IDENTIFIED M1850 SWORD WITH SCABBARD – 101st PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY

$2,950.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 344-3234

This sword is an original Civil War model 1850 foot officer’s sword complete with its classic black leather scabbard adorned with brass mountings.  Identified to Captain Charles W. May, Company F, 101st PA. Infantry.

The slightly curved steel blade measures 31” long, with a 21 ½” long stopped fuller and a 15” narrow fuller. Blade is largely clean but exhibits areas of darker spotting and spotty surface rust. Scattered areas of moderate pitting overall.  Both flats of the blade exhibit mixed military and floral motifs that were acid etched on the blade. The typical “U.S.” is found on one side.  The blade is etched with “TOMES, SON & MELVAIN, N.Y.”  The Tomes, Son and Melvain Company was an importing firm established at 6 Maiden Lane in New York City from 1859 to 1864. Francis Tomes and his son Benjamin were New York City military goods dealers, and possibly a secret US arms agent who partnered with Robert C. Melvain in 1859 to import rifles and edged weapons from overseas. Blade edge has spots of moderate pitting. The large, ornate French-styled, cast brass hilt is typical and displays a cutout floral pattern with “US” integrated into the knucklebow. Hilt is ever so slightly loose. Leather washer present. Brass pommel is decorated with laurel leaf casting.  Brass wears an uncleaned, dark patina. Grips are in good condition and feature an original leather covered wooden handle secured with fine double-twisted copper wire.

The original, black leather scabbard is complete, with one glued break.  Leather body wears a black finish with few scattered scuffs and exhibits significant surface cracking.  Stitching is original and tight with the exception of a small split at the drag and above the center mount. The break is between the drag and center mount. It has been glued but is weak. Brass scabbard furniture consists of a throat with 1” brass ring, a center mount with 1” suspension ring, and the drag. The drag is missing its screw and is loose.

This sword and scabbard is identified by several scratched/carved markings. The brass guard of the sword bears the name “May”.  The brass furniture on the scabbard bears similar markings. The throat has “C. W. M.” on one side and “C. W. M.   F,  101  PV” on the other side. The center mount has “May” on one side and the worn remnants of a more professional looking engraving on the other… it looks to be “C. W. May / Co. F, 101 / P.V.” but is very light.

The following biography of Captain May is found in the 101st Pennsylvania regimental history:

“Company F, 101st Regiment, was recruited in Beaver County during the autumn months of 1861 by Capt. Charles W. May. Capt. May, at the outbreak of the Civil War, had reached mature manhood and did not enter the service through boyish enthusiasm. From his boyhood days he had followed the river, and prior to the war was a master of steamboats on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers. His contact with the people south of the Mason and Dixon's line gave him some conception of what might be expected before the conflict ended. From the time the Regiment was mustered into the service until he severed his relations with it on January 7. 1863, no officer in the battalion performed more arduous or faithful service than Capt. May. When Col. Morris was carried off the battle field of Fair Oaks early in the battle on May 31, 1862, Capt. May assumed command of the Regiment, and after the enemy had succeeded in flanking Casey's position, and the various regiments were forced back to escape capture and had been more or less routed in confusion, Capt. May succeeded in rallying his command, which maintained its position, and again only fell back to prevent annihilation. In the promotions which followed the death of Col. Wilson, a large percentage of the Regiment, both rank and file, believed that Capt. May deserved recognition, for no other line officer had acquitted himself with more gallantry in the presence of the enemy, and none was his superior in efficiency as a disciplinarian. Universal regret was expressed when he retired from the service.

After his return from the service Capt. May resumed his former vocation and followed the river, as master and pilot, until 1876, when he located at Beaver Falls, Penna. He had charge of the construction of the New Castle branch of the Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Rail Road, and afterwards engaged in the retail hardware business, under the firm name of May and Co.; and later was connected with the Beaver Falls Steel Works.

While never an aspirant for political preferment Capt. May took an active interest in civic and political affairs. Especially so in everything pertaining to the welfare of the borough and county, to promote the interests of the former he served as councilman.

Capt. May was born near Wilkinsburg, Allegheny Co. Penna., April 27, 1827. He resided there and in Pittsburgh until he removed to Beaver Falls.

Prior to the war he was an active member of the Pittsburgh Blues. The portrait of the captain, which appears in this volume, is from a photograph taken at Harrisburg, Penna., in February, 1862, a few days before the Regiment departed to join the Army of the Potomac.

Capt. May died at his residence. 1105 Eighth Avenue. Beaver Falls. Pa. Jan. 6, 1910, aged 82 years, 9 months, and 0 days. The writer visited him in September, 1909, and although then confined to his bed by disease and physically weak, his mind was quite alert.”   [jet]

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

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’.

THANK YOU!



Inquire About IDENTIFIED M1850 SWORD WITH SCABBARD – 101st PENNSYLVANIA INFANTRY

should be empty

featured item

5TH NEW YORK ARTILLERY REGIMENTAL FLAG - CIRCA 1840

The 5th New York Artillery Regimental Flag, reconstructed. Present are the original embroidered elements of the flag, including the Seal of the State of New York which includes the images of Liberty and Justice along with the American eagle spreading… (344-1698). Learn More »

Upcoming Events

22
Sep

Coming up Oct. 4 - 8 : N-SSA Fall Nationals, Fort Shenandoah, Winchester, VA Learn More »