SWORD PRESENTED TO A MASSACHUSETTS OFFICER WOUNDED AT PETERSBURG

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Officer’s cavalry sabre inscribed between the top mount and throat, "Presented to /  Lt. J. Foster Pope / 14th Regt. Mass. Vols. / by / his late mess mates of / Co. A Mass. 13th / Apr 15th 1862".

On July 16, 1861 23 year old John Foster Pope enlisted as a Private in Co. A 13th Massachusetts Infantry at Fort Independence, Boston Harbor. He served with the 13th until discharged for promotion on April 8, 1862 as 2nd Lieutenant in Co. K 14th Massachusetts Volunteers (1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery). He was promoted to 1st Lieutenant on March 6, 1863 and transferred to Co. A. He was present with the 14th the entire time (10 days on leave in January 1864) until being wounded in action on June 18, 1864 in front of Petersburg, VA. His wound was from a Minie ball which entered his left thigh. He recovered from his wound, being promoted to Captain on December 5, 1864. He mustered out on July 31, 1865.  After the war, and for the remainder of his life, he suffered from the effects of his wound and exposure to malaria during his service. Following the war he lived in Philadelphia, and died there on July 3, 1900. He is buried in Arlington Cemetery in Drexel Hill, PA.

Sabre is an import by Horstmann & Bros. of Philadelphia and marked as such on the blade ricasso. Brass hilt with standard Cavalry guard. Grip is sharkskin covered and bound with twisted brass wire. Blade is etched with standard scroll, leaf designs with panoplies of flags, shield, etc. on both sides. Blade measures 32”. Steel scabbard with nice age patina.

Click here for information on the service of the the 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery (14th Mass. Infantry).

Accompanied by military & pension records from the National Archives.   [ss]

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