1851 PRESENTATION SWORD BY EMMET GUARDS TO CAPT. JAMES MCGRATH

$6,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 870-218

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

Manufactured: Philadelphia

Maker: W.H. Horstmann & Sons

Year: 1851

Model: Militia Officer Sword

Size: 32.00”

Condition: VG

High grade Militia Officer Sword from Wyersberg and Horstmann.  Grip is rolled sheet silver that is hand chased with foliate.

Guard is brass with generous amount of gilt remaining. Casting is high grade as quillions are cast with liberty caps on both sides while eagles are also on the obverse side.  Pommel cap is a perched eagle with chain loop in his beak.  Knuckle bow is original gilt chain.   Blade has center filler and the etch is deep.  Obverse blade etch is Kings head stamp for Wyersberg / stand of arms - foliate / G. W. is dry needle etched with foliate / stand of arms - flags - foliate / eagle with epu ribbon / foliate - stand of arms - foliate.  Reverse blade etch is fan foliate / H. W. Horstmann & Sons Makers Philadelphia - in dry needle - obviously the engraver mixed up the W and the H / stand of arms / fouled anchor / eagle with epu ribbon / foliate - stand of arms - foliate.

Scabbard is silver plated German silver that is hand chased and has high grade cast mounts and drag.  Scabbard is hand chased with foliate. Between the mounts is a picture of an unknown male with arms crossed with an eagle above and two hands shaking below.  Between the middle mount and drag is foliate and a stand of arms.  Drag is foliate with a high-grade shoe drag. On reverse of scabbard between the mounts is the presentation:

Presented To / Capt James McGrath by / the Emmet Guard as a / token of regard and Esteem / July 1851. “

Captain James McGrath was a New York militia officer of Irish extraction during the antebellum period. He commanded the Emmett Guards of New York City, one of several militia companies so-named that were recruited from the tide of Irish immigrants to America’s urban areas. The militia companies of the period arrayed in a dazzling display of colorful uniforms were largely itinerant social organizations that occasionally drilled, sometimes mustered for annual target practice, and always paraded for important public occasions and celebrations like Washington’s Birthday, Fourth of July or St. Patrick’s Day. Collectively, all of the “Emmett Guards” honored fellow Irishman Robert Emmett, the Nationalist and Republican leader who was executed by his English captors for high treason following the Rebellion of 1803.

Several references to Captain McGrath and his Emmett Guards were located dating to the period of the sword inscription: From the Proceedings of the Board of Alderman, 1849 (Vol. 15, Part I. Issue 1-42., p.231), recounting a solemn public funeral procession undertaken in July 1848 is a roster of the 10th Regiment NYSM, commanded by Col. Wm. Halsey “paraded as a Guard of Honor to the bodies of Lieutenants Chandler and Gallagher,” 1st NY Volunteers, two officers killed in battle in Mexico. The “Emmett Guards com’d by Capt. James McGrath” are Co. E, marching second in the procession line. The 1st New York Volunteers had served heroically in Mexico and contained a large percentage of Irishmen. An adjutant’s document dated Brooklyn, Nov. 8, 1850 lists “our Brooklyn companies with the names of commandants and the nights on which each company meets for drill.”

Under the 14th Regt. NYSM commanded by Col. Philip S. Crook is Co. C, Emmett Guard now commanded by Capt. S.A. Dodge, meeting on Wednesday. The daybook adds that lacking a private armory, the Emmett Guards “drill in rooms over the City (Armory), in which their arms are deposited and kept in order by an armorer employed by the brigade.” The strength of the Emmett Guards is given as “68 men in 1852” when they “paraded at the Battery and were reviewed by Irish exile Thomas Meagher.” The newspaper article reported that they were “2600 Irish militia in New York City.” On March 18th 1853 The New York Times dedicated the entire front page to the lavish St. Patrick’s celebration calling it “superior to any previous observance.” Among the scheduled events of the day was a 3 o’clock oration at the Tabernacle presented by Lt. Col. Doheny on the subject of “The Irish Brigade.” The Times reported, “A large banner of the United States, and another of beautiful green silk, with the Harp of Ireland wrought in gold, floated on either side of the platform. Mr. Doheny was introduced by Capt. McGRATH amid loud cheers.”

Nothing more is known of Capt. McGrath and there is no record of this officer having served in the Civil War.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THIS ITEM, AS WITH ALL OTHER ITEMS AVAILABLE ON OUR WEB SITE,

MAY BE PURCHASED THROUGH OUR LAYAWAY PROGRAM.

FOR OUR POLICIES AND TERMS,

CLICK ON ‘CONTACT US’ AT THE TOP OF ANY PAGE ON THE SITE,

THEN ON ‘LAYAWAY POLICY’.

Inquire »

Inquire About 1851 PRESENTATION SWORD BY EMMET GUARDS TO CAPT. JAMES MCGRATH

should be empty

featured item

FIRST PATTERN 1887 SPRINGFIELD HOSPITAL CORPS KNIFE

Measuring about 17 inches overall with a 12-inch blade, just 1056 of these knives were made at Springfield Armory from 1889 through 1891. They were meant for use by medical personnel in clearing brush, making improvised splints, etc., in the field.… (1047-192). Learn More »

Upcoming Events

14
Nov

Coming up: Middle Tennessee Civil War Show, Dec. 7-8 Learn More »