The gun that fired the first shot at the Battle of Bunker Hill is heading for sale Morphy Auctions in Denver later this month.
The Revolutionary War musket belonged to John Simpson, a Private in the 1st New Hampshire Regiment who fought during the historic battle in Charlestown, Massachusetts on June 17, 1775.
As the British troops advanced, Simpson fired his weapon prematurely â€“ disobeying the famous order given to American soldiers not to fire â€œuntil you see the white of their eyesâ€.
Having been passed down by Simpsonâ€™s descendents for almost 250 years, the historic weapon will now be offered for sale for the first time, and is expected to sell for up to $300,000. …
Following the battle, John Simpson was the only American soldier court martialed for disobeying an order and firing too early.
However, he was only lightly reprimanded and went on to serve with distinction during the war, rising to the rank of Major before returning home to his family farm in New Hampshire.
His trusty musket was then passed down through generations of his family, creating a remarkable unbroken line of ownership, and has been described as â€œarguably the most significant, positively identified Revolutionary War long arm in existenceâ€.
Not only is John Simpsonâ€™s name forever linked with the Battle of Bunker Hill, but his descendents played an even greater role in shaping the history of the nation.
Simpsonâ€™s grandson was Ulysses S. Grant, the Civil War hero and 18th President of the United States; and his great-grandson was Meriwether Lewis, who explored the Western territories of the country as part of the famous Lewis and Clark Expedition.
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