Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    INSCRIBED M1860 STAFF AND FIELD OFFICER'S SWORD CARRIED DURING THE CIVIL WAR BY THE "ROCK OF CHICKAMAUGA" MAJOR GENERAL GEORGE H. THOMAS. Deemed by many to be the most capable general in the Union Army, Thomas's career was shadowed by his Virginia origins, doubtless the single most important factor blocking his elevation to overall command of the Union Army. Few American commanders ever accomplished so much against such debilitating prejudice in the command hierarchy. Thomas's action at Chickamauga on September 19-20, 1863, and his brilliant conduct while in command of the Army of the Cumberland from October 1863 to June 1865 still stand as benchmarks of strategic skill on the battlefield. Thomas was appointed to West Point from Virginia in 1836, graduating in 1840. He saw service in the Seminole War in 1840-42, the Mexican War, where he received several brevets, most notably for his gallantry at Buena Vista, and in the American west in the 1850s where he was wounded in action against Kiowas. His gallant service during the Civil War was unrivaled. Indeed it has been said that 'if ever one man altered the course of a war in a single afternoon it was Thomas. Thomas died in San Francisco on March 28, 1870, where he was in command of the Department of the Pacific.

    This regulation M1860 staff and field officer's sword is in near mint, untouched condition with the inscription on the face of the inboard folding counterguard, "Geo. H. Thomas/ Major General/ U. S. Army". The 31.5" blade, which is diamond shaped in cross section, is etched for 2/3 of its length with profuse hand engraved details. A panel at the base of the reverse side, just above the ricasso is hand engraved "Ames Mfg. Co./ Chicopee/ Mass" the steel scabbard is blued with cast decoration on the brass mounts. Thomas is depicted wearing this exact sword in a painting by George Drury authorized by the Tennessee Legislature in 1866. The painting hung in the State Capitol in Nashville for many years until 1963 when it was restored. It is now in the possession of the Tennessee State Library and Archives. Additionally there are several period photographs of Thomas wearing this sword. The sword is pictured in the 1983 book The Dependable General by Frank A. Polumbo and identified thusly, "This sword was carried and used by General Thomas during the Civil War, mostly on dress occasions." The provenance includes an unbroken chain of ownership from General Thomas to the present. The sword, along with a number of other personal items was given by Thomas to Colonel S. C. Kellogg, his aide-de-camp, long time personal and military associate, and nephew. The sword became the property of his daughter, Julia upon his death and was subsequently given to Col. William M. Hoover, U. S. Army Medical Corps in 1946. Julia was Hoover's long time friend and patient. The sword, along with a number of other personal items belonging to Thomas, was purchased from Hoover by Norm Flayderman in May of 1966 , thence from Norm to the current owner. Copies of all pertinent letters and affidavits are, of course, accompany the sword. A wonderful sword of considerable historical significance, impeccably provenanced to one of the union's greatest generals who carried this sword in Nashville.

    Provenance: Norm Flayderman.

    Condition:
    The sword is, for all intents and purposes, mint. Retains 95% of the original lacquer on the mint blued steel scabbard. Brass hilt mounts and throat with 95% of the original gilt under some minor but pleasing age darkening. Sharkskin grip with twisted brass wire wrap, mint. Blade retains 95% of the original bright mint luster, just a few small stains near the tip.


    ‡ The owner placed a late bid on this unreserved lot and repurchased it, subject to applicable commission.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,731

    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

    VIEW BENEFITS
    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
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 29 days left to consign to the 2020 March 4 Rare Books Signature Auction Books Signature Auction - New York !

    Learn about consigning with us

    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
    Howard Ballou,
    Brandon, MS
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 8 Civil War, Militaria, Arms & Armor Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 8 Civil War, Militaria, Arms & Armor Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $950,931