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    ITaken from Mexican at the Battle of San Jacinto 1836"

    Captured Mexican Dagger "TAKEN FROM MEXICAN AT THE BATTLE OF SAN JACINTO 1836" is the period hand engraved legend on the brass overlaid ricasso of this Mexican dagger. Heavy 8.75" blade with rudimentary median ridge, 13.75" overall. Ebony grip with .75" brass capstan. The heavy brass cross guard is decorated w/crude ric-rac engraving at the edges and terminates in decorative finials reminiscent of Aztec carvings. The base of the blade is overlaid with 1" brass panels which are decorated with crude engraving. The inscription is incorporated into the line engraving on one of these panels. The knife is presented in a lined French style casing, probably executed in the late 19th century utilizing a mid 19th century cutlery box which is covered in black Moroccan leather and decorated with gilt embossing. In a recessed compartment in the red silk lined lid is a 1/6 plate ambrotype of James Stevens who, by family tradition captured the knife. The muster rolls of the Army of the Republic of Texas were known to be incomplete due to a fire in 1955. In 1986 the Daughters of the Republic of Texas transcribed and published copies of these muster rolls, at which time the name J. Stevens was not included. However, in 1996 a Texas archivist discovered a cache of these muster rolls and they were consolidated with the previously known information. In the newly discovered muster rolls the name J. Stevens did, in fact, surface.

    James Stevens enlisted on September 28, 1835 in Col. E. Morehouse's Command, 1st Regiment Texas Volunteers, one of the earliest enlistments recorded, mustering out on August 31, 1836. It is reasonable to assume that this is the same James Stevens who commanded the 22d Texas Volunteer Infantry CSA during the Civil War. Stevens enlisted in 1835 at the age of 18, making him 44 at the outbreak of the Civil War. Although this logical progression has not been proven it is certainly worthy of further in depth research. Also in a recessed compartment in the lid is a heavy 3" X 3.75" brass plaque with a decorative hand engraved border which includes five pointed stars on each corner, inside of this is the following, "Knife taken from Mexican soldier at The Battle of San Jacinto Texas April 21, 1836 by Volunteer J. Stevens Sam Houston (sic) Army". The engraving style utilized on this plaque is more reminiscent of the later rather than the mid 19th century leading to our conclusion that the casing was affected at this date. Accompanying the whole are the results and procedures from a highly detailed forensic analysis conducted by Orenda Laboratories in 2003 stating that all engraving was executed by hand using tools that were in use in the 19th century and that "There is ample evidence to support the authenticity of this war knife as being a genuine historical artifact". There is also extensive accompanying research on Stevens and the Battle of San Jacinto. The action at San Jacinto is characterized on the monument that stands on the battlefield as " of the decisive battles of the world. The freedom of Texas from Mexico won here led to the annexation and the Mexican War, resulting in the acquisition by the United States of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma. Almost one third of the American nation, nearly a million square miles of territory, changed sovereignty." About 3:30 on the afternoon of April 21, 1836, after several preliminary skirmishes, and during the Mexican siesta period, Houston distributed his troops in battle array, bracketing his line with the "Twin Sisters" cannon. Shielded by trees and a rise in the terrain, the Texans were able to advance with some security and secrecy. Then with the cries "Remember the Alamo" and "Remember Bahia" or "Remember Goliad" ringing along their lines, the Texans swooped down on the dismayed Mexican Army, pursuing and butchering them long after the battle had ended. 630 Mexicans were killed and 730 taken prisoner including Santa Anna himself who was captured on the following day. The Texans lost only 9 killed or mortally wounded and thirty less seriously wounded. It is recorded that the Texans captured 'a large supply of muskets, pistols and sabers'. Doubtless most of the Mexican troops, and the equipment they carried, including this knife, were present at the Alamo. Owing to the relatively small number of troops engaged, as well as the exigencies resulting in the subsequent heavy use of the items that were captured, there are but a handful of pieces remaining from the Texas War of Independence. A rare opportunity to acquire a documented artifact from this tumultuous and highly romanticized period of Texas history.

    Blade with smooth dark patina. All brass w/dark patina most notably the capstan which is black and untouched. Ambrotype excellent with just a few chips off of the black lacquered backing. Case excellent, near perfect with just some minor exterior scuffing.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st-3rd Saturday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 7,258

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