Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    EXQUISITE AMES M1850 STAFF AND FIELD OFFICER'S SWORD PRESENTED TO COLONEL ELIAS PEISSNER 119TH NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS KILLED IN ACTION AT CHANCELLORSVILLE, VA. MAY 3, 1863 Prior to the war Elias Peissner was a professor of German Language and Literature at Union College in New York. He was authorized to raise a regiment in the summer of 1862 and on September 5, 1862 (the date of this sword's presentation) the 119th New York Volunteers was mustered into service. On September 6, the regiment left for Washington and was attached to Schurz's Brigade of Howard's 11th Corps, a unit composed primarily of German American personnel. The regiment lost six officers and 71 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded during the course of the war. At Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863 Schurz's Brigade was struck by Stonewall Jackson and, while much of the brigade fled, the 119th New York staunchly stood in defense of Dilge's battery of artillery. During the furious fighting that ensued Peissner was mortally wounded at the head of his regiment. As a result of the debacle at Chancellorsville Schurz's German Brigade was generally deemed as unreliable in combat, but they would soon redeem themselves on the field at Gettysburg on July 1st. The sword is superb for both its quality and condition. Brass hilt with pierced US in the basket along with floral and scroll motifs. Chased with floral and scroll designs on the outward edge of guard, knuckle bow, pommel cap and quillon. Fish skin grip with twisted brass wire wrap. The scabbard is all brass with the inscription "Presented to/Col.. Elias Peissner/by the/members of the 5th Senatorial District/as a token of regard/New York Sept. 5th, 1862". The exquisite quality brass mounts are attached with brass screws on the reverse. The top mount has finials of floral and scroll motifs features a separately affixed spread wing eagle holding a flowing "Excelsior" riband. And ring mounts on both sides. The middle mount finials are panoplies of arms with a shield as the central theme. The bottom mount has scroll motifs at the top and a separately affixed 4" leaf and scroll panel in the center. The reverse of the scabbard has a small riband at the top which is hand engraved "Made by Ames Mfg. Co. Chicopee, Mass." The 32 ¼" blade is etched with a frosted background for ¾ of its length. The obverse includes scroll/floral motifs, panoplies of arms and spread wing eagle surmounted by a riband with motto. Etched just above the ricasso "Ames Mfg. Co. Chicopee, Mass." The reverse has floral and scroll motifs, panoplies and stands of arms and a 3/8" high block US. Really a beautiful sword, inscribed to a brave Union officer who was killed at the head of his regiment in the maelstrom that was Chancellorsville.

    CONDITION: Shows just the slightest use retaining 95% of the original gilt on all brass. Just one very shallow dent 4" below the middle mount, really negligible. The blade retains (5% of the original mint luster, just some very minor speckling, again negligible. Overall superb.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,430

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information. Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    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 2020 May 22 Space Exploration Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage has gone above and beyond my expectations in handling all of my transactions in a thoroughly professional manner. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone worldwide for the exemplary auction and valuation services they provide.
    Richard H.,
    Corsicana, TX
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    The Collection of James Kwis Leonard Internet Rare Books Auction
    The Collection of James Kwis Leonard Internet Rare Books Auction
    REALIZED SO FAR $300,884