Gen. Washington's saddle pistols

guns george washington pistols

The newly-created U.S. Army did not have standard-issue pistols during the American Revolutionary War. Officers, including General George Washington, had to supply their own. Washington carried a pair of flintlock saddle pistols that were given to him by his French friend and ally, Marquis de Lafayette. Flintlocks are hard to reload, and when you only have one shot, two guns are better than one. Washington carried the pistols throughout the Revolution and kept them through his presidency until his death. The guns were later given to Andrew Jackson, who eventually bequeathed them back to the Lafayette family. They have changed many hands since.

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First published December 8, 2014: 3:07 PM ET

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