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CIVIL WAR SWORDS AND OTHER

 



16-08-15 ...4th Mass Cavalry Presentation Sword ...Iron hilted US import saber by Clauberg of Solingen in the style of the British 1823 pattern with a backstrap, knucklebow and two outboard branches, and a small inboard loop on the counterguard. “W. Clauberg” over a standing knight, over “Solingen” on the ricasso. Blade is nice, with good edge and point, and with visible etched panels: a “US” amid floral scrolls on one side and an American eagle with an “E Pluribus Unum” ribband on the other side. Blade overall shows a dull silver mixed with bright. Nicely engraved in a flowing script on the scabbard beneath the throat is: “Presented/ Lieut. Benj. Thomas / 4th Mass. Cavl. By the Phoenix Club” The Phoenix Club was a social club in Hingham, Mass., formed first in 1849 that adopted that title in 1856. It was largely engaged in organizing sociable, fancy dress-balls and 4th of July parades. The 4th Mass Cavalry was organized in February, 1864, by combining a battalion of the 1st Mass Cavalry with two other battalions formed in February and April. The battalions operated largely on their own during the war. Company C was part of the 2nd Battalion commanded by Major Keith and was sent to Hilton Head, where it took part in an expedition up the Ashepoo River in May. Two of the companies were then sent to Florida, where they were active in a number of expeditions and skirmishes, as were the two that remained on Hilton Head. The regiment lost 4 officers and 28 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded in their engagements. Thomas was from Hingham, Mass. and enlisted 12/17/63 as a Second Lieutenant and was commissioned in Co. C on 1/6/64. On 2/1/64 he was promoted to First Lieutenant and Quartermaster, which indicates he had some education and talent for organization. At some point he was even promoted to Acting Assistant Quartermaster for the Tenth Army Corps. He served through 12/9/64 and after the war he was a member of G.A.R. Post 29 in Waltham, Mass. He supplied a memoir of his service to the town’s history its service in the Civil War: In November, 1863, Mr. Thomas received an appointment as recruiting-officer; and, in the following December, was commissioned second lieutenant. Located at the time in Boston, he continued the work of enlistment; and, being quite successful, was commissioned Jan. 1, 1864, as first lieutenant, and assigned to the Fourth Mass. Cavalry as quartermaster. In April, 1864, with the regiment, was ordered to report to Gen. Gilmore, then in command of the Department of the South, with headquarters at Hilton Head, and three days after again embarked under orders to report at Fortress Monroe. His next destination was City Point, for the purpose of co-operating, under Gen. Butler, with all the armies of Virginia, in the "on to Richmond" movement of that year. Being the advance guard to City Point, the duties were numerous and the labor severe. Mr. Thomas, as quartermaster, was required to be constantly on the move. Besides being responsible for the supply of rations for men and horses, and other material for the general prosecution of the war, a further duty was imposed as "ordnance officer," by appointment of the colonel commanding. Soon after there came an acceptable change, in being detailed as A. A. Q. M. of the Tenth Army Corps, under Gen. Terry. Here he continued his labors until, by order of Gen. Butler, the corps was disintegrated, and united with others. Following this movement, Quartermaster Thomas, with other staff officers, was ordered to report to Gen. Weitzel, who had just been placed in command of the Twenty-fifth Corps, composed of twenty-five thousand colored troops. Some disaffection was created with respect to the classing of white troops with colored; but good feelings had the ascendency, and better judgment prevailed. Mr. Thomas affirms, that, during his entire experience, he found neither better nor braver men. In November and December of 1864, he aided in fitting out the noted Fort Fisher expedition under Gen. Butler, the result of which is well known. At the close of the year, he resigned his situation on account of repeated domestic affliction. Mr. Thomas retired from the service, having acceptably performed his multiplied and often perplexing duties. This is a nicely engraved presentation sword carried by an officer in a post that did not carry a lot of glory but immense responsibility. Inscribed cavalry officer’s sabers to cavalry officers are pretty darn scarce. $2,950.00

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16-09-02 UNION OFFICER'S SWORD MODIFIED FOR ONE ARMED MAN? When I first found this it baffled me. The owner thought it was a left handed man's sword. I pondered on it and realized it was an import officer's sword with the steel three branch basket guard removed during the period. Condition is overall good to VG. Blade is nicely etched with US and patriotic motifs. Shagreen grip wrap is worn but good. Twisted wire binding is fine. Scabbard is solid and has a medium age patina. The most logical reason to remove the 3-branch guard (which is on the right side) would be to facilitate wearing the sword on the soldiers right side. It would prevent the guard from digging into ones hip. And the logical reason for wearing a sword on the right would be if the wearer had no right arm and needed to draw his blade with his left hand. . It is just a guess... but I think a good one. Neat CW sword.... $695.00

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12-10-24 - Rare Pattern Staff or Infantry Militia Officer’s Sword Ca. 1830’s: Noted sword authority Harold Peterson recognized this pattern as interesting and unusual when he first wrote his book The American Sword over half a century ago. The photos can give you a better description than my written attempt, but I will fill in the technical notes. This sword can be considered quite scarce with only a few specimens coming on the market each year. This has a richly etched 30 inch straight, double edged, blade with beautiful floral sprays, military motifs, US eagle, E Pluribus Unum, Warranted, etc... acid etched into both sides of the blade. The etching is extremely well done... every bit as good as Ames. The blade is unsigned. The pommel, guard, languets, and scabbard are all finely decorated polished steel that was once likely silver plated. The metal color now is a most appealing, shiny black about like tarnished silver. The condition is excellent save for a tiny chip in one side of the grip where it meets the pommel. The languets are shell shaped, and the finials on each end of the cross guard are acorn motifs. Very handsome and very solid. $975.00

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#068 - Presentation Engraved War Date 1860 Staff Officer’s Sword Presented to Surgeon: - This is the 1860 staff officers sword which is virtually impossible to find made pre 1865, a true rarity in military collectibles. This sword is etched with the US coat of arms, military trophies, and floral designs. The knuckle-bow has floral scrolls and thunderbolts, and the guard has an eagle and arms on one side, with the opposite hinged clam shell guard bearing a beautiful engraved inscription which reads “ Dr. Carr/from/Capt. Craig”. This sword is missing the small ball, which helps keep the counter-guard either open or closed, but other than that is complete. I had helper Tom install a cosmetic “ball” for display purposes. The condition is “very good” The brass mounted steel scabbard is likewise “VG” showing just the right amount of age. The patina on the brass is rich, deep, undisturbed, and beautiful... the way you wish all your antique brass looked. As for our good Dr. and his friend Capt. Craig, I have found a handful of surgeons named Carr and a few Union Army captains named Craig. None of the possibles served in the same unit, so we will surmise that their relationship was professional with the gifted sword possibly for medical services rendered. I will leave the research project of determining which Dr. Carr and which Capt. Craig have the “doctor - patient” relationship. I am certain the relationship can be discovered but am equally certain that it will take a lot of hours of detective work to find it, hours that I do not have to spare at this end. ...An extremely scarce sword with a compelling and tantalizing inscription begging for research... a very fair deal at $1995.00

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#120 - Presentation 38th Pennsylvania Officer’s Sword – SHOT IN THE LEG (by himself): Ames Foot Officer’s Sword w/ great presentation - Engraved on the top mount “Presented to / Lieut J. Wills / by / Stephen Mercer / Andrew N Kennedy / and others / June 1861”. This is John Wills 38th PVI. The sword itself is in very good condition save for a few nicks in the blade. The scabbard has lots of weak spots and bends, but is not broken through. The grip is VG+ with the original twisted wire wrap. The brass guard has a slight bend in it near the quillon. The blade is signed with the scroll style Ames marking, and the scabbard is marked on the throat “AMES MFG. CO. CHICOPEE MASS”. The brass mounts have a smooth light patina and are in VG shape, the drag is slightly dented, but nothing too serious. Mills served from May 1861 through August 1862. During the period the 38th PVI saw battle at Dranesville, VA, Mechanicsville, Gaines Mill, and Glendale. He accidently shot himself in the leg in the fall of ’61. An interesting Civil War presentation sword that is very affordable. $2,450.00 SOLD

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#175 - Exquisitely Engraved Presentation Foot Officer’s Sword – One of the prettiest and lengthy inscriptions I have seen. On the throat mount, “David T Johnson / of / Ansonia Conn / Captain Co. F. 23rd Regt.” and on the middle mount … “US Service / Nov. 14 1862 to Aug. 31 1863” This sword has a superb, nearly new 30 1/2 inch blade, a Very Good guard, with a small bend, original wire, and good leather. The scabbard has the engraved presentation on the two brass ring mounts and we have repaired the leather about 3 inches from the drag where the leather had separated. There are pleasing flourishes and adornments with the engraving that really set this apart from most other presentation work we see. Captain Johnson and his men in Company F under command of Major Miller were held in New York until December 30th 1862, when they embarked on the ship “Planter” for the south. It was wrecked January 14, 1863, on Stranger’s Key, Bahama Islands. After obtaining assistance from Nassau, this detachment finally arrived at New Orleans March 4th 1863. They saw action at La Fourche Crossing, Brashear City, and Bayou Boeuf, La. taking numerous battle casualties. Their service in the defenses of New Orleans was noble and effective and this is a truly wonderful and attractive Civil War combat officer’s sword. You will be well pleased at $3,250.00

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PREVIOUSLY SOLD CIVIL WAR SWORDS AND OTHER

#177 - Model 1860 Naval Cutlass w/ scabbard - This regulation cutlass has the proper slightly curved 26” blade that is marked with an “1861” date on one side, and a scroll style Ames Mfg. mark on the other. The blade is a smokey grey and has a couple really minor nicks towards the tip but is in VG condition overall. The brass basket guard has minor handling dents but nothing detrimental. It is stamped with “No 67” as an identification mark. All of the brass is bright with a few minor areas of green patina forming. The leather grip is fine just showing some expected wear and light loss of leather. It has no twisted wire wrap which is proper as the wire was removed later by USN directive as the brass in contact with leather in salt air caused too much verdigris to form.. The leather scabbard is likewise VG and the early style with rivets along the entire length of the back seam. Also present is the original buff frog showing considerable age. The scabbard has had a couple repairs to strengthen up two weak spots, and a reinforcing drag was long ago fashioned out of leather A great early 1861 dated cutlass… $1175.00 ... SOLD

#178 – Fine Ames Model 1840 Light Artillery Saber - The 32 inch blade is in Fine condition and is smooth with no nicks or pitting. The scabbard is likewise in fine condition with a few minor nicks and some age staining. The drag is stamped with an “H”. . The ricasso is marked “AMES MFG / CHICOPEE / MASS” on one side and “U.S. / ADK / 1863?’ “ It is either an 1863 or ‘62 but I’ll leave that to you to decide as my eyes aren’t what they once were. The brass guard and pommel show only honest handling age. The quillon has “51” stamped into it. The leather grip rates a 7 on a scale of 1 to 10. This fresh piece is a fine deal at $995.00 ... SOLD

#207 - Model 1850 Foot Officers’ Sword – The standard edged weapon for infantry lieutenants and captains serving on the line, and this one having prettier brass mounts than most. Has 30 3/4 inch blade, etched on both sides with US and Military design motifs. The blade is VG+ condition w/ steel grey patina. The guard, pommel and scabbard mounts all have a matching deep bronze patina mixed with yellow color on the high spots. The ray skin grip is VG+ and complete with a triple twisted wire wrap. The leather scabbard is solid and strong, and fits the blade perfectly. The brass mounts have nicely decorated engravings of federal shield, eagle, leaves, etc… much better than most we see. The condition is really nice with the only slight defect being a small seam separation in the scabbard near the drag. This is inconsequential. You can hold the scabbard horizontally and it will not bend. A very handsome example, better decorated than most combat officer’s swords, and very solid. A good deal at $1250.00 ... SOLD