MODEL 1850 STAFF AND FIELD OFFICER’S SWORD ID’D TO 78TH NEW YORK ADJUTANT

$2,950.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 2020-656

This original Model 1850 Staff and Field Officer’s sword is complete with the original metal scabbard. This handsome edged weapon was carried by many higher-ranking Federal officers during the Civil War. This quality steel edged weapon was carried by Lieutenant Washington M. Postley, adjutant of the 78th New York Infantry.

The drawn sword measures a total length of 37.50 inches from tip to pommel. The steel blade is 32.00 inches long with a 15.75 inch narrow fuller and a 22.0 inch wide stopped fuller. The blade surface is semi-bright with moderate to heavy mottling throughout. The true edge has several small nicks that can be felt rather than seen. Edge also shows some minor evidence of attempted sharpening. The obverse ricasso is strongly stamped “1862” in a faint oval while the reverse ricasso is blank. The blade surface is embellished via the acid etching process that features a military motif although it is slightly subdued due to age and mottling. The obverse etching consists of a foliate design, a spreadwinged eagle and then a pennant with the words, “E PLURIBUS UNUM” topped with additional foliate. Reverse of blade at the ricasso starts with the etched name “SCHUYLER HARTLEY & GRAHAM, N.Y.” in four lines and framed in scrolls followed with foliate, then the letters “U.S” done in wide letters with serifs followed with more foliate and a patriotic shield. The blade has a few scattered spots of pinprick rust pitting but nothing to be concerned about. Leather washer is present and complete at the base of the guard.

Weapon has a highly detailed, two-line, cutout brass hilt with the guard and knucklebow cast in one piece. Upper line of brass hilt features prominent letters “US” surrounded by finely case foliate. Bottom line has an intricate, foliate cutout design. Covering the shallow center-swelled, wooden handle is a grip of gray sharkskin or rayskin that has lost almost all of its small triangular-shaped nodes revealing the dark base underneath. Thin, copper, double-twisted wire is wrapped around the grips but is slightly loose in areas. Phrygian pommel cap is border-engraved with an oak leave floral pattern. Knucklebow and guard has slight wiggle to it.

The very fine, dark colored, smooth undented steel scabbard was originally japanned or painted black. Much of this original finish remains with only minor wear spots. The throat is of plain brass while the two mounts are of decorated brass. The top mount is decorated on the front with the block letters “US” at top with a scroll and leaf design at bottom. Reverse has an engraved geometrical decoration on a stippled background. The lower mount also has geometrical decorations on a stippled background on front and back. Engraved at the top of this second mount is “W. M. POSTLEY.” Ring bands are mounted reversed with the oak leaf engraved faces on the back of the sword and the plain backs and screws on the front. Screws are slightly buggered. Both rings are present. The brass drag is also very ornate. It is covered with scrollwork and geometric designs with a panoply of flags, a drum and a patriotic shield at top.

Washington M. Postley was born in New York City on October 20, 1824. He was a 37 year old widower when he was commissioned Adjutant of the 78th New York Infantry on October 26, 1861 at New York City. The 78th New York was assigned to Pope’s Army of Virginia’s 2nd Corps and saw action at Cedar Mountain and 2nd Bull Run. During this time Adjutant Postley was listed as sick at Washington and then absent without leave but he was never formally charged.

In September of 1862 the 78th was assigned to the 12th Corps of the Army of the Potomac and served at Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. Adjutant Postley missed Antietam but was present under arrest in December. He was commended for bravery at Gettysburg by his regimental commander for “the coolness and zeal with which he kept the regiment supplied with ammunition under a very hot fire.” Adjutant Postley tended his resignation at the end of July giving family concerns as the reason for his resignation.

After his discharge Postley returned to New York and remarried in December of 1864. Postley had a provisional appointment to the 1st Florida Cavalry US but there is no evidence he was ever mustered.

Washington Postley died in New York City on April 21, 1910 and is buried in Green Mount Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

Sword comes with military and pension records as well as some other research.   [ad]

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

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 MODEL 1850 STAFF AND FIELD OFFICER’S SWORD ID’D TO 78TH NEW YORK ADJUTANT

should be empty

featured item

US CARTRIDGE BOX ID’D TO MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT JOHN M. DEANE OF THE 3RD & 29TH MASSACHSUETTS INFANTRY

This infantry cartridge box was preserved by the family with a significant trove of artifacts belonging John M. Deane that we are offering in separate sales. When the war broke out Deane was a 29 year-old teacher in Freetown, Mass. He had been in the… (846-210). Learn More »

Upcoming Events

24
Oct