MODEL 1860 FIELD & STAFF OFFICERS SWORD PRESENTED TO SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR CAPTAIN

$950.00

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Item Code: 136-25

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This sword is in the Model 1860 Field and Staff Officer’s sword. Under the counterguard is a presentation to Captain William Fairweather of Company G, 6th Massachusetts Infantry.

The blade is double edged and diamond shaped in cross-section. The surface is bright with light scattered mottling. The obverse side is etched with foliate, a panoply of flags and a spread-winged eagle in a sunburst. The reverse is similar but with a block “US” instead of the eagle. Ricasso on this side is also etched with the maker’s name “BENT & BUSH / BOSTON, MASS.” Etching is weak but clearly visible. Both blade edges are free of nicks and dents.

The hilt of the sword is in good condition. It shows little wear with a light patina to the brass surfaces. The round pommel cap is surmounted by a flower while the sides have a very crisp, sharp raised spread-winged eagle and a shield within a laurel wreath. The grip is sharkskin wrapped in twisted wire. All is in excellent shape. The grip has carved brass ferrules at top and bottom which are decorated with laurel leaves. The single knuckle bow 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 face of the quillon is decorated with a flower. The knuckle bow 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 laurel leaves extending from each side of the flower. The counterguard that folds down is decorated with a patriotic shield superimposed over crossed swords, spears and rifles within an oak leaf wreath. The opposite guard is heavily decorated with a raised spread-winged eagle over six US flags.

The metal scabbard is nickel plated and is complete with the brass throat, two ring mounts and drag. The top mount has two rings while the lower has one. Both mounts are decorated with a laurel leaf pattern. The drag has a flower and laurel wreath. Nickle plating is worn in spots but is about 85% present overall. Under the folding clamshell guard is a wonderful inscription that reads “PRESENTED TO CAPT. WM. FAIRWEATHER, COMPANY G, 6TH MASS. REGT. US VOLS. BY HIS SHOPMATES MAY 13TH 1898.”

William Randall Fairweather enlisted in Company C, 6th Massachusetts Regiment on September 11, 1886 and was discharged on April 6, of 1888. He enlisted again in Company G, 6th Mass. on March 4, 1890. He served as a corporal and sergeant before receiving a commission to 1st Lieutenant on August 24, 1892.

During the Spanish-American war he was commissioned Captain on May 13, 1898 and was presented with the sword offered here. The 6th was assigned to the 2nd Army Corps and was sent to Camp Alger, Virginia on May 22nd.

In July the regiment moved to Charleston, South Carolina for embarkation. On July 8, 1898 the regiment sailed and arrived off Santiago, Cuba on the 11th.  From there they sailed for Porto Rico on July 21st and arrived at Guanica on the 25th. The following day the regiment took part in the battle of Yanco losing 1 officer and 3 men wounded.

The 6th remained in Porto Rico until October, losing 25 men to disease. On October 21, 1898 it boarded the USS MISSISSIPPI and sailed for Boston arriving on the 27th. The regiment was mustered out on January 21, 1899 with Captain Fairweather returning to his pre-war rank of 1st Lieutenant.

With the item is a small binder of research including a Xerox copy of a photo of the Captain taken from a newspaper.  [ad]

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