Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Mexican War Hero Charles May Presentation Sword.
    Charles A. May was an officer in the United States Army serving for more than 25 years. He is best known for his heroics by leading a cavalry charge against Mexican artillery at the Battle of Resaca de la Palma on May 9, 1846. May spent most of his career in the Second Regiment of Dragoons. As a lieutenant he participated in the Second Seminole War where he was responsible for the capture of an important tribal chief. During the Mexican War he commanded a squadron during Zachary Taylor's expedition, and saw action at the Battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterey, and Buena Vista. May later served in various parts of the American frontier, including the Bleeding Kansas crisis. He resigned his commission in 1861, and took a job as a railroad executive in New York City. May died some three years later of a heart ailment.

    Presented is May's model 1850 officers presentation sword made by Ames of Springfield, Mass., from the citizens of New Orleans from the District of Columbia. The blade was made by Clauberg in Solingen, Germany. The scabbard has "NP Ames Cutler Springfield, Mass" next to the top hanger. The blade measures 33 3/4", with 1/3 of the blade having ornate etchings on both sides. The blade has light wear, with some discoloration near the tip. The brass hilt and the wire and shark skin handle are in excellent condition. The inscription on the scabbard reads "Presented to Capt. Charles May 2nd Reg. U.S. Dragoons, by his fellow Citizens of New Orleans from the District of Columbia to commemorate their sense of his Gallantry displayed in the battle with the Mexican forces May 9th, 1846", the date that May made the charge at Resaca de la Palma. The scabbard has ornate etchings from the top to the drag on one side. They are some dents, but in overall fine condition. The sword comes with his officers epaulette's, leather belt attachment, two modern prints of May charging at Resaca de la Palma, and research material pertaining to May and the Second Dragoons. This presentation sword is equally beautiful and historic.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2020
    7th Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,030

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    Sold on Jun 7, 2020 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 November 7 Guitars and Musical Instruments Signature Auction.

    Learn about consigning with us

    I don’t often do testimonials but in this case I felt truly obligated to thank Heritage Auctions for the extremely professional job your organization did for me.
    Charlie K.,
    Pittsburgh, PA
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search