REVOLUTIONARY WAR COMMITTEE OF SAFETY MUSKET
"U S" Surcharged, Connecticut Colony
This musket was undoubtedly made for the Connecticut colony as per the General Assembly order of April 1775:
"RESOLVED, that the three thousand stand of arms to be procured for the use of this Colony with a barrel of three feet ten inches (i.e. 46 inches) the diameter of the bore from inside to inside three-quarters of an inch...the length of the (bayonet) socket four inches and one-quarter, that the barrels be of suitable thickness, with iron ramrods, a good substantial lock and a good stock well mounted with brass and marked with the name or letter initial(s) of maker's name" as quoted in Harold Peterson's book "Arms and Armor in Colonial America 1626-1783". Peterson further states that "In March 1776 the committee purchase some imported barrels and locks that fitted the specifications..."
This American cherry stocked musket measures 73 inches overall with a round .75cal barrel measuring 46 inches in length. The barrel, lock, and most of the brass mounts are from a circa 1750 Dutch musket, with the faceted ramrod ferrules being of American manufacture. The tail of the flintlock is stamped "U S" and is 3/8 inches high which is the earlier size stamping used to designate Continental army ownership during the Revolution. This proves that not only did Connecticut order this musket , since all other colonies muskets were designated with 44" or shorter barrels, but that it was in the Continental army's possession in 1777 when Washington ordered all arms stamped "U S" or the like. In addition, "C" over "14" is engraved near the breech which could designate either the maker or a Continental army unit. Engraved at the top of the barrel near the muzzle is "No 262" which could designate the 262nd musket of this order. The forestock is cut back 4 1/4", meeting the specifications for bayonets ( i.e. 4 1/4 socket) specified in the Connecticut General Assembly order.
This Connecticut Committee of Safety musket is very well priced. In the last month alone, three equivalent (though less well marked) Committee of Safety muskets have sold at auction for between $7638. (no markings at all) and $10,200. (lock "US" surcharged).
Condition: Very good. The American cherry stock has been lightly cleaned years ago. The metal appears untouched. The stock has a 2 3/4" x 1/8" splinter out of the forestock near the muzzle cap on the reverse (lock) side. There is a toe repair where a triangle of wood split from the stock in its period of use, however, the original wood was re-attached. There is a dime size area of filler in the toe area to hide the nail or screw used to re-attach the toe sliver (see pics). In addition there is some wood split out on the top of the lock (typical break).