IMPORT MODEL 1850 FOOT OFFICER’S SWORD IDENTIFIED TO MEMBER OF THE 108th ILLINOIS

$3,250.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 344-2723

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Original Civil War import Model 1850 foot officer’s sword sold by Schuyler, Hartley and Graham of New York. Sword is in good condition and is identified to Commissary Sergeant John Dodge of the 108th Illinois Infantry.

This handsome, regulation, infantry officer’s sword has a blade that measures 30½” long, 1” wide with a 20 ½” long stopped fuller and no narrow fuller. The blade surface is clean with light scattered mottling throughout and very small amounts of light surface pitting in two areas. Blade retains some of the original shine but has been lightly cleaned. The etching on the obverse side begins just above the ricasso with crossed US flags and the words “STAND BY THE UNION.” This is surmounted by a wreath of palm leaves followed by a spread-winged eagle with “E PLURIBUS UNUM” riband followed by more palm leaves and a Liberty cap in a sunburst.

Blade reverse ricasso has the importer’s name that reads “SCHUYLER, HARTLEY & GRAHAM, NEW YORK.” The etched decoration on this reverse side repeats the decoration on the obverse with the inclusion of an intertwined “US” in place of one of the palm wreathes. The blade edge is good with no nicks. Leather washer at base of the ricasso is complete and in good condition.

The detailed brass hilt features a cast guard and knucklebow with a delicately cast single-band with cutout oak leaf scrolls and acanthus leaves. Top of knucklebow has just the slightest wiggle where it meets the pommel cap. Hilt features a grooved, center-swelled wooden handle wrapped in high quality, light colored sharkskin. Skin is tightly bound with double-twisted brass wire. Normal seam is evident on the reverse side of the grip. Grips are original and in good condition. Brass pommel is decorated with ornate scrollwork of laurel leaves and features a tiered domed cap. Casting on the hilt and pommel is well executed.

The original black leather scabbard lacks a drag otherwise the scabbard body is strong. Leather surface is subdued as if a coat of blacking was put on it long ago. Both rings and mounts are present and are plain. Throat is finely engraved “PRESENTED TO JOHN M. DODGE BY HIS BROTHER LORING.” All brass furniture wears a light patina.

An on-line biography of Dodge reads as follows:

“John M. Dodge was born August 9, 1837 in Fulton County Illinois. The following year the family moved to Peoria, and here were born two other children: Loring S., and Alice M.

John M. Dodge began life as a clerk on the levee in the employ of W. C. Boilvin, a steamboat agent. He was clerk on various steamboats, among them being the Schuyler, 1868, the Illinois, 1869, the P. W. Strader, 1872, the New Boston, 1873, and the St. John's, 1874. He became passenger agent for the steamboat Fayette at Peoria May 10, 1875, and in the same year was licensed as Master to run on the Illinois River. At the outbreak of the Civil War he was Check Clerk for the Rock Island Railroad at Peoria.

August 22, 1862, he enlisted in Company C, One Hundred and Eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry, and six days later was made Regimental Commissary Sergeant, in which capacity he served till February 19, 1863, when he was discharged on account of disability incurred in the service of the army in the vicinity of the Yazoo River, Arkansas Post, and Vicksburg. Returning to Peoria he again entered the employ of the railroad company, where he remained till 1868.

During the years between 1875 and 1885 he was employed in the Internal Revenue service as Store-keeper at Peoria. Mr. Dodge married Josephine Black, in Peoria, October 1, 1891.”

John M. Dodge died in 1903 and is buried in Springdale Cemetery and Mausoleum, Peoria Illinois.

Military and pension records come with the sword.   [ad]

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