Spencer Civil War Rifle EVP Reading

Civil War Rifle EVP

Spencer Civil War Rifle

Spencer Civil War Rifle EVP Reading

This investigation focused on a rare Spencer Civil war rifle that I was asked to investigate psychically. I decided on an EVP session to attempt to elicit information from the Other Side regarding the weapon.

This was the first time I had ever done a “home evp session” with an express purpose of contacting the Other Side to get information from them about an object.  A civil war rifle EVP was something new for me. Most of my work had been with EVPs on conventional investigations.

The Spencer Rifle (Wikipedia):

The Spencer repeating rifles and carbines were early American lever-action firearms invented by Christopher Spencer. The Spencer was the world’s first military metallic-cartridge repeating rifle, and over 200,000 examples were manufactured in the United States by the Spencer Repeating Rifle Co. and Burnside Rifle Co. between 1860 and 1869. The Spencer repeating rifle was adopted by the Union Army, especially by the cavalry, during the American Civil War but did not replace the standard issue muzzle-loading rifled muskets in use at the time. Among the early users was George Armstrong Custer. The Spencer carbine was a shorter and lighter version designed for the cavalry.

The Spencer repeating rifle was first adopted by the United States Navy, and later by the United States Army, and it was used during the American Civil War, where it was a popular weapon. The Confederates occasionally captured some of these weapons and ammunition, but, as they were unable to manufacture the cartridges because of their dire copper shortage, their utilization of the weapons was limited.

Notable early instances of use included the Battle of Hoover’s Gap (where Colonel John T. Wilder’s “Lightning Brigade” of mounted infantry effectively demonstrated the firepower of repeaters), and the Gettysburg Campaign, where two regiments of the Michigan Brigade (under Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer) carried them at the Battle of Hanover and at East Cavalry Field. As the war progressed, Spencers were carried by a number of Union cavalry and mounted infantry regiments and provided the Union army with a firepower advantage over their Confederate opponents. At the Battle of Nashville, 9,000 mounted infantrymen armed with the Spencer, under the command of Maj. Gen. James H. Wilson, chief of cavalry for the Military Division of the Mississippi, rode around Gen. Hood’s left flank and attacked from the rear. President Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth was also armed with a Spencer carbine at the time he was captured and killed. “

Learn more about the Spencer Rifle in this video

A friend of mine at work had lent me the rifle, curious if an EVP session could elicit any information about it’s past. I was not certain I could get much information from the weapon, but as I do well with psychometry (reading objects by holding them), I decided to give it a go.

There are three marks on the rifle I read, indicating potential kills made by the rifle. It was definitely battle-used and had a real history.

So, I found myself at home with a EVP recorder on, feeling a little foolish while I asked questions about the rifle’s history, who owned it and where it came from. I turned on the recorder and set to work.

In all seriousness, I had doubts that it would work. I persisted with recording questions about the rifle’s history and ultimately was rewarded with a single word answer.

Click to play the EVP audio that was captured in this recording


What I managed to record was the word “Averett” or “Everett”. It turns out “Averett” is the German root of the name “Everett” and is a common name in the Southern states. We believe that this was the name of one of the owners of this rifle.

There existed a Confederate battalion from Virginia named “Averett’s Battalion, Virginia Reserves” which is a surprising find, given that the rifle was from the Union side. In retrospect, this doesn’t make much sense given the origins of the rifle as a Union invention. Ammunition for the Spencer Rifle was specialized and the North had a lot more of the resources to support the rifle than the Confederate Army had.

My instincts tilt towards an “Everett” being the one who carried this rifle on the side of the Union.

My 3’rd Great Grandfather, Henry George Bailly

Perhaps the EVP pronouncement really meant “Everett”. If so, then this could be the Union Army Civil War hero Everett W. Anderson who single handedly captured Confederate Brig. Gen. Robert B. Vance during a charge upon the enemy position. For his efforts,  Sergeant Everett was awarded the Medal of Honor in the late 19th century.

A final note. My 3rd Great Grandfather, Henry G. Bailly of the Minnesota 5th Regiment, Company D was commanding Company F when he was mortally wounded at the Battle of Nashville on December 15/16, 1864.

This battle report by WM. B. GERE, Lieutenant Colonel, Commanding Fifth Regiment Minnesota Vet. Vol. Infantry and Lieutenant T. P. GERE, Acting Assistant Adjutant-General was filed in which my grandfather’s wounding was mentioned:

In this charge the loss in my regiment was quite severe, as we were exposed to an enfilading fire of musketry and artillery on our right flank, as well as the direct fire in front. First Lieutenant Henry G. Bailly, commanding Company K, was severely and probably mortally wounded, and several non-commissioned officers and privates were killed and wounded. We pursued the enemy nearly or quite a mile, when our line was again halted, and, in obedience to orders, I bivouacked my regiment in rear of the Second Iowa Battery, it being then quite dark. During the night I constructed rifle-pits in front of my regiment and the battery, all being quiet in our front except occasional firing by the pickets.”

Is it possible my own grandfather was carrying a Spencer? Or commanding infantry who carried this amazing piece of technology? It is certainly possible. He would most certainly have had more than a passing knowledge of the rifle’s capabilities as Union officer.

There remains a bitter argument to this day as to why he was commanding Company K the day he was shot. My family said he was considered an acting Captain at the time and thus was a “Brevit Captain” at the time of his wounding. Perhaps the Company K Captain was wounded and the leadership pressed Lt. Bailly into service. This would explain why he was pressed into commanding a company he was not usually in. He later died of his injuries on January 7, 1865. His body is reported to have never made it home, but a stone was erected in his honor near his home in Hastings, Minnesota.

My Grandfather’s marker in Bellwood Cemetery at Marshan Township, Minnesota.

Could this same rifle I read in 2008 have been at the Battle of Nashville? It certainly is a possibility. All I can say is that is was an honor to record the EVP. No matter if the rifle was there or not, it is a connection to my Grandfather and it just made me feel closer to his experiences and history.

Rest In Peace to all who fought in that terrible war. And thank you to the Other Side for the wonderful EVP.