SWORD IDENTIFIED TO CAPTAIN THOMAS FOY OF THE 2nd RHODE ISLAND, WHO DUTIFULLY BURIED A GEORGIA COLONEL, A FELLOW MASON, KILLED IN ACTION AT GETTYSBURG

$3,750.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 715-17

The drawn sword meas. approx. 36.75 inches long from point to pommel. The blade itself meas. approx. 30.00 inches long. It has a stopped fuller that meas. approx. 20.50 inches long with a narrow fuller that meas. 15.50 inches long. The true edge has several small nicks scattered along its length. The blade is semi-bright with moderate to heavy mottling and scattered pitting throughout. This is heavier on the bottom third of the blade.

The etching on the blade is faint and the ricassos are not marked. The obverse etching is very faint. Some scroll work is visible as is the lower portion of the spread-winged eagle and patriotic shield. The reverse of the blade features a block “US” amongst foliate and scrollwork but again it is faint.

The detailed brass hilt features a guard and knucklebow with a delicately cast single-band with cutout oak leaf scrolls and acanthus leaves. Brass hilt is tight to the blade tang. Hilt has a grooved, center-swelled wooden grip tightly bound with twisted brass wire. All of the grip’s leather covering has worn away from handling.  Wood shows slight separations on one side. Brass pommel is decorated with ornate scrollwork of laurel leaves and features a tiered domed cap. Face of the pommel is faintly engraved with “T. FOY Co. H / 2d R. I.”

The leather scabbard is solid with only faint surface crazing. Brass mounts and drag are plain with a dark patina. The top of the first mount has been cleaned. Both mount rings are present. Drag exhibits several small dents. Rear seam of scabbard is good. Overall the scabbard is in nice condition.

This was a well-used sword and has the look of a veteran.

On July 2nd Colonel Joseph Wasden of the 22nd Georgia of Wright’s brigade, Anderson’s division, was killed in the fight against Alexander Webb’s brigade along the Emmitsburg Road, more specifically near the Codori Farm. As the men of the 22nd fell back, his body was left on the field. It was discovered after the close of the battle on July 3rd by an enlisted man in the 2nd RI, who upon searching the colonel, found a Masonic certificate in one of his pockets identifying him as Joseph Wasden. When the soldier reported this to his captain, Thomas Foy of the 2nd Rhode Island, Foy dropped everything to bury his fellow mason. Regardless of national loyalty, Foy dispatched a team of men to prepare a burial for Wasden amidst sharpshooters continuing to fire amongst them. This story has been documented by soldiers of the 2nd Rhode Island who wrote about the incident in their diaries, one of those soldiers being the famed Elisha Hunt Rhodes, who acted as a witness for Foy’s pension claim.

This is the sword carried by Captain Thomas Foy throughout his career as an officer in the Civil War—more specifically at Gettysburg. Foy enlisted in the 2nd Rhode Island as a 2nd Lieutenant in Co. H in June of 1861 and spent the duration of the war as an officer coming up the ranks to Captain of Co. C and mustering out in July of 1865. Like other soldiers, Foy’s experience during the war was varied as he spent time not only in the field, but time at home recruiting and on other detached service. He also spent time in hospital after he was wounded by a fellow officer of the 2nd RI, Lt. John P. Shaw, who accidentally discharged his pistol into Foy’s foot in December of 1861. Foy is reported as wounded again in 1863 at Kelly’s Ford (for which he was only treated by the regimental surgeon) but recovered just in time for the Battle of Gettysburg.

Foy lists himself as a mason by trade. He married Miss Adeline M Hawes in December of 1847 in Wrentham, Massachusetts; they had three children Cordelia, Thomas, and Charles, all born by the year 1852. By 1903, Foy is found living in a Soldier’s Home in Togus, Maine. He dies there in April of 1905.

Foy’s service and pension records are included with the sword.   [ad/cs]

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VERY GOOD CONDITION CONFEDERATE IMPORT BARNETT P53 ENFIELD

J.E. Barnett and Sons, “consistently sold their arms to Confederate agents and southern buyers throughout the war” (The English Connection, p. 17.) They dealt not only with the Confederate Ordnance Department, but also with the states of Georgia… (G3919). Learn More »

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