Abraham Lincoln could not overstate Kentucky’s importance to winning the Civil War. Thankfully, he had a powerful and like-minded colleague there in John J. Crittenden. Crittenden, then serving as a U.S. Representative for the state, worked hard to support the Unionist cause.
Lincoln presented this Burnside carbine to Crittenden just weeks after the Congressman’s son, then a Confederate major general, suffered at defeat at the Battle of Mills Springs. As much a gift of consolation as a symbol of Lincoln’s continued faith in Crittenden, this rare Second Model Burnside symbolizes the partnership between two men critical to navigating the Union through the Civil War.
It is the only known, documented Lincoln presentation firearm in private hands.
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