1863 1864


Spencer Model 1863 Army repeating rifle with Blakeslee 1864 Patent magazine box

Manufactured by Spencer Repeating Arms in Boston, Massachusetts c.1864, magazine box manufactured by Erasmus Blakeslee c.1864 in Chicopee, Massachusetts - serial number 5164.
.52RF Spencer 7-round tubular magazine, the wood tin and leather Blakeslee box holds 7 spare magazines for a total of 49 spare rounds of ammunition. Lever action repeater, manually cocked hammer, full length musket-style foregrip with the barrel bands and the whole shebang.

The Spencer military rifle’s success with mounted Union infantry is what prompted its better known variant, the M1860 carbine, to be adopted en masse by Union cavalry units by the end of the American Civil War.
The magazine box however was barely used, despite 30000 units being delivered to the Union during the war.


John Everett Millais (1829-1896)
“My First Sermon” (1862-1863)
“My Second Sermon” (1864)
Oil on canvas
Both are located in the Guildhall Art Gallery, London, England

Cooper M1863 2nd Model revolver

Manufactured in Philadelphia c.1864-69 - serial number 1135.
.31 cap and ball 5-shot rebated cylinder, double action, creeping loading lever, generally an upgraded Colt M1849 Pocket design.

I can’t wait for affordable 3D printed antique gun replicas to be a thing.


Orchid and Hummingbirds by Martin Johnson Heade (1819-1904)

..Heade travelled in Brazil from 1863 to 1864, where he painted an extensive series of small works, eventually numbering over forty, depicting hummingbirds. He intended the series for a planned book titled “The Gems of Brazil”, but the book was never published due to financial difficulty and Heade’s concerns about the quality of the reproductions. Heade nevertheless returned to the tropics twice, in 1866 journeying to Nicaragua, and in 1870 to Colombia, Panama, and Jamaica. He continued to paint romantic works of tropical birds and lush foliage into his late career. (wikipedia)

Dreyse M1862 Needle Carbine

Manufactured in Sömmerda, German Empire c.1864.
15mm paper cartridges, bolt action.

One of the half a dozen models of needleguns in Dreyse’s successful military rifles series, they were capable of firing near to five times faster than any of the muzzle-loaders that equipped most armies at the time.
However the problem of sealing gas inside the weapon in bolt action rifles wouldn’t be ‘solved’ - with a rubber band, hence the quotation marks - until 1863 with the Mle 1866 rifle designed by French gunsmith A.A. Chassepot, and thus these Dreyse rifles were notoriously dangerous to aim, leading to many soldiers from various German states to only fire the gun from the hip, limiting its effectiveness. It was however a major step-up from Minié rifles in terms of firepower and marks with the Gatling gun one of the first step toward the change in battle tactics that would culminate in WW1.

Dreyse M1841 Needle Rifle

DBQ/FRQ First Aid (Precolonial to Imperialism)

Tomorrow, you will be taking the APUSH Advanced Placement Exam. Determining on what college you want to go to, at least a three is commonplace. I don’t know about you guys, but my biggest problem is going the length of an entire essay (for example if they want me to talk about Colonial Times through the Revolution, but they just write “1763-1781” I wouldn’t know what to write about). Furthermore, I’m going to list eras, what happening during them in chronological order and a very brief description of what they did. Keep in mind that many eras (such as the 1960’s) are important both in foreign policy and domestic affairs. I will divide them accordingly. The DBQ will not ask for specific years, but it’s better to have a general understanding of the era they are asking you about so you can throw in some “specific evidence” to get that 7-9 essay. This chart is also particularly helpful with the FRQ. Anyway, let’s begin.

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#5 Poland Vanishes From Maps For 123 Years
Photo: Allegory of the 1st partition of Poland, showing Catherine the Great of Russia (left), Joseph II of Austria and Frederick the Great of Prussia (right) quarrelling over their territorial seizures.

Each of the invaders (the Russian Empire, the Kingdom of Prussia and and the Habsburg Austrian Empire) implemented a policy of denationalising Polish citizens. A vast part of the intelligentsia went into political exile or resigned from public political activity. However, the idea of Poland as an independent state was not lost. Polish units were formed during the Napoleonic Wars, and clandestine Polish organisations started two major uprisings (both were unsuccessful) and tried joining the Spring of Nations in 1848 (again, unsuccessfully).

After the merciless strangulation of the last major insurrection – the January Uprising (1863 -1864) – Polish political activists turned back to grassroots work. Instead of trying to regain independence forcefully they started organising unofficial education centres that taught Polish language and history (the language was forbidden in some districts), watchfully fostered social reform, and continued advocating the ‘Polish case’ at the courts of the enemies of the invaders of Poland.

A Surprise Casualty At Chickamauga, 1863- “As the Confederates do not use women in war, this woman, wounded in battle, is returned to you.”

A woman who had served as a private soldier in the ranks was severely wounded and taken prisoner at Chickamauga

She fell in a charge made upon the Confederates; and as the troops immediately fell back she was left with the other wounded on the field, in the enemy’s lines. As she was dressed as the other soldiers were, her sex was not discovered till she was under a surgeon’s care in the hospital. She was wounded in the thigh. No bones were broken; but it was a deep, ugly flesh wound, as if torn by a fragment of a shell.

A day or two afterwards she was sent with a flag of truce into the Union lines.

The sum and substance of the official message sent with this woman was: “As the Confederates do not use women in war, this woman, wounded in battle, is returned to you.” There was great indignation in the regiment to which this woman belonged; and officers and men hastened to protest, that, although she had been with them for more than a year, not one in the regiment guessed that she was a woman. She stood the long, hard marches, did full duty on the picket-line and in camp, and had fought well in all the battles in which the regiment took part. She was in the hospital at Chattanooga for some time… .

Sketch-depicts a woman named Bridget Devens, who was known as “Michigan Bridget,” she carries the Union flag in the midst of fighting. (Not the unknown woman from Chickamauga)

The Women’s War, Wittenmyer, Annie, and Dr. L. P. Brockett-1862, 1863, ca 1864


Ikeda Nagaoki (池田 長発, August 23, 1837 – September 12, 1879), formally “Ikeda Chikugo no kami Nagaoki”, was the governor of small villages of Ibara, Bitchū Province (Okayama Prefecture), Japan, during the end of the Tokugawa shogunate.

He was, at 27, the head of the Second Japanese Embassy to Europe (Japanese:第2回遣欧使節), also called the Ikeda Mission, sent in 1863-1864 by the Tokugawa shogunate to negotiate the cancellation of the open-port status of Yokohama. The mission was sent following the 1863 “Order to expel barbarians” (攘夷実行の勅命) issued by Emperor Kōmei, and the Bombardment of Shimonoseki incidents, in a wish to close again the country to Western influence, and return to sakoku status. Nagaoki left with a mission of 36 men on a French warship, stopped in Shanghai, India and Cairo through the Suez canal. His mission visited the pyramids, a feat which Antonio Beato photographed at the time (last picture). He finally arrived in Marseille and then Paris, where he met with Napoleon III and with Philipp Franz von Siebold. He stayed at the Grand Hotel in Paris.

The request to close Japanese harbours to Westerners was doomed as Yokohama was the key springboard for Western activity in Japan. The mission was a total failure. Nagaoki however was very impressed with the advancement of French civilization, and became very active in promoting the dispatch of embassies and students abroad, once he had returned to Japan. He was finally put under house arrest by the Bakufu. Nagaoki brought many documents from France, related especially to physics, biology, manufacture, textiles and also fermentation technologies. He is considered as one of the fathers of the wine industry in Japan.


Favourite Artworks: (Series)

Martin Johnson Heade (1819-1904)

Heade travelled in Brazil from 1863 to 1864, where he painted an extensive series of small works, eventually numbering over forty, depicting hummingbirds. Inspired perhaps by the works of Charles Darwin and Frederic Edwin Church, Heade planned to produce a deluxe book in the 1860s depicting Brazilian hummingbirds in tropical settings, and, to that end, created a series of 40 small pictures called The Gems of Brazil. The book was never published due to financial difficulty and Heade’s concerns about the quality of the reproductions, however Heade retained his interest in hummingbirds and continued to paint them in combination with orchids and jungle backgrounds through the 1870s.

1) Passion Flowers with Hummingbirds

2) Two Fighting Hummingbirds with Two Orchids, 1875

3) Cattleya Orchid and Three Hummingbirds, 1871

4) Orchid with Two Hummingbirds, 1871


The Slocum Sliding Sleeve Revolver

In 1849 gunsmith named Rollin White produced the first bored through cylinder, which he patented in 1855. A year later White sold the patent to Smith & Wesson for a royalty of 25 cents for every revolver produced. The invention of the bored through cylinder was important because it allowed for the practical application of metallic self contained cartridges.  In 1857, Smith & Wesson began production of the Model 1, a .22 caliber rimfire pocket revolver featuring a bored through cylinder.  Afterwards, Smith & Wesson would produced a whole line of metallic cartridge revolvers, having a near total monopoly on the market due to ownership of the patent.

In order to compete, revolver manufacturers came up with a wide variety of designs to circumvent the patent.  The most common were front loading revolvers, where the user would insert a metallic cartridge into the front of each chamber.  Pretty much all of these front loading designs were very flawed.  One unique alternative design was by Frank Slocum, called the Slocum Sleeve Revolver. Manufactured by Brooklyn Arms Co. from 1863 - 1864, the Slocum Sliding Sleeve Revolver was a departure from front loading design. Each chamber on the cylinder had an individual sleeve that would slide forward opening the chamber and allowing the user to insert a cartridge from the side.  The revolver was chambered for a .32 caliber rimfire cartridge and had a five round clinder. It was produced in single action only. The Slocum Sliding Sleeve was much more reliable than front loading designs.  However, production of the revolver was expensive and time consuming due to its complex mechanism. It was often cheaper to simply buy a Smith & Wesson, or a tradition cap and ball revolver.  Thus the Slocum revolver saw little success. Around 10,000 were manufactured..