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    LOT 1216
Historic Documented H.E. Dimick St. Louis Percussion Schuetzen Rifle with Inscribed Silver Medallion Presented at the Highland, Illinois Schuetzenfest on 4th of July Weekend 1863 at the Turning Point of
the Civil War - NSN, 44 cal., 31 1/2 inch octagon bbl., blue/casehardened finish, walnut stock. This rifle was given by German residents from the village of St. Jacob, Illinois, to the Swiss-German marksmen of the nearby town of Highland, Illinois, on the weekend of the Fourth of July in 1863 during Highland’s schuetzenfest and was almost certainly given as a prize to a marksman during the event. The inscribed medallion on the right side of the butt is inscribed “Die Deutschen in St. Jacob./zum/Freishieszen in Highland, Ills./am/4ten und 5ten July 1863.” (From the Germans in St. Jacob to the Free Shooters in Highland, IL on the 4th and 5th of July 1863.) and is pictured on page 36 of the included copy of “Missouri Gunsmith to 1900” by Victor A. Paul. A silver shooting prize cup from the event with the same inscription is also known. The
Helvetica Sharpshooters (Helvetica was the original name of Highland and is the national personification of Switzerland) were formed in 1853 and, according
to The Decatur Daily Review on November 1, 1936, were “the first gun club organized in America for the purpose of competitive target shooting.” The
first Great American Schuetzenbund (shooting organization/league) at Highland, Illinois, was formed in 1863 and included teams from seven states.
The Fourth of July in 1863 is often considered the turning point in the Civil War thanks to Union victories at Vicksburg and Gettysburg. Pickett’s
Charge on July 3, 1863, is generally considered the “high-water mark of the Confederacy,” and thereafter the Confederates were on their heels.
Citizens back home throughout the Union would have been celebrating Independence Day and the recent Union victories, but they would
have also been mourning the tremendous loss of life at Gettysburg. Around 267 men from Highland and the surrounding area served
in the 117th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, primarily Company G, during the Civil War. The 117th served in the Red River Campaign and at
Pleasant Hill, Nashville, and Ft. Blakely and fought in 6 battles and 33 skirmishes. The rifle was manufactured by Horace E. Dimick of St.
Louis, a competitor of the Hawken brothers, around 30 miles to the west of St. Jacob and Highland. Dimick was well-known for his target
rifles, 150 of which were among the rifles supplied by Dimick to Birge’s Western Sharpshooters during the Civil War. The rifle has a turned
down muzzle for use with a starter, globe front sight, adjustable notch rear sight, tang peep sight, double set triggers “H.E. DIMICK ST.
LOUIS” on top of the barrel, unmarked lock, mostly iron furniture including the Swiss style buttplate, German silver wedge plates, the
noted silver inscription plate, and a checkered walnut half-stock with pewter nosecap and a large cheek rest. A bracket for attaching a palm
rest (not included) is fitted between the lock and rear barrel wedge.
CONDITION: Fine with mostly an even brown blend of fading original finish and brown patina on the metal surfaces, some light oxidation and
marks, crisp markings, and aged patina in the silver. The stock is very good with minor surface scratches and dings, slight chip by the bolster,
small tension crack on the left flat, distinct checkering, and minor storage wear. The set triggers can be a little finicky, but it is otherwise mechanically
excellent. This is a very rare Dimick rifle presented during the celebrations of the Fourth of July in 1863 at the turning point of the Civil War.
Estimate: 8,500 - 14,000

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