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Old December 25, 2012, 01:18 PM   #1
Tom68
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A Sword for Christmas

I made my wife very, very happy by purchasing a sword for her this Christmas.

She understands my affection for historical military firearms, and has never complained about my adding to my really modest collection of milsurps, although she definitely does not share my enthusiasm nor would she ever care to fire any of them. In fact, she doesn't have a large interest in history, although her recent interest in genealogy has made such study somewhat a necessity.

Recently she found the sword for sale online which had belonged to her 3rd Great-Grandfather, a Brigadier General in the Union Army (that part really hurt... I have NO lineage that I can trace any further north than VA, and count at least 5 ancestors who fought for the CSA). Now, she has no specific interest in swords, but given the lineage of this particular item... she stated that certainly if I can have all those old military rifles, then surely I wouldn't mind buying that sword from her! And... I will freely admit... she had me on that one.

So we ordered it on Friday, and it was delivered on Christmas Eve. I posted elsewhere that she hasn't been that excited since I proposed! Also included with the purchase was the provenance of the item which showed it stayed in the family until just a few years ago when some distant relative evidently felt that a few hundred dollars was worth more to him than a priceless piece of family history. I cannot for the life of me understand that sort of person.

So now she's actually encouraging me to buy a Springfield Model 1863 to go along with it. I'm thinking I made a good choice in a wife all those years ago, huh?
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Old December 25, 2012, 03:38 PM   #2
Tidewater_Kid
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Great story and very nice gesture! Feel free to post pictures!

TK
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Old December 25, 2012, 08:27 PM   #3
Grant D
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And a 1860 Colt!!
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Old December 26, 2012, 12:28 AM   #4
kilimanjaro
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It's great when an heirloom comes back to the family. Wonderful story. When you pass it to the next generation, put a codicil in the will, it can never be sold, only given to another family member.
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Old December 26, 2012, 12:41 AM   #5
tahunua001
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there's something you don't see everyday. seems like every day someone is claiming that an old pistol or rifle was used by their Grandfather in WWII but you rarely ever see anything that goes back past a century. you better not let her down and get that springfield before it's too late... don't worry, maybe some day she'll buy you a nice confederate rifle
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Old December 26, 2012, 12:45 AM   #6
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No pics.... Didn't happen.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Old December 26, 2012, 01:00 AM   #7
egor20
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Tom68

A Sword for Christmas
I made my wife very, very happy by purchasing a sword for her this Christmas.

You sir are the definition of the word Gentleman.
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Old December 26, 2012, 10:33 AM   #8
Tom68
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Sorry... I should have included a photo in the OP! I really do know better...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Sword.jpg (32.2 KB, 56 views)
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Old December 26, 2012, 10:44 AM   #9
MLeake
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Interesting, looks like an infantry sword. I was expecting a cavalry saber, on the assumption that officers, usually being mounted, would have carried such. Obviously, I made a bad assumption.

Cool story, pleasing the wife is almost never a bad thing.
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Old December 27, 2012, 12:07 AM   #10
kilimanjaro
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I could be wrong, but ; Infantry officers were often mounted, but were still Infantry and would carry the Infantry blade. They were not expected to fight from horseback, but to lead their men, afoot, into battle.
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Old December 27, 2012, 01:53 AM   #11
tahunua001
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Quote:
I could be wrong, but ; Infantry officers were often mounted, but were still Infantry and would carry the Infantry blade. They were not expected to fight from horseback, but to lead their men, afoot, into battle.
agreed, once you met on an open field you were expected to get off the horse and line up in ranks with the men and lead them across the field, only cavalry and high ranking officers actually stayed on their horses and many of them dismounted eventually anyway, voluntarily or not.
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Old December 27, 2012, 10:22 PM   #12
Tom68
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So here's a question for the real history buffs: would an officer of the 19th century obtain a new sword as he progressed in rank? or would he continue to use the one he received upon commissioning (or whatever occasion the sword was presented)?

Perhaps it may be been a personal preference, or perhaps there was some sort of protocol involved? This particular officer (Clinton B. Fisk) had previously commanded a Missouri Infantry regiment before being elevated to Brigadier General. Would custom of the day compel him to obtain a new sword for his new posting?
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Old December 27, 2012, 10:56 PM   #13
tahunua001
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I have always been a history buff but none of the accounts I've read go into exact detail when it comes to outfitting based on rank. the only genuine photo I've been able to find of a civil war era general posing with a sword is of Robert E lee and his is clearly an infantry sword. however with the south being, primarily self outfitted, or outfitted based on donations, I can't speak for whether union officers were given different swords based on rank.

some officers were awarded swords and some of them may have chosen the ceremonial sword instead of the issued weapon but that's another can of worms all together.
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Old December 29, 2012, 04:32 PM   #14
BlueTrain
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While most infantry officers were mounted, junior officers were not. However, they all carried the same sword, which by regulation was a curved sword and not the same as the cavalry saber, which was longer. NCOs also (officially) carried a sword, which was straight and looked like an 18th century smallsword. The model 1840 comes to mind but that's probably off by a few years. I've never read anything about how officer's obtained their equipment except that there were regulation patterns. Swords were also given as gifts and such were probably not regulation.

The sword in the photo looks older and could have been a family heirloom. Confederate officers had regulation patterns but shortages (of everything) meant other patterns, some imported, were used.

Interesting comment about Lee. I'm looking at a composite print of Lee and his generals, which includes my wife's great-great grandfather, Samuel Cooper (maybe one more great, still not sure after 30 years). Lee is the only one not carrying a saber or wearing a sword belt and sash and he is likewise the only one wearing long trousers instead of boots. They all look overdressed for a summer in Virginia.
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