J. H. Dance and Brothers
This rare six-shot Confederate revolver was made in .36 and .44 calibers. Soon after the Civil War began, the Confederate government and individual states issued a call for firearms. As a result, a large variety of firearms—from flintlock rifles, pistols, and shotguns to current weaponry seized from federal properties—was used by Confederate soldiers at the beginning of the conflict. It became expedient for the South to begin manufacturing guns to keep their troops armed. Those organizations that did begin manufacturing arms largely used United States weapons as models, though this model is distinguishable by the lack of recoil shield protrusions on the frame. J. H. Dance and Brothers of Columbia, Texas, modeled their revolvers after the Colt Dragoon. The firm started manufacturing firearms in 1862. The men who worked for this company were granted exemption from military service by the state because the need for firearms was so great. In 1863 the workshop was moved farther inland due to fear that the Union gunboats would shell it, but operations apparently ceased following the move. Approximately 325 to 500 revolvers were manufactured by this firm.
Constitution Ave. between 12th and 14th Sts. NW Washington,District of Columbia 20560
Smithsonian National Museum of American History