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    Description

    Historic, Inscribed Staff and Field Officer's Sword Used by a Brave New Yorker Wounded in Action. This classic Model 1850 Staff and Field Officer's Sword has both a wonderful patina and great inscription showing use by a member of the 100th New York Vol. Infantry who, among other things, was captured at Fair Oaks and later wounded at Fort Wagner. The sword is as per regulation, with a large "US" set in the pierced, floral guard. Etched into the guard itself is "Lieut. M. Friday" in script lettering. The uppermost sword mount is wonderfully engraved with a wreath inside which appears "Lieut./ M. Friday/ Co F/ 100t NYV" in a variety of decorative lettering. The reverse of the mount is boldly engraved in Old English letters "Yorktown/ Williamsburg/ Seven Pines/ Fair Oaks/ Seven Days Battle/ Morris Island" with "SC" at the bottom in fanciful script. The middle mount is also engraved with an attractive floral design. The blade is dull gray with most of the etching light but visible and includes the maker's marking "Horstmann/ & Son/ Philadelphia." The metal scabbard has turned an overall dark brown with small patches of surface rust. Interestingly, the drag was apparently installed upside down and appears always to have been that way. The sword has a superb patina and overall condition is good with the quillon and guard slightly bent and a small period solder repair to the knucklebow where it connects to the pommel. The rayskin grips and wire wrapping show the expected wear but are tight and completely intact.

    Forty-four year old Michael Friday joined the 100th New York Vol. Infantry as a Private in October 1861 and days later was promoted Sergeant, enduring the unit's bitter fighting in McClellan's Peninsular Campaign until captured at Fair Oaks on May 31, 1862. Exchanged 105 days later, he rejoined the regiment and was ultimately promoted to First Lieutenant. On July 18, 1863, he was wounded in the head at Fort Wagner, South Carolina. That December, Friday apparently refused an order to do guard duty ("I'll be God damned if I'll go," he supposedly told a superior officer according to court martial accounts) and was dismissed from the service. This is a marvelous sword with terrific character actually carried in the field by a very brave, and perhaps temperamental, officer belonging to one of Fox's "Three Hundred Fighting Regiments of the War." Full records of Friday included.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    25th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 795

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