MODEL 1860 FIELD AND STAFF OFFICER’S SWORD ID’D TO US MARINE HOSPITAL SERVICE SURGEON WHO WAS A BRAVE SOLDIER AND DEDICATED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL – DR. WILLIAM H. H. HUTTON

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Item Code: 490-2495

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The Marine Hospital Service was an organization of Marine Hospitals dedicated to the care of ill and disabled seamen in the United States Merchant Marine, the U.S. Coast Guard and other federal beneficiaries. The Marine Hospital Service evolved into the U.S. Public Health Service. The service began in 1870 and still operates today.

William H. H. Hutton was born February 28, 1838 in York, Ohio. He is listed as a 23 year old farmer living in Joliet when he enlisted as a private in Company K, 20th Illinois Infantry on June 17, 1861. At the time of his enlistment, he was described as being 5’11” tall with blue eyes, light hair and a fair complexion.

Regarding Hutton’s service with the 20th Illinois, we will quote from a letter written by his company commander in 1865 who says Hutton “was in the following engagements Fredericktown, MS. Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, Shiloh and the siege of Corinth in Tenn. in all of which he done his whole duty with honor to himself and his country.” Hutton was discharged for disability on August 17, 1862.

After regaining his strength, Hutton enlisted in Company D, of the 104th Illinois Infantry as a sergeant. He was present at the engagements of Hoovers Gap, Elk River, Bailey’s Crossroads, Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge. In the last engagement Hutton carried the regimental colors and was wounded. Sent to a hospital in Chicago, he served for a time as a Hospital Steward and was discharged on March 8, 1865.

After the war, in May of 1868, Hutton enlisted as a Hospital Steward in the Regular Army and served in Chicago, Illinois; Montgomery, Mobile, Forts Gaines and Morgan in Alabama; Charleston, South Carolina; Newbern and Raleigh, North Carolina; Key West and Dry Tortugas, Florida. In September of 1871 he was appointed a Hospital Steward in the U.S. Marine Hospital in Mobile, Alabama but resigned July 4, 1874.

Hutton then attended medical school and graduated from Chicago Medical College on March 16, 1875 and after a competitive examination won an appointment as Assistant Surgeon in the U.S. Marine Hospital Service. He was promoted to Surgeon on October 5, 1876. He served in hospitals in New York, Cincinnati, Mobile, Key West, New Orleans, Baltimore, and Detroit.  He also served as Medical Inspector of the Life-Saving Service, was on several examining boards, and had a great deal to do with National quarantine matters, especially as regards yellow fever and cholera. On one occasion he represented the authority of the United States for several months, in quarantine matters, on the entire Florida coast.

Dr. William H. H. Hutton died in Detroit on June 14, 1897 and is buried in Grove Hill Cemetery, Morrison, Illinois.

The blade of Hutton’s Model 1860 is double edged and diamond shaped in cross-section. Both edges are free of nicks and dents. The obverse of the blade is etched with his name in gothic lettering “W. H. H. HUTTON, SURGEON” within a sunburst flanked by scrollwork. The reverse is etched with “U. S. MARINE HOSPITAL SERVICE” also done in gothic letters flanked by scrollwork. The ricasso on this side is etched “AMES SWORD CO. CHICOPEE, MASS.” The etching on both sides is strong and the rest of the blade has a mirror finish.

The hilt of the sword is in good condition with a light patina to the brass surfaces. The round pommel cap is surmounted by a flower while the obverse side of the pommel has the Marine Hospital Service insignia of a crossed anchor and caduceus and the reverse side has a five-pointed star. The grip is sharkskin wrapped in twisted wire. All is in excellent shape. The grip has brass ferrules at top and bottom which are decorated with oak leaves. The single knuckle bow begins at the base of the pommel cap and comes around to the base of the grip where it widens into two clamshell counterguards, one of which folds down, before ending in a circular quillon. The knuckle bow is decorated at top with a heavy scroll design as well as a hole for accepting a sword knot. The center of the bow is decorated with a raised floral design with leaves extending from each side of the flower. The fold-down counterguard raises and lowers properly. Its face has a wonderful raised design of a patriotic shield superimposed over crossed rifles, cannons, lances and swords all within a laurel wreath. The opposite guard is heavily decorated with a raised Marine Hospital Service insignia within a wreath of laurel leaves.

The leather scabbard has two repairs and both are poorly repaired. One is located just above the drag and was done with black electrical tape. The other is 2.00 inches above it and done with old clear tape. The leather side seam has also opened for approx. 6.25 inches. The brass throat, two ring mounts and drag are all in good condition. The throat has a ring attached to each side and is decorated with a nicely detailed five-pointed star. The top and bottom edges have a delicate linear dot pattern that forms a floral design. The second mount follows the same pattern but has only one ring attached. The brass drag is decorated on both sides with raised branch of laurel. The overall condition of the leather on the scabbard is worn but good.

A great item identified to hard fighting soldier and dedicated doctor.  [ad] [ph:L]

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