IMPORTED M-1850 FOOT OFFICER’S SWORD IDENTIFIED TO 82ND PA OFFICER

$2,600.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 2021-41

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A Model 1850 Foot Officer’s sword with most its leather scabbard. Blade is an import from Solingen, Prussia (now Germany) and was assembled by Philadelphia jeweler George W. Simon. Listed as “Geo. W. Simon & Bro.” during the Civil War was a jeweler and sword mounter with business located on Sansom Street in Philadelphia. Simon assembled swords using both imported and domestic blades with his company name etched on the ricasso.

This sword features a high-quality, import steel blade that is slightly curved and measures 30 ½” long with a 21” long stopped fuller and 15” narrow fuller. Entire blade wears a gray tone with scattered dark spots and patches of light surface rust. Both flats of the blade exhibit acid-etched floral decorations along with military motifs. All etchings are present but are muted due to the condition of the surface. The blade’s obverse has “Geo. W. Simons / & Bro: / Philadelphia”, a foliate design that incorporates a military motif of flags, lances, and an eagle with E. Pluribus Unum in a ribbon. This is followed by more foliate. The reverse side exhibits a similar etched design as the obverse with the addition of a large “US”. Rounded blade spine exhibits the etching “IRON PROOF” and the name “J. F. Nagle”.

The ornate, cast brass hilt is typical of a foot officer’s sword and displays a floral decorated guard with a single band integrated into the knucklebow. Grip is covered with shark skin in very good condition. Grips secured with fine double-twisted brass wire flanked on each side by a strand of single wire. Quillon and hilt face exhibit pleasing floral casting. Pommel has a domed cap with an oak leaf design along the edges. All brass has acquired a deep patina overall with gilt wash remaining in recesses. Only a very small portion of the original washer remains in place where the blade and hilt meet.

The original scabbard is incomplete as the portion with drag is missing. The brass throat and center mount are securely attached to the 21” of leather scabbard that remains intact. Sword mounts each have a 1” diameter brass ring.  Remaining leather scabbard body is rigid with tight stitching between throat and center mount while stitching below that has split.

This sword was carried by Lieutenant James F. Nagle of Philadelphia. He was 27 years old when he enlisted and was commissioned on 7/23/1861 as a 1st Lieutenant in Company D of the 82nd Pennsylvania Infantry. He resigned on 9/9/1862. He died 3/3/1868 and is buried in West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, PA. He was married to Mary J. Nagle and his occupation is listed as “Photograph Painter”.

The 82nd regiment was assigned to the 1st brigade (Gen. Graham), 1st division (Gen. Buell and later Gen. Couch), 4th corps (Gen. Keyes).  It occupied the defenses of Washington for a period of 6 months, engaged in drill, guard and fatigue duty, but March 9, it advanced with the army to Manassas.  It later proceeded to Fortress Monroe, whence it moved upon McClellan's Peninsular campaign. The first month was passed at Yorktown, where it crossed the Chickahominy on May 22, and on the 31st engaged the enemy at Fair Oaks, its first serious battle, displaying commendable coolness and bravery.  Its loss here was 8 killed and 24 wounded.  On the retreat to Harrison's landing it was engaged at Charles City crossroads and Malvern hill, suffering severely in the latter battle.  It was in line, but not active, at Chantilly and was only slightly engaged at Antietam by which time Nagle had resigned.   [jet] [ph:L]

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