During the Civil War, the Confederacy was perpetually in serious need of armaments, as the South did not have the amount of industrial infrastructure that the North did. This led to many attempts at arms production by various entrepreneurs, of quite varied result. One of the more successful enterprises was the Robinson Arms Manufactory, founded in Richmond VA in December of 1862. Samuel Robinson was a transplanted Connecticut industrialist who proved himself capable and reliable for the CSA government with a series of contracts to convert flintlock muskets to percussion ignition. Probably because of this, it was he that the CSA’s Colonel Burton turned to to set up production of a copy of the Sharps carbine for Confederate cavalry use.
Robinson produced about 1900 of these carbines between December 1862 and March of 1863. His work was impressive enough that in March of 1863 the Confederate government decided to buy out his operation and make it into a government run arsenal. They continued to make Sharps carbines there until the end of the war, producing an additional 3500 or so. These later Confederate production guns have serial numbers between about 1900 and about 5500, along with unmarked lock plates - Robinson’s guns have his company name and the date 1862 marked on the lock plates, along with serial numbers up to about 1900.
Cool Forgotten Weapons merch! http://shop.bbtv.com/collections/forgotten-weapons