MODEL 1860 CAVALRY SABER AND PORTRAIT ID’D TO 15TH PENNSYLVANIA CAVALRY MEDAL OF HONOR WINNER

$8,500.00

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Item Code: 945-352

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This small group of items is identified to 1st Lieutenant Anthony A. Taylor of Company a, 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry who received the Medal of Honor for actions at Chickamauga.

The first item in the group is a well-used enlisted man’s Model 1860 cavalry saber and scabbard. The drawn saber meas. approx. 39.00 inches from point to pommel. The blade is bright but does have moderate scattered mottling throughout. Blade meas. approx. 32.75 inches long with a 26.75 inch stopped central fuller and a faint 18.00 inch narrow fuller. Obverse ricasso is stamped “1861” otherwise both ricassos are blank. The edge has several nicks visible along its length. Up against the guard at the base of the ricasso is a complete white buff leather washer.

Hilt is tight with a domed pommel cap and an unbent brass two-branch guard and knucklebow. Brass surfaces are on the dark side with a nice untouched patina. The center-swell wood grip is missing the leather but the twisted gold wire is present and in good complete condition. Wood grip has the usual separation on one side.

Iron scabbard has an overall dark appearance and there are several small dents from use scattered here and there. Throat is present but missing its set screw. Both mounts and rings are present but the drag is missing exposing about 1/8 inch of the point when the saber is sheathed.

This was no doubt Lieutenant Taylor’s everyday work saber as it has none of the embellishments found on an officer’s saber or a presented blade held for special occasions.

Also with the saber is a wonderful framed oil on canvas portrait of Taylor in uniform. Portrait is unsigned and not dated. Taylor is shown in the uniform of a Captain in the Union Army wearing a forage cap with cavalry insignia and holding a plain unembellished cavalry saber that may very well be the sword offered here.

The portrait is housed in its original gilt and wood frame and meas. approx. 16.50 x 19.50 inches and is 2.25 inches deep. The edges of the frame have a raised plaster decoration painted with gold gilt paint. The upper right corner has a small chip but otherwise the rest is excellent. Attached to the frame below the image is a small plaque that reads “LIEUTENANT A. TAYLOR.” The reverse has a label from the Philadelphia auction house which originally sold the saber and painting.

Also in the group is a pre-printed pass filled out in period ink that reads

“NO. 20516     HEAD-QUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE CUMBERLAND.

PROVOST MARSHALGENERAL’S OFFICE CHATTA JULY 4TH 1864

PASS LT. A. TAYLOR 15TH PA. CAVY TO (????) AND THROUGH LINES AT WILL.

BY COMMAND OF MAJ. GEN. GEO. H. THOMAS: H.B. ADAMS, PROVOST MARSHAL GENERAL.

GOOD FOR THIRTY DAYS (30) CAPT. A (??)

The pass is in good condition with one vertical fold line. It meas. approx. 6.00 x 3.25 inches and is mounted on a 7.50 x 4.50 heavy piece of card stock that has a chipped lower left corner.

Antony Taylor was born October 11, 1837 in Burlington, New Jersey.

At age 24 he enlisted as a Private in Company G, 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry at Philadelphia on August 22, 1862. At the time Taylor was described as being 5” 9” tall with light complexion hazel eyes and light hair.

Private Taylor was promoted to Sergeant October 30, 1862 and on March 1, 1863 he was promoted of Company A. when he was promoted 1st Sergeant of Company A.

In May of 1863 Special Order 127 was issued by Headquarters Army of the Cumberland stating that 1st Sergeant Taylor was to be commissioned a 1st Lieutenant in Company A with rank to date from April 30 1863.

Lt. Taylor commanded his company from December 31, 1863 through February 1865 with a short absence in May and June 1864 when he served on court-martial duty in Chattanooga.

By the end of the war Taylor was serving as Aid-de-Camp for General William Palmer who commanded the 1st Cavalry Brigade in the Division of East Tennessee.

During Taylor’s service with the regiment he saw light action at Antietam where regiment was used to corral stragglers before moving to the western theater. The 15th was also engaged at Stones River and Chickamauga. In 1893 Lt. Taylor was awarded the Medal of Honor for his service at Chickamauga. His citation reads:

“Held out to the last with a small force against the advance of superior numbers of the enemy.”

Details of what exactly Taylor did are hard to find. One of his comrades said after the war that Taylor “was at the head-quarters of General Rosecrans in command of the couriers on the battle-field of Chickamauga.” Lt. Taylor is often mentioned in the published history of his regiment and was no doubt an efficient and brave officer.

Captain Taylor was also famous for carrying a dispatch from General Palmer to Augusta, Georgia which directly led General James H. Wilson to capture ex-president of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis.  [ad]

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