ORNATE NON-REGULATION MODEL 1850 FIELD & STAFF OFFICER’S SWORD ID’D TO 141ST NEW YORK MAJOR

$5,355.00
Originally $5,950.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 846-118

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

Sword is identified to Charles W. Clanharty [Clauharty] who rose to be Major and then Lieutenant-Colonel (not mustered) in the 141st New York Infantry.

The drawn sword meas. approx. 37.25 inches from point to pommel. Quill-backed blade is approx. 31.50 inches long with an unstopped fuller that runs approx. 29.50 inches with a raised divider running the last 9.50 inches of the fuller and stopping just short of the point. The blade surface is bright with a dull sheen and has a true edge that is free of any visible nicks though two small ones can be felt. The blade is decorated with a raised etched design. On the obverse side it has a blank ricasso with a fan of feathers above it followed by a scroll decoration and foliate. Above that is a stand of arms complete with shield, halberd and pennant followed by foliate and a spread-winged eagle with an “E PLURIBUS UNUM” riband in its beak within a sunburst. The etching on this side ends with more scrollwork and another stand of arms with crossed cannons, knight’s helmet and three pennants. The reverse ricasso is marked with “P.D.L.” within an oval for P. D. Luneschoss of Prussia in Germany. This is surmounted by a fan of feathers and linear decoration followed by a stand of arms consisting of a shield, knight’s helmet and two flags with more foliate extending to a very ornate script “US” and more foliate before ending in another stand of arms similar to the one near the ricasso. All decoration is very well done and very visible and pleasing to the eye. Buff leather washer is present at the base of the ricasso under the guard.

The detailed brass hilt features a guard and knucklebow with a delicately cast single-band with cutout oak leaf scrolls and acanthus leaves and a cutout block “US” at center. Brass hilt is tight to the blade tang. Hilt features a grooved, center-swelled wooden handle wrapped in black sharkskin that has worn to a gray color. Skin is tightly bound with twisted brass wire that is tight and complete. Normal seam is evident in the sharkskin on the back of the grip. Brass pommel is decorated with ornate laurel leaf wreath with a patriotic shield at center. Top of the pommel features a spread-winged eagle at center surrounded by thirteen five-point stars. Knucklebow has a wonderful scroll and foliate decoration along its exterior. Casting on the hilt and pommel is well executed.

The ornate leather scabbard is solid and strong. The obverse side has parallel lines along the border with a raised, tooled decoration of diamonds and ovals running along its length. Scabbard is of black leather but age has worn a good bit of the surface finish off. Reverse side has the closed seam and one small weak area but it is nothing serious. Drag and both mounts with rings are present and are heavily decorated on both sides. The drag has a heavy stippled background with geometric flat decorations with scroll and foliate on one side and the same on the opposite to include a spread-winged eagle with shield and crossed axes. One edge of the drag has a small separation at top but this an easily be repaired. Lower ring and mount has a stippled field with foliate and clamshell as well as scrolls and crossed US flags on one side and a block “US” with a butterfly riband below it on the other. The top mount and ring incorporates the throat. This is also heavily decorated with a stippled background and a decoration of flat geometric shapes with foliate, clamshell and a patriotic shield. The opposite side is engraved “EVERY MEMBER OF CO. A / 141ST N.Y.V. / TO / CAPT. CHAS. W. CLAUHARTY / IN CONFIDENCE / SEPT. 1ST, 1862.”

Charles Wallace Clauharty also carried on the records as Clanharty and several other spellings, was born June 10, 1828 in the town of Catharine, Chemung County, New York, the son of a Scottish immigrant. While still a boy his parents moved to the nearby village of Havana where Charles was educated and as an adult entered the grocery business.

In August of 1862 the 34 year old Clauharty was commissioned Captain of a company he helped to raise which became Company A, 141st New York Infantry. On the following September 1st the sword offered here was presented to him. Shortly afterward on September 11, 1862 the regiment was mustered into to service for three years.

The 141st Served in the Middle Department and later in the 22nd Corps in the Washington, D.C> area until being transferred in April of 1863 to the 7th and later the 4th Corps of the Department of Virginia. While here Captain Clauharty was promoted to Major.

Also about this time a notice appeared in a New York newspaper stating the following:

“A few days ago Capt. Alexander Clauharty received by express from his son Capt. Charles W. Clauharty a splendid sword bearing the following inscription

‘EVERY MEMBER OF CO. A

141ST N.Y.V.

TO

CAPT. CHARLES W. CLAUHARTY

IN CONFIDENCE

SEPTEMBER 1ST 1862’

We regard this a fitting compliment bestowed upon a worthy officer, and a true patriot, whose sentiment has been ever since the outbreak of this causeless, but terrible rebellion…”

No doubt the sword referred to in this news article is the one offered for sale here. If and when it was returned to Major Clauharty in the field we do not know.

After the battle of Gettysburg in July 1863 the regiment joined the 11th Corps of the Army of the Potomac. Up to this time the 141st had only been in two minor engagements near Suffolk, Virginia. Things were about to change.

The regiment went to Tennessee with the 11th Corps and took part in the battle of Wauhatchie and Missionary Ridge. In April of 1864 it was made part of the 20th Corps and served with that organization throughout the remainder of the war.

As part of Sherman’s campaign the regiment fought at Resaca (where the 141st suffered its heaviest loss,) Dallas, Lost Mountain and Peach Tree Creek. According to one biography of Major Clauharty he was wounded in all four of these battles, however an on-line data base shows only a wound in the thigh at Peach Tree Creek. It is possible the other wounds were minor and therefore not reported by him.

While recovering from his wounds Major Clauharty was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on August 12, 1864 with his rank to date from July 20, 1864. Unfortunately, he was never mustered in at that rank.

Clauharty returned to his regiment in January of 1865 but his regiment was not heavily engaged in the closing months of the war losing only seven men captured.

Charles Clauharty was mustered out at Washington, D. C. on June 8, 1865 and was considered by his men to be “an officer of valor.”

Upon Clauharty’s return to Schuyler County, New York he was considered one of its most popular citizens. He ran for sheriff in 1868 on the Republican ticket and won. His administration was considered successful. Afterward he became a farmer and then returned to the grocery business again. He never married.

Charles W. Clauharty died on October 25, 1900 and is buried in Montour Cemetery, Montour Falls, New York.  [ad]

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