PRESENTATION STAFF & FIELD OFFICERS SWORD ID’D TO MARYLAND OFFICER

$3,950.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 413-16

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

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Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

This Model 1850 Staff & Field Officer’s sword is ID’d to Captain William E. Conoway of Company A, 11th Maryland Infantry. Captain Conoway also had service in the 2nd and 9th Maryland.

The blade of the sword is very clean and bright with only the slightest scattered mottling at the ricasso and point. Some very minor surface pitting can be felt in the area of the point. The true edge is clean but has three tiny nicks, two are visible and one can only be felt. Etched on one side of the blade is a spread-winged eagle above a riband that reads “E PLURIBUS UNUM” and directly opposite is etched a “US.” Both etchings are flanked by a scrollwork and point design. Both are visible and 100% present. The back strap of the blade is marked “IRON PROOF” just below the hilt. One side of the ricasso is blank while the other has a standing figure surrounded by “CLAUBERG-SOLINGEN.” Most of the leather washer below the counterguard remains intact but it is severely flattened.

The hilt has a sharkskin grip with all courses of the wire wrap present. Each course has twisted brass wire at center flanked by single strands of straight brass wire. The pommel cap, single knuckle bow and counterguard are of brass with the usual design. The letters “US” have been worked into the decoration of the counterguard. All three brass pieces of the hilt have had a gold wash applied that is now worn off in multiple spots giving a pleasing aged look to the hilt. The knuckle bow and counterguard do have some wiggle to them.

Metal scabbard has a brass throat, drag and mounts. These pieces have also had a gold wash applied that is worn matching the hilt in presentation. The top mount is decorated with a large shield above the ring bar and there is a sunburst below it. The section of the mount which holds the ring and the ring itself are slightly bent. This is minor and does not affect the body of the mount. The reverse side of this mount is delicately engraved “PRESENTED TO CAPT. WM. E. CONOWAY BY THE NON-COMMISSIONED OFFICERS AND PRIVATES OF CO. A, 11TH MD INFANTRY JULY 4TH 64.” The middle mount has a sunburst design both above and below the ring bar while the drag has a spread-winged eagle with the wings angled up surmounted by stars above a scroll and geometric design. The scabbard itself looks to be a silver washed brass affair with numerous areas of wear and discoloration from age and storage. This is not dirt or rust just honest wear. There are no dings or dents until the drag which has 3 small dents.

William E. Conoway was born in Baltimore in September of 1826. He lived in Baltimore into adulthood and was married in 1859. Conoway first joined the Army in Baltimore on July 20, 1861 as Captain of Company G, 2nd Maryland Infantry and was mustered in on August 9, 1861. At the time he was 34 years old. The 2nd was assigned to General Dix Division of the Army of the Potomac but in March of 1862 they were sent to North Carolina. While there Captain Conoway resigned from the service on June 3, 1862. No reason for his resignation is given, however his letter states that he regrets “…exceedingly that I am compelled to pursue such a course.”

Conoway next served as Captain of Company D, 9th Maryland Infantry being enrolled on June 20, 1863 for six months. The regiment was sent to Harper’s Ferry and then to Charlestown. On October 19, 1863 seven Companies of the 9th Maryland were attacked by Confederate cavalry under General Imboden. After a sharp fight the regiment was captured. Captain Conoway was sent to Libby Prison in Richmond and was paroled on March 24, 1864. He was exchanged and discharged on March 31, 1864.

The good Captain’s last service, and the one for which he was given the sword here offered for sale, began on January 6, 1865 when he joined his regiment for duty as Captain of Company A, 11th Maryland Infantry. However, his rank was to date from June 14, 1864. Why he did not report for duty till January of 1865 is not stated in the record. While he was with the 11th Maryland Captain Conoway guarded Confederate prisoners at Fort Delaware. He was mustered out on June 15, 1865.

After the war he returned to Baltimore but was plagued by pain in his left leg and chest which he claimed began while a prisoner of war. He received a pension and lived out his life in Baltimore until his death on November 26, 1898 being 72 years, 2 months and 0 days old.

Overall Captain Conoway had a varied and interesting career. Full military and pension records accompany the sword.

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