~ By T. Logan Metesh
Original, engraved Henry Model 1860 rifles are examples of exquisite craftsmanship. Not surprisingly, this makes them hard to come by. Oftentimes, they were often reserved for important people: President Abraham Lincoln, Secretaries of War Simon Cameron and Edwin Stanton, and Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles were all presented Henry rifles. (Interestingly, Lincoln and Welles received serial numbers 6 and 9, respectively. Cameron received serial number 119. Stanton received the coveted serial number 1.)
Inventor Benjamin Tyler Henry spared no expense on the rifles he presented to the four men listed above. Hand engraved and plated in gold or silver, they were fitted with fancy wood stocks made of black walnut, rosewood, or a premium selection of American walnut.