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U647. PRESENTATION SWORD BELONGING TO LIEUTENANT  COL. JAMES C. RICE;  GETTYSBURG,  LITTLE ROUND TOP: The existence of this sword and the fact it survived the war was just discovered. It is a Horstmann M1850 Staff & Field, Heavily Curved Blade with a Silver-Foiled Scabbard. The hilt is the standard designed with shark-skin grip and triple wire with a standard etched blade marked Horstmann on both sides, and a good amount of original frosting. The Silver-Foiled Scabbard has rarely been seen and is more properly referred to as “close plating.” John Thillmann writes about this style Horstmann sword and scabbard in his book on Civil War Army Swords; pages 328-329. The scabbard body is original to the sword, fits like a glove and shows evidence of being carried. It has uncommon fancy brass mounts which retain original screws. In fact, you can see plating worn-off in areas exposing the underlying steel. This is especially noticeable between the top two mounts where the carrying officer would hold the scabbard. As of result, the engraved presentation, which is on the back side of the scabbard, is worn down and not noticeable at first, which account for its unknown existence for so long.  On close examination the presentation reads:

Lieut. Col. Rice, Forty-fourth Regiment N. Y. S. V. Presented by his Albany Friends.'

Most of the presentation swords during the early years of the Civil War were not fancy as those seen in later years. Often they were standard sword with maybe a fancier scabbard, and the presentation engraved on or between the mounts.

Rice was born in Worthington, Mass., Dec. 27, 1829. He attended school, but was mainly self-educated until he entered Yale, where he graduated in 1854. He engaged in teaching for a while at Natchez, Miss., became literary editor of a newspaper, and then commenced the study of law. A year later he removed to New York City, where he was admitted to the bar in 1856 and began to practice. When the Civil War began, Rice enlisted as a private on 28 May 1861 in the 39th New York Infantry Regiment quickly, was chosen adjutant and becoming a Captain of Company B and fought at the First Battle of Bull Run. Rice was mustered out of the 39th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment on 12 Sep 1861. The next day Rice became lieutenant colonel of the newly formed 44th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment (also known as People's Ellsworth Regiment).

Shortly afterward he became colonel of the regiment; he led it in the Peninsula Campaign at Yorktown, Hanover Court House, Gaines' Mill, and Malvern Hill. At the Second Battle of Bull Run (Manassas), Colonel Rice took command of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, V Corps when its commander, Daniel Butterfield took command of the consolidated 1st and 2nd Brigades and other ranking officers were wounded on the second day of battle. Rice returned to command of the 44th New York and led it at the battles of Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.

At the Battle of Gettysburg, Rice and his regiment were sent to the defense of Little Round Top. During the fighting, brigade commander Colonel Strong Vincent was mortally wounded and Rice once again assumed command of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, V Corps and led it for the remainder of the battle. He performed distinguished service at Gettysburg while commanding a brigade during the second day's fight, by holding the extreme left of the line against repeated attacks and defending Round Top from a flank movement. For this he received a Brigadier-General's commission in the volunteer army Aug. 17, 1863.

In March, 1864 General Rice was in command ofthe 2nd Brigade, 4th Division, V Corps which he led in the advance on Mine Run and in the operations in the Wilderness, and was mortally wounded at Laurel Hill, VA. As he lay dying he muttered the words "turn me over that I may die with my face to the enemy." He died on the Spotsylvania battlefield on May 10, 1864. He was buried at Albany Rural Cemetery, Menands, New York.

On receiving his appointment in the 44th  New York, Lieut. Col. Rice was the recipient of a beautiful sword, belt, &c., from the ladies and gentlemen of Albany. The following account of the presentation is taken from the Albany Evening Journal of October 19th, 1861:

A large company of ladies and gentlemen met at the house of A. McClure last evening, on the occasion of the presentation of sword, &c., to Lieut. Col. Rice, of the Ellsworth regiment. Among those present were Gov. Morgan, Hon. Erastus Corning, John G. Saxe, Esq., and other distinguished citizens. The Presentation Address was made by Mrs. William Barnes, who spoke with great feeling and in a vein of patriotic fervor, which stirred the hearts of all who listened. It will be long before the recipient will forget her eloquent words and impressive counsels. Lieut. Col. Rice responded in an address marked at once by earnestness and scholarly finish. He pledged those present that the sword, of which he was the recipient, should return to its scabbard, when the war was ended, untarnished; and that no friend should have cause to blush over his record. He was deeply affected, and spoke with the pathos of earnest feeling.

"The sword is beautifully finished, and bears the following inscription: 'Lieut. Col. Rice, Forty-fourth Regiment N. Y. S. V. Presented by his Albany Friends.'

The wear on the sword and scabbard indicates it was carried by RIce, and most likely saw service in the early battles of the Civil War to possibly include Gettysburg.

Silver plated scabbard are difficult to photograph, so I apologies for the quality of the photos. The sword looks better when held in your hands.

Included with this sword is a binder completed of all military records for Rice, and a CD Disk of the history of the 44th New York Regiment. This is a momentous find and extremely important historic artifact related to the American Civil War and the Battle of Gettysburg.$28,000.00 SALE PRICE $12,000.00

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U715. HORSTMANN MOUNTED INFANTRY M1850 OFFICER SWORD: It is rare to find an example of a Horstmann Mounted Infantry Officer sword! This sword shows use, but not abuse. It has a little wear on the top of the grip, retains 100% original double-strand wire, and is tight. There are traces of gold wash on the guard with very nice copper-brown patina on the expose brass. The blade has strong etching with some areas with dark spotting and a strong tip, and is Horstmann marked. The metal scabbard has a deep brown patina, retains all mounts with screws and wear on the drag.  Overall, this is a rare and hard to find sword. $1950.00  

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U716. AMES M1850 FOOT OFFICERS SWORD: This is an early example of an Ames M1850 Foot Officers sword. You can identify the early swords by the maker mark and the size of the block US etching. This sword has the circle Ames needle point maker mark and the Ames scroll mark, as well as the smaller block US. This sword has seen use, but is still in great condition. The hilt is tight with 100% original shark-skin grip and double strand wire. There is still a good amount of gold was with a pleasing copper-brown patina. The etching is strong and still has some spots of frosting. The scabbard is solid with crazing and some leather loss, but is complete. The top mount of the scabbard is Ames marked and the drag has the officers name “Hertfelder.” The name is not enough to make a positive identification. Here is an early example of a key sword from the Civil War.  $1300.00

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U718. AMES M1833 SHORT ARTILLERY SWORD & WHITE BUFF LEATHER RIG: This is an Ames M1833 Short Artillery sword complete with its original white buff leather rig. The sword blade is near-mint, never sharpened, Ames marked and dated 1838. The cross guard and the tip of the drag are stamped MS for Massachusetts. The scabbard is solid with crazing, and a period repair. The white buff leather rig is complete with the US buckle and in outstanding condition. It is for sale below market value. $2250.00

A similar example of lesser quality is listed on Ebay for $2650.00

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C280. COLUMBUS, GEORGIA NAVAL IRON WORKS CUTLASS: This Confederate Naval Cutlass was made at the Columbus, Georgia Naval Iron Works. There are several known variations of knives/swords that were made at the Naval Iron Works.  The most common and well known of these is a cutlass that utilizes the identical blade and wooden grip pattern as that shown here with an “S” shaped cross guard made of either brass or iron.  This is iron guard version. The cutlass was originally intended for use by naval boarding parties.  The idea being that when two ships engaged in close quarters combat, the attacking party would leap from their own ship onto the enemy ship.  The cutlass would then be used in hand to hand combat, but more importantly they could hack through the enemy ships rigging, thereby disabling the ship. By the time of the war between the States, rifled cannons made boarding parties obsolete just as the rifled musket had made smoothbore musket tactics obsolete.  Even though they had become obsolete, cutlasses were standard equipment on Confederate ships. There is some loose play in the guard. The grip is tight and in near-mint condition. There is no doubt that this cutlass remains in its original configuration; it has not been cleaned, repaired or altered in any way. $3800.00

Purchase both Georgia Naval Iron Works Cutlasses, items C251 & C280, and receive a $500 discount!

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C281. CONFEDERATE SHORT SWORD: This Confederate Short sword appears to be an early battle-field pick up. It is 20 1/2 inches long with a blade just less than 16 inches, and a steel guard with a wood grip. All the steel has matching patina andsurface pitting. The grip show nice patina with expected stress cracks.  This has been identified as a Kenansville “L. Froelich” produce, but recent evidence indicts these may have been made by Boyle & Gamble. Overall, it is a nice example of a Confederate short sword. $2500.00

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