December 14-17, 2021 Collectible Firearms & Militaria
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/14/2021
This is a standard form of sword used by noncommissioned officers in the New York militia at the beginning of the Civil War, which corresponds with the only viable candidate, David Kennedy (also “Kenedy,”) who mustered in November 7, 1861, as a corporal in Company I of the 69th New York, which departed New York City on November 18, 1861, which is also the date of the presentation. The most famous of the Civil War Irish regiments, the 69th Volunteers had as its nucleus the 69th New York State Militia. The “P.G.s“ from the presentation are likely members of the Peterson Guard, or Peterson Light Guard, another known New York City militia organization, which did not succeed in raising enough men to enter the volunteer service as a unit. Kennedy was placed on duty as brigade commissary clerk in June 1862. He was transferred to Company I as a private in June 1863, but remained on duty as part of the brigade staff until he mustered out in front of Petersburg September 18, 1864. The regiment and brigade need no introduction to collectors, having seen service with the Army of the Potomac from 1861 onwards, on the Peninsula, at Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg and many other fields in the thick of the fighting. There is an article included within the binder of research that accompanies the sword that states an Irish Brigade Commissary Sergeant was promoted for bravery for fighting during Antietam. This gives testament that when needed, soldiers of different assignments would be called into battle if necessary. The muster roles place Kennedy at all of these major engagements. In all of the Union Army, the regiment had a higher percentage of killed during the Civil War. Any piece associated with this unit is rare. Although the sword manufacturer is not visibly marked, a similar example in Thillmann's book "Civil War Army Swords", page 540, is listed as an Ames late style NCO sword. The presentation is located on the upper mount and reads " Presented to / David Kennedy / by the / P.G.s" / New York Nov. 13th 1861". Once unsheathed, the blade exhibits etchings that are commonly encountered on other Ames swords. The etchings on the obverse begin with a thin foliate branch, followed by a typical Ames style eagle, with its wings spread, perched on arrows and branches, holding a banner that reads "E Pluribus Unum" within its beak. The eagle is followed by two crossed flags with a liberty cap perched on a pole in between them, ending with a bundle of oak leaves and acorns that disappear behind the shell shaped langets. The reverse exhibits similar motifs, featuring oak leaved and acorns that are followed by two crossed flags with a liberty cap perched on a pole in between them, continuing to floral vines that morph into more oak leaves and acorns that disappear behind the shell shaped langet. The hilt features a cruciform guard that is cast and stippled, a reeded bone grip, and an ornate knight's head pommel. The sword is complete with its leather scabbard which features brass mounts. The mounts are left unadorned except for the presentation on the upper mount. CONDITION: The blade remains bright and exhibits very light areas of pitting, scattered scratches, and a few chips along both edges. The cross guard, reeded bone grip, and pommel exhibit dark spots. The scabbard leather exhibits scattered cracks and there is a weak spot just below the drag. The brass exhibits a pleasing dark patina with only a few small areas retaining the original gilt. Overall very good. The sword is accompanied by a binder of research that contains the muster roles of Kennedy as well as articles and histories of the regiment. This is a nice militia style presentation sword that was presented to an NCO that served with one of the most recognized units of the Civil War. JLD
Blade Length
Overall Length
31 - 1/2"
Binder of Research
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $1,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $1,320.00
Estimate: $2,000 - $4,000
Number Bids: 3
Auction closed on Friday, December 17, 2021.
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