MODEL 1850 FOOT OFFICER’S SWORD WITH DOCUMENTS, ID’D TO 5TH RHODE ISLAND HEAVY ARTILLERY OFFICER

$2,950.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 690-07

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This sword was manufactured in New York City by the firm of Schuyler Hartley & Graham. The scabbard is made of iron and covered in black leather with brass mounts and drag. Mounts are of plain brass. Throat is engraved “LT. D. JOHNSON, CO. A, 5TH R.I.” Drag is plain but top edge does have a delicate linear design. All brass surfaces have a nice light patina. The leather of the scabbard shows moderate wear. Below the first mount, on the backside of the item, is an area of leather loss that meas. approx. 0.50 an inch.  Below the second mount there are some scratches in the finish. These are scattered over an area that meas. approx. 7.00 inches long. Approx. 1.00 inch below this same mount is a crack in the leather that runs all the way around the scabbard with a small amount of leather loss. There is another area just above the drag that also has some leather loss. The affected area here meas. approx. 1.75 inches. These small areas of surface loss do not affect the strength of the scabbard because, as stated above, it is made of iron covered with leather. It is more an issue of aesthetics.

The hilt of the sword consists of the standard brass pommel cap, knuckle bow and counter guard. All have a nice matching patina. There is some wiggle to the counter guard and knuckle bow. Grip is sharkskin that is dark and nicely aged. Wire wrap is tight. The wire is made to look like one wide strand at center flanked by two smaller strands but in reality it is all one piece. The blade is bright with some light mottling approx. 4.00 inches from the point and on the point itself. The ricasso is maker marked “COLLINS & CO. HARTFORD, CONN.” on one side and “1861” on the other. Top flat of blade in this area is marked “IRON PROOF.” Etched on the blade above the date is “SCHUYLER, HARTLEY & GRAHAM.” The rest of the etching on the blade is light but visible. It is the standard layout with drums, flags, cannon barrels and scrollwork designs. One side has a central design of a spread winged eagle while the other has a large “US.” There is a stopped central fuller with a thin secondary fuller above. The true edge is in good condition with no visible nicks. However, it does show signs of having been sharpened.

With the sword come two Civil War period documents. The first is a document given at the time of discharge. It is a pre-printed document filled out in ink and dated February 14, 1863 at New Bern, North Carolina. It states that Sgt. Dutee Johnson is being discharged so he can be promoted to 1st Lieutenant. The second document is a pre-printed “FORM No.5.” This is also filled out in ink and shows Sgt. Johnson’s pay from 1st November 1862 to 14 February 1863. Both documents are in good condition with the second showing an old horizontal tape repair near the top.

Dutee Johnson was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island on January 17, 1844. He is described as 5’ 10” tall with light complexion, gray eyes, light hair, 18 years old and by occupation a fisherman. He enlisted as a Sergeant in Co. E, 5th R.I. Vols. on October 16, 1861. In August of 1862 he was assigned to Co. A as an acting 2nd Lieutenant. On February 14th he was discharged as a Sergeant and promoted 1st Lieutenant of Co. A. On June 5, 1863 he was given a 30 day furlough after which he returned to his regiment. He was assigned to detached duty in March or April of 1864 and returned to his company on July 11, 1864. He was discharged December 22, 1864 due to expiration of his term of service. He continued to live in Rhode Island after the war. He died on November 5, 1912 and is buried in Pocasset Center Cemetery in Cranston, Rhode Island. The 5th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery spent their service in North Carolina serving in the role of Infantry. They were engaged at Roanoke Island, New Bern, Siege of Fort Macon, Rawle’s Mill, Kinston, Whitehall, Goldsboro and the Siege of Little Washington.

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