GAR DEPARTMENT COMMANDER’S SWORD ID’D TO FORMER DRUMMER BOY IN 10TH MASSACHUSETTS INFANTRY

$1,695.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 172-3585

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This high quality GAR sword is in the pattern of the Model 1860 Field and Staff Officer’s sword. It is identified to former Musician Myron P. Walker of the 10th Massachusetts Infantry. He carried this sword as the Department of Massachusetts Commander of the GAR in 1888.

The blade is double edged and diamond shaped in cross-section. Both edges are flawless and clean. Both the obverse and reverse surfaces of the blade have a wonderful gold washed etching that is complete and very strong.

The obverse side etching begins with a Civil War soldier in an overcoat rendering a salute. Above this is a GAR Membership badge. Between the two is a fern and scrollwork design. At center of the blade is an etched inscription that reads “MYRON P. WALKER COMMANDER DEPT. MASS. G.A.R. 1888.” This inscription is flanked by more gold scrollwork and is surmounted by the figure of a Union soldier wearing a knapsack and standing at “PARADE REST.” This figure is followed by more gold scrollwork which eventually ends approx. 7.50 inches from the point.

The reverse side etching begins with a panoply of flags with shields and drums. Above this is a bust of President Abraham Lincoln in a sunburst frame. Between these two decorations is a short sections of gold scrollwork. At center of the blade on this side are the large letters “G.A.R.” inside of a sunburst. This is flanked on both sides by more gold scrollwork. Next comes a Union soldier standing cradling his musket in the crook of his arm. Above this is a section of gold scrollwork with a patriotic shield etched “1865” at center of the shield. The gold scrollwork continues until it comes to an end approx. 7.50 inches from the point.

The un-etched parts of the blade have a mirror like quality. The ricasso is etched with the maker’s name that reads “PATCH & FELLOWS, BOSTON, MASS.” At the base of the ricasso is a red leather washer but only half of it remains.

The hilt of the sword is in matching condition to the blade. It shows almost no wear and is bright and clean. The round pommel cap is surmounted by a flower while the sides have a very crisp, sharp raised spread-winged eagle and a scrolled shield. The grip looks to be of silver ribbed with oak leaves while the false wire wrap is of gilt brass. All is in excellent shape. The wonderful dull shine of the silver grip with the bright gold colored false wire is a thing of beauty. The grip has heavily carved brass ferrules at top and bottom. The single knucklebow begins at the base of the pommel cap and comes around to the base of the grip where it widens into two clamshell counterguards, one of which folds down before ending in a circular quillon. The knucklebow is decorated at top with a heavy scroll design as well as a hole for accepting a sword knot. The center of the bow is decorated with a raised floral design with geometric shapes extending from each side of the flower. The counterguard that folds down is heavily decorated with a raised patriotic shield with crossed cannons and muskets, swords and flags over a spray of laurel leaves. The opposite guard has an intertwined “GAR” superimposed over a panoply of flags and laurel leaves. The hilt shows next to no wear and is bright and clean.

 

The metal scabbard is finished bright and is complete with the brass throat, two mounts and drag. The top mount has two rings and consists of a heavy brass scroll work design. The second mount is similar to the first but has only one ring. The drag follows the decorative pattern of the mounts and has a solid base.

Unfortunately a previous collector attached a strip of blue name tape with a number in white just above the drag. This can be removed but may leave a mark.

This sword is in overall excellent condition with 100% of the gold washed etching remaining and all the brass parts still bearing a gold finish.

The following biography tells the interesting story of Myron Philo Walker:

“"Myron P. Walker, of Springfield, son of Asa and Fanny (Pease) Walker, was born in Belchertown, Massachusetts Feb. 18, 1847. He married in London, England, on June 18, 1878, Mary Norton Crocker. He was educated in the public schools of his native town.

Mr. Walker, at the breaking out of the War, when only fourteen years of age, left school and entered the service as a drummer boy. The Belchertown Company, which he intended to join, being disbanded, he went to Springfield, offered his services to a Northampton company in the Tenth Regiment of Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. At first his services were declined on account of his size and age, but afterwards he was accepted as a drummer boy in this regiment, with which he remained at the front until the return of the regiment in June, 1864. He then found employment in a country store at Belchertown, and in 1868 went to California, where for a time he was again clerk in a store. In 1870 he accepted a situation in the general agency of the Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company, of Sacramento, Cal., and after went to San Francisco and was interested in a general agency of New York companies. In 1878 he returned to his native town.

Mr. Walker, Jan 4, 1886, was appointed assistant adjutant-general, with the rank of colonel, on the staff of Gov. Robinson. He is a member of the Grand Army; was commander of the department of Massachusetts in 1888; member of the State Senate 1885-86; is a member of the Masonic Fraternity and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He has been president of the Tenth, and is an honorary member of the Thirty-seventh Regiment Association."

Walker is also mentioned five times in the 10th Massachusetts regimental history. One story talks about the young drummer meeting General McClellan while another talks of him helping the wounded Colonel of his regiment off the field at Fair Oaks. The 10th Massachusetts served in the 6th Corps of the Army of the Potomac and was present for most of the large battle s of that army to include Peninsula, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna and Cold Harbor. Drummer Walker was present for all.

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