December 14-17, 2021 Collectible Firearms & Militaria
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 12/14/2021
Theodore C. Wallace enrolled in the 93rd New York for 3 years’ service at age the age of 33 and mustered in as Assistant Surgeon to the regiment on December 12, 1861. Wallace was significantly older than most recruits, as the average age of soldiers fighting in the Union Army was 25 years old. However, as a man of medicine, his previous experience would have been quite desirable considering the bloody turnout of the war. While he was with the 93rd New York, the regiment served in the 4th Army Corps in the Peninsula Campaign and thereafter in the provost guard, particularly as headquarters guard for the Army of the Potomac. Wallace mustered out of the regiment for promotion to Surgeon of the 61st New York on March, 29 1863, with rank from March 11, 1863. This was a hard fighting unit in the 2nd Army Corps. His records indicate he was present at Chancellorsville with the division field hospital during the battle in which a fierce Union attack was met in force with a bloody defeat. Wallace is also marked present on the regimental rolls from June in to August 1863, which places him at Gettysburg, where the regiment, as part of Caldwell’s division fought in the maelstrom of the famous Wheatfield on July 2, as units were funneled in to halt Longstreet’s attack on the Union left. The fighting around the Wheatfield was intense, resulting in the collapse of the Union line and heavy casualties. It was during this engagement that General Samuel Zook was shot from his horse while leading his brigade forward. Zook succumbed to his wounds at a field hospital the next day and was 1 of 4 Union generals killed during the battle. Wallace is thus likely1 of the 2 regimental medical officers mentioned by the wounded Lt. Charles Fuller, 61st New York, in the field hospital. In December 1863, Wallace was forced to take a leave of absence “By reason of exposure to very incumbent weather in the absence of tents, incurred a severe cold which produced violent inflammation of the internal ear followed by profuse inflammation and rupture of the drums of the ear producing almost total deafness.”. Wallace remained with the regiment until discharged on May, 5 1864. He continued to practice medicine after the war and worked as a Physician where he resided in Cambridge, New York. Wallace died of pneumonia on March 5, 1901 at the age of 71. This medical officer’s sword was regulation for both Assistant Surgeons and full Surgeons, making it appropriate for him to carry in both regimental assignments. This sword is scarce, with only 3 officers at most carrying them, in theory, in a regiment at any one time and 30 some other officers carrying other patterns. The sword is also inscribed to Wallace on the scabbard and on the reverse langet. The presentation is located on the scabbard and reads "T.C. Wallace. M.D. / 93rd Reg't. N.Y.V." As is regulation, the blade is oval in cross-section, without a fuller, double edged and with a spearpoint. The blade is ornately decorated and features foliate designs with scrolls of acanthus leaves that travel up the blade and swirl around patriotic motifs including swords, staffs, and panoplies. The acanthus leaves on the obverse blade are interrupted with a banner that reads "E Pluribus Unum" followed by a spread winged federal eagle adorned with a patriotic shield that protects its breast. The reverse features the letters "U.S." at the center of the blade, replacing the eagle. The reverse ricasso is marked "Klingenthal" in classic cursive lettering along with a B crown stamp. The obverse is also marked with Klingenthal cursive and a shield stamp. The crossguard is equally ornate and is designed as branches of formed scrolling acanthus leaves. There are 2 shield shaped langets that extend downward towards the blade. The reverse langet is inscribed with Wallace's initials "T.C.W." and the obverse contains a silvered “MS”, for Medical Staff, above a cluster of 6 stars, all bordered by bellflower garland. The grip is thickly cast and chased in floral motifs seeming to spring out of an urn shaped flowering bulb at the base of the grip. The ferrule is appropriately stamped stamped "E.L." under 3 punched stars, for E. Leon, who was an assembler in Paris, France. This is followed by 2 circular shaped vignettes, 1 on each side, which each contains a spread winged eagle. The pommel is topped by an acorn shaped finial. The sword is complete with its gilt brass scabbard which features deeply cast and chased floral mounts at the throat, middle carrying ring, and drag. The upper mount features a flower that is contained in a arabesque shaped dome with the middle mount featuring a thin branch lush with leaved and berries. The drag features thick oak leaves which are flanked by small acorns. CONDITION: The blade exhibits a light gray patina with areas of pitting scattered throughout its length. There are a few small chips in the edges. The hilt exhibits a pleasing dark patina. The scabbard retains most of its gilt with slight verdigris around the middle mount and drag. There is slight oxidation around the base of the carry rings. There are also a few small dents and slight blemishes but the presentation remains unmolested. Overall very good. The sword is accompanied by a binder of research and photos of Wallace, one is an original while the other is a scan. This is not only a great example of a Medical Staff sword, but an even better example of a sword carried by a medical officer who was present at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. This is a rare example, as only a few presentation swords from surgeons who were at the Battle of Gettysburg are known. JLD
Blade Length
30 - 1/4"
Overall Length
35 - 1/4"
Binder of Research
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $3,000.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $3,690.00
Estimate: $6,000 - $9,000
Number Bids: 2
Auction closed on Friday, December 17, 2021.
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