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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently obtained a Colt Authentication Letter for my 1922 vintage Army Special that indicates it was sold to Stauffer Eshleman & Company of New Orleans. I am would like to obtain information about that business and wonder if any readers of the Firearms Forum can tell me anything about it.
 

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Benjamin Franklin Eshleman was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on March 9, 1830. At age twenty he moved to the South to partake in the prosperous hardware business in New Orleans. He joined the Washington Artillery in 1857 as a private. He was promoted to lieutenant when the company was enlarged to a battalion and captain prior to leaving the city for Virginia in 1861. He commanded the first artillery duel of the Civil War at Blackburn’s Ford and the signal fire to start the Confederate cannonade prior to Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg.
He took part in all of the battles in which the Washington Artillery of the Army of Northern Virginia participated and continued to advance in rank until he assumed the position of Major of Artillery under Longstreet’s Corps on March 26, 1862.
His wartime talents did not go unnoticed. Confederate General John D. Imboden called him “one of the best artillery officers in the Army,” and General Robert E. Lee personally recommended him for his final promotion to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel on February of 1864. Eshleman took command of the battalion after Walton's resignation until the return of William Miller Owen from special assignment. He surrendered with the battalion at Appomattox Courthouse on April 9, 1865.
After the war he returned to the mercantile business and became a partner in the established firm of Stark, Stauffer & Co., which became Stauffer, Eshleman & Co. in 1885. He postwar activities included presidency of the Washington Artillery Veteran Association.
“We thought we were doing our duty. It may have been an illusion, but nothing could have carried us through our work if our hearts and consciences had not been where we at least though they ought to be."

http://pieceofneworleans.com/wordpress/?p=71
 
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How about some pictures of your historical weapon?????
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the information about Eshleman. My Colt letter says my gun, an Army Special in .32-20 cal., was sold to Stauffer Eshleman along with 4 other revolvers of the same model and caliber. But, It says that they had a blued finish, and mine is now nickel plated. I wrote back to Colt and asked if they could tell if the gun had been sent to them for the plating work but they never answered the letter. Maybe they want another $75!

It sounds like Stauffer Eshleman was a hardware store that sold guns, It is no longer in business. I wrote to the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce about it, but, like Colt, they never replied.

I thought it might be an interesting project to try to trace the life of the gun from the day it left the factory until I bought it, both because the dents and dings indicate it has had a rough life, and I thought it might be the basis for a magazine article. Alas, there is no information on the front end in New Orleans. The gun shop where I bought it has changed hands and the new owners had no interest in helping me work backwards.

I did discover that some jazz musicians and their girlfriends in the 1930's carried .32 caliber revolvers because they were easy to conceal. And, some guitar players used a brass-backed instrument because they thought it would stop a .32 caliber bullet if their girlfriends shot at them. There is even a song called "The '32-20 Blues," recorded by Robert Parker in Fort Worth Texas in 1931. Maybe my gun went down that road.

I'm attempting to attach a photo. Hope it works
 

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Very nice looking piece, thanks and good luck trying to find more information.
 
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Googled around a little and found a reference to Stauffer Eshleman in a 1980 lawsuit (apparently their delivery van driver hit someone), so they did last a long time.

Nola.com is a website run by the New Orleans paper and has some message board capability. Try going on there, some of the older folks will surely remember the history of a hardware company that lasted 100 years or more.
 

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There are too many reasons to go into here, but I think I can rule out that finish (which looks chrome to me, not nickel) as being factory. Save your money.

Jim
 

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I realize that this thread is quite old, but I ran across it because I had the same experience with my letter from Colt (received today) regarding my 1923 32.20 SAA. They also listed it as blue, and it is most definitely not blue. From the original poster's experience, I guess it won't bear much fruit to email Colt as I'd intended to ask them about the discrepancy in the finish. Fairly disappointed in the letter, and the only thing it told me that I didn't already know is that it was ordered from Stauffer Eshleman Company in 1924 and was one of two Colts in that order.

Here is the pic. My father made the grips because the original wood grips had disintegrated.
255460
 

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Because this thread is OLD and none of the people who participated in it has been here in years PLEASE start a new thread.
 
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