CAPON BRIDGE & close vicinity, was home to many of Hampshire County's early gunsmiths. As we have discussed in past blogs, we give much credit to the Northwestern Turnpike & Bloomery's iron production for fostering the gun making industry in that area. We have covered a few of these gun makers in previous blogs. Today we are going to share with you what little information we have on James Edward Nelson.
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James Edward Nelson came into this world on August 24,1830. James was the son of Lorenzo Nelson & Mary (Caudy) Nelson. James was the Great Great Grandson of James Caudy, early Hampshire County settler , Indian fighter and the famed legend of "Caudy's Castle".*
In the 1850 census James is listed as a "Farmer". In the 1870 & the 1880 census he is listed as "Gunsmith". From whom he learned the trade we do not know. However, it may have been one of the Rinehart Brothers, James or John W, most likely the latter. From earlier research we have found that Zebulon Sheetz influenced James Rinehart. James no doubt taught his younger brother John W the trade. We also know that Benjamin Shane, Nathaniel Oates & Michael Rannels ( all 3 became gunsmiths) lived in the same house as John W Rinehart in 1850. This indicates to us that John W did not mind sharing the knowledge and teaching the skills required to pursue the art of gun making.
The Image Above Is A Tracing of Furnishings From a Signed Nelson Rifle.
Searching Confederate records show us that James Edward Nelson was a Sergeant with the 41st & 23rd Virginia Cavalry. Fortunately he survived the war to return home to continue his trade.
THE 41ST VIRGINIA CAVALRY MERGED WITH THE
23RD VIRGINIA CAVALRY
SERVED IN BOTH
James died 1882 , you can find his grave marked by a monument stone in Parks Hollow Cemetery on a small hill, in the valley that lies between Schafenaker & Cooper Mountain.
About the rifle.
ENGRAVED IN SCRIPT ON TOP OF BARREL
J. E. N.
Click image for large view
An antique West Virginia/Virginia Rifle is a wonderful thing to hold and admire & let your mind go back to earlier times. But even better, is one that is signed, such as this rifle. The rifle is signed between the rear sight & the breech on the top flat of the octagon rifled barrel, in script J E N .
DOUBLE SPUR BRASS TRIGGER GUARD
PERCUSSION CAPBOX ON CHEEK SIDE
ENGRAVED BRASS SIDE PLATE
ACORN FINIAL ENGRAVED BRASS PATCHBOX
BRASS NOSE CAP
NICE ROMAN NOSE MAPLE STOCK
AS ALWAYS THIS BLOG IS A WORK IN PROGRESS & WE LEARN MORE EVERYDAY. IF YOU HAVE MORE INFORMATION ON JAMES EDWARD NELSON OR A PICTURE OF HIM OR HIS WORK & WOULD BE SO KIND TO SHARE IT WITH US, PLEASE CONTACT US, USING THE "CONTACT US" AT TOP OF PAGE.
SPECIAL THANKS TO THE OWNER OF THIS RIFLE WHO ALLOWED US TO POST PICTURES OF THIS RIFLE & SHARE IT WITH OTHERS. PLEASE DO NOT COPY PICTURES WITHOUT PERMISSION.