IMPORT MODEL 1850 FOOT OFFICER’S SWORD BY HORSTMANN WITH LETTER FROM 67TH NEW YORK DRUMMER

$2,250.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 1008-01

The blade on this sword is in good condition. It is bright and mostly clean with only light scattered mottling in places and light to moderate pitting by the point. The drawn sword meas. approx. 35.50 inches long from point to pommel. It has a stopped fuller that meas. approx. 22.00 inches long with a narrow fuller that meas. 15.75 inches long. The true edge is free of nicks.

The etching on the blade is faded some. The obverse etching features scrollwork, some laurel branches and a panoply of flags. The reverse has a similar decoration. The obverse ricasso is clearly stamped with “HORSTMANN & SONS PHILADELPHIA” while the opposite ricasso has a king’s head stamp.

The detailed brass hilt features a guard and knucklebow with a delicately cast single-band with cutout oak leaf scrolls and acanthus leaves. Brass hilt is tight to the blade tang. Hilt features a grooved, center-swelled wooden handle wrapped in high quality gray sharkskin. Skin is tightly bound with twisted brass wire. Normal seam is evident on the side of the grip. 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. Overall the hilt is in excellent condition.

The leather scabbard is in poor to fair condition. The leather looks to have a repair just above the drag. Leather is also split under the lower mount but this is not visible. A shim has been placed under the mount to hold the scabbard together but this causes the sword to be tight on the draw. Other than that the leather appears to be in good shape. Both mounts are of plain brass and both rings are present. Top mount is held in place by two carpet tacks. Drag exhibits several dents, several are small but one is severe.

With the sword is a framed and matted letter. The letterhead is for John M. Flockton as Instructor of Bands and Orchestras. The letter is from Boston, Massachusetts and dated December 19, 1913. It reads “CAPT. C. W. C. RHOADES. DEAR SIR-THE SWORD WAS WORN BY A STAFF OFFICER AT THE BATTLE OF THE WILDERNESS. HE WAS MOUNTED AND WAS SHOT IN THE BOWELS, AND DIED VERY SOON AFTERWARDS. THE SWORD WITH THE SCABBARD WAS LEFT LYING THERE, AND MY FATHER TOOK THEM + SENT THEM HOME. THEY HAVE BEEN IN MY POSSESSION SINCE MY FATHER’S DEATH IN 1880. YOURS RESPECTFULLY, JOHN M. FLOCKTON.

Framed the letter meas. approx. 14.50 x 16.25 inches. The letter is in good condition and very legible. Frame is modern.

The writer of the letter, John M. Flockton, enlisted in the army with his father at the age of 12 years. They both joined the band of the 67th New York Infantry. The father, John M. Flockton Sr. was mustered in at Poughkeepsie on August 1, 1861 and John Jr. two months later on October 1, 1861. Both men served until mustered out at Warwick Court House, Virginia on April 13, 1862.

Research shows that before joining the 67th New York with his son, John Sr. had served as a three month volunteer. Research also shows that after his time with the 67th he served with Hawkins Zouaves from August to November of 1862. Nothing could be found attesting to John Sr. being in the army at the time of the battle of the Wilderness where he picked up the sword offered here. Only pulling his records from the National Archives can solve thar mystery.

The recipient of the letter C. W. C. Rhoades is Charles William Clapp Rhoades who served in the 1st Massachusetts Infantry, 3rd Massachusetts Cavalry and 1st Massachusetts Cavalry Battalion rising from Private to Captain during the war. Apparently both Flockton Jr. and Rhoades were both members of the Thomas G. Stevenson Post #26 of the GAR in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

A small file of internet research comes with the item.  [ad]

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