1860 Letter To Missouri Governor Concerning Invented Breechloader


Inventers Gallager and Gladding’s of Savannah, Georgia letter offering their breechloading rifle to the “Slave Holding States dated Jan. 1860.  Concerning a ultra rare weapon.

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1860 Letter To Missouri Governor  Robert M. Stewart, concerning Georgia breechloading rifle, from the inventors, J. Gallager & W.H. Gladding.

“Savannah January 31st -1860,

Dear Sir,

“Georgia” thro’ her indefatigable citizens M. J. Gallager & W.H. Gladding, Present To The Slave Holding States only, for their adoption, a Georgia invented Breechloading Rifle surpassing in Point of Simplicity, efficiency & Durability …….It is our Maiden effort, well Matured, and much admired by the “Connoisseurs” of this Neighbourhood, As Juvenile inventors we Challenge competition – We look for encouragement alone from the Slave Holding States.  Enclosed please find a copy of Report on Trial of the Gun recently had at Charleston, So. Carolina –

Please Publish report in your gazette – and lend us your Kind feelings, and patronage, if Satisfied we have The Fire arm desired by your Noble State –

I am Dear Sir

with respect

Your Obt St,

Jno. D. Delaney, agt.”


On July 12, 1859, Mahlon J. Gallager and William H. Gladding, both of Savannah, Georgia, were issued patent number 24,730 on their improvement in breech-loading firearms. They stated their cartridge case could be made of wood, paper or metal.  The cartridge was also intended to be reloadable and accepted the Minié bullets which were commonly available.

The letter above suggests their strong desire to sell their rifle to the Southern states, seeing the coming troubles between the North and South.  I have not been able to find any record of purchases from Southern, (soon to be Confederate States). An improvement was made on their rifle, in produced by a Casper D. Schubarth of Philadelphia a few years after the initial Gallager patent.

Gallager would eventually use his patent and produce a carbine for the U.S. Government, of about 18,000 made, and manufactured by a Philadelphia company – Richardson & Overman.  Below is the progression of this weapon, the original Gallager and Schubarth guns are extremely rare as well as their self primed cartridges.

The docket refers to the rifle offered to the Governor of Missouri as a Maynard.

The letter is very good condition.

   The .58 Gallager & Gladding


                                                       The .58 Schubarth.

Schubarth's Breech-Loading Rifle

The .58 Schubarth was patented and made in 1861, by Casper D. Schubarth who was from Providence,


The Gallager Carbine, Produced in Philadelphia by Richardson & Overman.

Breechldrs - Gallagher Carbine Acquired | Small Arms ...


The Gallager carbine was produced in Philadelphia, PA, but designed by Savannah, GA-born Mahlon J. Gallager. Difficulty in removing the cartridge case made it rather unpopular, but 18,000 were produced and issued during the Civil War. Caliber .50.






Additional information

Weight .75 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 9 × 1 in