Wounded in Action July 18, 1863 - Battery Wagner - South Carolina
Union Officer's Presentation Civil War Sword to Colonel John H.
Jackson, 3rd New Hampshire Volunteers - Fort Wagner Charge
A beautiful presentation sword presented to Colonel John H. Jackson of the 3rd Regiment of New Hampshire volunteers by the drafted men under his command. The ornate gilt scabbard is engraved with the inscription "Presented to Col. John H. Jackson, 3rd Regt N.H. Col's, by the 3rd Detachment of N.H. Men Under His Command at Long Island, Boston Harbor, as a token of their esteem, Oct. 20th, 1863."
This Collins and Company blade is finely etched and is marked "Hartford, Connecticut, 1862." The grip is gold braided and the guard has a gilt "US" in a foliate pattern. The hand-engraved scabbard is stunningly gilded and is made by the Ames Manufacturing Company of Chicopee, Massachusetts. Ames made scabbards for many such presentations swords, particularly for Collins and Company. The condition of the sword is overall very good, with about 60% of its original, uncleaned gilt. There are several dents in the forward end of the scabbard and some pitting wear on the blade. Good honest wear.
John H. Jackson of Portsmouth, New Hampshire rose to the rank of Colonel of the 3rd New Hampshire Volunteers. During the Civil War, his unit fought at the Battles of Bluffton, Pocotaligo, James Island, and Morris Island. On July 18, 1863, at the assault on Fort Wagner made famous in the movie Glory, Colonel Jackson was wounded in the chest. Almost every Union officer was killed as they led repeated yet fruitless charges. Although seriously wounded, he was not out of the war yet. On the way back to New York, the hospital ship carrying Colonel Jackson, the Arago, encountered a rebel blockade-runner. The captain of the Arago gave chase and rammed the rebel ship. Colonel Jackson rose from his sick bed and led a boarding party to help capture the adversarial blockade-runners.
This presentation sword is equally beautiful and historic, having seen action at one of the most storied battles of the war. The sword comes with a volume of published material concerning the sword, National Archives photocopies, as well as information on provenance. Published article in the Gun Report Magazine mentions this sword by presentation and it also shows this sword and other items [photograph] on [figure 8 described as] "Artifacts in the collection of descendants of Col. Jackson.'
This sword was sold by Heritage Auctions on December 2, 2006 as lot 25522 [and has remained with current buyer since and now consignor], before that sale it was included in Little Johns Auction in November 1998 as lot 98.
Provenance: Jackson Family, Prominent collector
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