. He shares a shelf with my "First Shot" dio, that I did as a gift for my friend who owns the museum.



Lincoln Train Museum - Home

This figure is dedicated to my friend, Gordon Smith.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, zebraten. The gentleman who owns the museum inspired my interest in Gettysburg many years ago. I first met him as a Civil War cavalry re-enactor, then as an instructor at work. As a licensed guide for the Battlefied, he passed along his enthusiasm for this place both to myself and my young son, and showed us the deeper stories of the events that happened here. It is an honor to add in some "small way" to his mission to spread history.
 

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wave man TDY staff
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I need to get back east again, seeing that you've enhanced the displays there so much. Fine work indeed! I love the little known bits of detail you bring to this.
I understand President Lincoln liked the Spencer, and proved a fair shot with one, when it was shown to him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks again, everyone. Mike, it's funny you should mention that. This Spencer and the Lincoln from my other post,
http://www.onesixthwarriors.com/forum/sixth-scale-action-figure-news-reviews-discussion/846550-world-will-little-note-nor-long-remember-what-we-say-here.html
were supposed to be together for a bash on that. But they sat too long and I thought my friend needed an "Address" Abe for his display, and I issued the Spencer to the 5th Michigan. But I do have another Abe and more Spencers (thank you, Auggie), so MY Lincoln will follow the original plan.
 

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Mark, beautiful figure. As always, your work is admirable and unique. I always get a thrill from seeing your ACW figures, they are sadly under-represented today. You just made my day, thank you.......Jim
 
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