April 11-13, 2023 Firearms and Militaria
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/13/2023
An interesting example of a Model 1840 heavy cavalry saber with ties to the Antietam Battlefield. The saber is in standard M1840 configuration, with a 34 – 1/4” curved blade and wide fuller, which is terminated at the ricasso marked ““SHEBLE & FISHER / PHILADA” on the reverse. Leather washer is in place above the brass hilt which features the typical 3-band cavalry guard that forms into the knucklebow. Brass pommel with tiered cap. The grip is of wood, grooved and wrapped with leather and twisted wire. The saber is complete with its iron scabbard. The sword is distinct from other wristbreakers because of the blade, which features an inscription that is painted in gold script letters “Antietam Battlefield Commander J.H. Trundle Alexander Young Camp”. The scabbard bands and throat are also painted gold, and this embellishment is commonly encountered on battlefield recovered swords, which were later hung as decorations in GAR halls, and other public gathering areas. The sword comes with an original tag from renowned Antietam Battlefield guide O.T. Reilly which reads “O.T. REILLY / Battlefield Guide / Guides, Post Cards and Relics / SHARPSBURG, MD” on the obverse and “SWORD FROM THE BATTLE OF ANTIETAM / PURCHASED FROM J.H. TRUNDLE OF CAMP / #500 U.C.V. FREDERICK, MD.”. Born in nearby Keedysville, Maryland, Reilly, who claimed he witnessed the battle when he was 5, became a battlefield guide when he was 15. In 1890, he moved to Sharpsburg, where he opened a store on Main Street and sold novelties, groceries, battlefield guide books, postcards, and Civil War relics. He also offered tours of the Antietam Battlefield and served as a battlefield guide for 7 decades, often taking veterans on tours of the field. His relics are the Maryland equivalent of the J.A. Danner Museum in Gettysburg. As the tag states, Reilly purchased this sword from Joseph H. Trundle, who was born in 1844 in Montgomery County, but moved to Frederick County soon after and shows up at age 6 in the 1850 census as son of a farmer in the Buckeystown district. He had pre-war service in the Manor Mounted Guard of Carrollton Manor in 1860 but does not seem to have joined the Confederate service until he turned 18, enlisting at Leesburg in White’s 35th Battalion of Virginia Cavalry on September 15, 1862, just 2 days prior to Antietam. Records indicate he joined Company B, “Chiswell’s Maryland Exiles,” organized in Montgomery County. An obituary does not mention participation at Antietam but does record him detailed as dispatch bearer to Gen. John B. Gordon at Gettysburg and an anecdote records his father trying to catch up with him on the march north to deliver “a fine young riding horse.” The battalion saw action at Brandy Station and scouting ahead of Ewell as part of Jones’s brigade in that campaign and later served in the Bristoe and Mine Run campaigns, and in 1864 served in the Loudon Valley, where it had operated before Trundle joined it, and supported the ANV against Grant. They were present at Appomattox, but rode off before the surrender, preferring to simply disband. Trundle was paroled at Harpers Ferry in late April 1865 and after the war was an agent for the B & O Railroad, lived in Frederick, where he was commander of Camp #500 and held the position until his death in August 1924. Grove’s History of Carrollton Manor has an image of Trundle in his pre-war militia uniform. Although Trundle was most likely not present at the Battle of Antietam, he most likely acquired this sword when he was in the area, as the battlefield was littered with relics well into the post-war years. He most likely picked up the sword and decorated it with the painted blade inscription as well as the mounts in order to display as an ornament of the camp. The sword is accompanied by a gutta percha case that is decorated with patriotic motifs and contains a copy of a picture of Trundle in his pre-war Manor Mounted Guards Uniform. The case also contains a UCV medal which reads “OUR PRESIDENT / RICHMOND 1896” on the face with a nice ribbon featuring the Confederate Flag. Also accompanying the sword is a folder of information which contains a receipt from the Sharpsburg Arsenal stating that this saber was purchased by Dan Hartzler in 2001 at the Gettysburg show. CONDITION: The blade exhibits a gray patina with freckling throughout its length. The blade inscription is faint but legible. Hilt exhibits a pleasant patina with nice leather wrap and slightly loose wire. Scattered blemishes from handling and age. Scabbard exhibits a chocolate patina retaining a generous portion of the era applied gold paint on the mounts. Gutta percha case is cracked in 2 pieces on the front. Medal ribbon is worn. This is a very nice example of an early battlefield recovered saber that was once in the possession of a Confederate veteran and distinguished battlefield guide.
Blade Length
34 - 1/4"
Overall Length
40 - 1/2"
Photo and Medal, Folder of Information
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $700.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $1,440.00
Estimate: $1,400 - $2,800
Number Bids: 8
Auction closed on Thursday, April 13, 2023.
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