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    Captain Charles Strickland 20th Maine Presentation Sword - Battle of Gettysburg. Captain Charles Strickland of the 20th Maine Infantry was presented this ornate field officer's sword on August 30, 1862 for a wound received while rendering services during the Peninsular Campaign in Virginia. This unit was one of the most famous of the Civil War, fighting at Little Round Top at the Battle of Gettysburg. Led by Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, the unit has been memorialized in books and film for their exploits in holding off the Confederate assault and eventually charging into the 15th Alabama to take the day.

    This sword presented to Captain Strickland was made in New York by James P. Fitch and measures 32" in length. Starting at the ricasso with an engraved sunrise design, this blade is elaborately etched through the 22" fuller with the 'U.S.' appearing 6" from the ricasso. On the reverse, working up from the maker's mark at the ricasso, the same elaborate floral etching appears with a spread-winged eagle at 6" up the blade just below a ribbon with 'E. Pluribus Unum'. Further up the blade are a stand of arms below an American flag.

    The hilt consists of a carved silver and twisted wire ornate grip capped by a pommel engraved with a floral design. The guard has a tightly carved floral design throughout extending to the quillon that terminates in a scroll pattern. The hilt retains approximately 30% of its original gilt.

    The metal and leather scabbard has an ornate throat that extends over 4" down the scabbard. Retaining about 80% of its original gilt, it is in the form of a federal eagle with wings spread, a shield at its center with the 'E. Pluribus Unum' ribbon in its mouth in front of a field of stars surmounted by a sunburst. Below the eagle is a laurel wreath. On the reverse of the throat there is elaborate engraving scrollwork which is bisected by a laurel wreath through the attachment screw fits as well as the upper ring.

    Down the leather part of the scabbard about 5" is the second ring attached to a 3½" gilt metal mount which is highly engraved front and back. On the front is the silver presentation shield onto which is engraved the following:

    Capt. Chas. Strickland
    By the
    Members of Co. K
    20 Me. Regt.
    Aug 30

    The gilt drag of the scabbard extends a full 6" from the end of the scabbard and bears equally fine engraving. It retains approximately 30% of its original gilt.

    This is a rare field officer's presentations sword given to a young captain at the start of the war who was part of one of the most famous units of the Civil War.

    Provenance: The Tharpe Collection of American Military History

    Exhibited: The Liberty Heritage Society Museum *****

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    24th-25th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,973

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