What is arguably one of the most important American guns known in existence is about to go up for auction. When it does, the Revolutionary War musket, the Bunker Hill gun, will likely command a massive price. As this gun likely fired the first shot of one of America’s most famous battles. As such, some say it will command a price of up to $300,000, according to news.justcollecting.com.
Bunker Hill Gun Heads to Auction
The gun itself is a Dutch Type II musket, according to Morphy Auctions. Thousands of this type were shipped to the Colonies before and during the Revolutionary War. However, it’s not the rifle so much that makes this gun valuable, it’s the provenance behind it.
The Bunker Hill gun up for auction is regarded as the rifle that fired the first shot in one of America’s most famous battles. Private John Simpson, 1st New Hampshire Regiment, fought at Bunker Hill. Though his unit received the most famous of orders to not shoot “until you see the white of their eyes,” Simpson reportedly fired early.
Simpson later faced a court marital for his failure to obey that command. A light reprimand, Simpson would go on to serve with distinction, eventually earning the rank of major, according to news.justcollecting.com. However, that court martial, along with the rifle’s constant presence – nearly 250 years – in the Simpson family, tell the full story and provide complete provenance for the rifle. And now, incredibly, the musket heads to auction, where it will likely command big money.
To give the musket even more significance, Simpson leaves an even larger legacy. His grandson, Civil War general and President Ulysses S. Grant, and great-grandson, Meriwether Clark, of the the Lewis & Clark Expedition, left indelible marks upon America. So in a sense, this musket helped ensure the existence of the man who won the Civil War, of a President of the United States, and of a man who charted an unknown American West.
“We have the privilege of auctioning a firearm that symbolizes one of the most important battles leading to American independence,” said Dany Morphy, President of Morphy Auctions.
The musket comes with a bayonet, commission paper and other accoutrements. Featuring a .79 caliber bore, the musket sports a 40 3/8-inch barrel. The minimum bid of $50,000 has already been met. The auction runs through Oct. 22. See full details at auctions.morphyacutions.com.