RETAINED COPY OF AN IMPORTANT, WAR-DATE COLT'S PATENT FIRE ARMS MANUFACTURING CO. LETTER REGARDING THE SUPPLY OF GUNS ALREADY PURCHASED BY THE UNION Autograph Letter Signed on illustrated Colt's Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co. letterhead. Three pages, 8 ¼" x 10 ½". Hartford Connecticut. September 6, 1861. The letter reads, in part: "…Our letter of 27 ult. advises you that we positively sold to the U.S. Government, although[sic] at cost, the 2000 short & 10,000 long Enfield Rifles, which you Contracted for. Our agreement as stated to you is to deliver 1000 per week. Consequently you see the necessity of sending them forward without delay …we observe you had notified the Birmingham Small Arms Trade that as they were not up to time you should annul the Contracts. Col Colt wishes us to express his deep regret at this course, which may prove of serious inconvenience in replacing the arms, for you will see at a glance the absolute necessity of having the Rifles to fill our contract with our Government here, & he says you must on no account cancel the contract but on the contrary hold the parties responsible if they are not up to time - If however you have so far compromised yourself that the balance of these rifles have stepped through your fingers, you must at once replace them by Hook or by Crook & send them forward as fast as possible to enable us to fulfill our engagement with this government … it is as you can readily see a very serious affair & may get the Colonel into difficulties which no amount of money can remedy. The Colonel will be glad if you succeed in getting rid of the Liege contracts for rifle barrels, but wishes to hold on to all the English ones that come up in length to the Springfield Government rifled musket standard …You will of course not make any new contracts for gun barrels with any parties whatever. The Colonel would also be glad to have you dispose of part of the flasks contracted for if it can be done without loss…" Very Fine.