US M1850 STAFF AND FIELD OFFICER’S SWORD PRESENTED TO LT. COL. EDMUND SHURLY, 26TH NEW YORK INFANTRY – WOUNDED AT FREDERICKSBURG

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Item Code: 870-133

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Manufactured: Chicopee Mass

Maker: Ames Mfg Co

Year: 1865

Model: M 1850 Staff & Field

Size: 32.00”

Condition: VG

This is an early Ames 1850 Staff & Field as noted by the wide blade and block “US”.  Brass guard retains most of its original gilt and sharkskin grip and wire is excellent.  Blade etch is strong and has frost but is not mint.  Obverse blade etch has “Ames Mfg. Co Chicopee Mass “/ stand of arms - foliate / stand of arms / Eagle with EPU ribbon / foliate. Reverse etch is stand of arms / foliate / US / stand of arms / foliate.  Scabbard is plated with some oxidation starting to show.  Mounts and drag still retain the majority of the original gilt.  Top mount presentation reads: “Presented to / Edmund Richard Pitman Shurly /  Lt Col /  March 1865 / by his friends in England.”

Edmund Richard Pitman Shurly was born in Cambridge, England in 1829 and raised in Buffalo, NY, where he became a jeweler, as was his father. Shurly was 32 years old when he enlisted on 5/2/61 at Rochester as a 2nd Lieutenant. He was commissioned into Co. G, 26th NY on 5/21/61; promoted to Captain on 8/7/61. Shurly participated in the battles of Cedar Mountain, Chantilly, Groveton, 2nd Bull Run, South Mountain, and Antietam, before being severely wounded at Fredericksburg by a gunshot wound to the thigh and femoral artery.  He was discharged from the 26th NY on 4/25/63 and on 8/28/63; after his recovery he was commissioned in the Veteran Reserve Corps and placed at Camp Douglas in Chicago IL, which was a POW camp.  He was involved in quelling a prisoner insurrection there in 1864. Brevetted Major and Lt. Col. on 3/13/65 for his actions at Fredericksburg, mustering out on 10/7/65.

After the war he joined the regular army as a 2nd Lt. and went west to fight in the Indian Wars, being sent to Nebraska to join the 18th US Infantry under Gen. Henry Harrington. The regiment built up forts and guarded wagon trains along the Bozeman Trail, through Wyoming and Montana. He was engaged in numerous battles with the Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho while posted at Fort Smith near Billings, MT and other western outposts. He was again severely wounded in action at the Battle of Goose Creek, WY, where he received an arrow wound to the foot that caused him to limp the remainder of his life.

Shurly left the army in 1869, settling in Chicago where he returned to his vocation as a jeweler. He and his wife lost everything in the Great Fire of Chicago in 1871. He rebuilt and expanded his jewelry business into the successful Shurly Manufacturing Company. He wrote a number of letters and sketches about his experiences and his views of the Sioux that were published in local newspapers and magazines. He retired from his business around 1898, and he and his wife re-located to Detroit to be near his son, Dr. Burt Russell Shurly. Shurly died of a heart attack in Detroit in 1909, and his buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Rochester, NY.   [ld]

[ld]

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