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Swords that we Know who Owned them
Edged Weapons
New Orleans Hyde & Goodrich Presentation Sword of Major General W.H. French
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STUNNING! That is the first thing that comes to mind when you see this sword. It is simply exquisite from all angles. The sword has the full-length 31-1/4th inch double-edged, straight spear-point blade with nearly full-length, narrow median fuller. What jumps out at you is the ornate handle and crossguard. It has the 6-1/4th inch gilt brass hilt with knight's head pommel and 5.625" cross guard cast in the form of flowing feathery sprays with a pair of similarly theme languets. The beautiful octagonal grip alternates mother of pearl scales and engraved silver strips with flowing foliate sprays, with silver studs in the mother-of-pearl and a single 6mm x 8mm garnet in the center of the obverse grip panel. A matching emerald cut garnet measuring 13mm x 10mm is present in the center of the obverse languet. These are real jewels and not the usual simulated stones. A double chain knuckle guard is secured to a ring below the visor of the knight's helmet and the end of the lower quillon. The sword has the gorgeous frostily etched blade with flowing foliate scrolls and martial themes including panoplies of arms on both sides and with an American eagle on the reverse. Obverse ricasso is etched in three lines: N.P. Ames Cutler Springfield. The gilt brass scabbard is profusely engraved on the obverse with martial and foliate themes, while the reverse throat is engraved: Hyde & Goodrich New Orleans BY N.P. AMES Cabotville MASS. Between the upper mounts on the obverse of the scabbard, the following inscription is engraved: Presented to LIEUT. W.H. FRENCH 1st. ARTILLERY U.S.A. ASSISTANT COMMISSARY of SUBSISTANCE at BRAZOS ISLAND DEPOT. By his CLERKS FEB. 7, 1847. Mounts are profusely detailed oak leaf clusters, with a frog button and two suspension rings on the upper mount and a single ring on the middle mount. This sword was featured in the May-June 1997 issue of the North South Trader Magazine. The article tells the history of William H. French (1815-1881). He had an amazing service history that includes graduating from West Point Military Institute with the class of 1837, graduating 22nd out of 50 cadets. After graduation he served with the 1st U.S. Artillery. It was with that 1st Artillery that he served during the 2nd Seminole War. He was them during the Mexican War as well when he was in charge of the Commissary Depot at Brazos Island in Texas. They state that the Ames Records show that Ames charged $100, a huge amount in the day for the sword when Hyde & Goodrich ordered it. During the Mexican War, he received 2 brevets for "gallant and Meritorious services" at the Battles of Cerro Gordo, Contreras and Churubusco. He fought in the Seminoles War after the Mexican War. He started the Civil War while still serving in Texas. He was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General of Volunteers on September 28th 1861. French led a brigade in the 2nd Corps during the Peninsula Campaign and then a division at bloody Antietam. He added two more regular brevets - lieutenant colonel for Fair Oaks and colonel for Antietam - to his record. All of this was capped by a second star to major general on November 29, 1862. French fought at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville and would be brevetted again (to brigadier general) for the latter in March 1865. Major General French sat out Gettysburg being sidelined at Harper's Ferry, but Sickles' wound at Gettysburg created a vacancy at the top of the broken 3rd Corps which French stepped in to. When the Army of the Potomac was reorganized for Grant's Overland Campaign in the spring of 1864, the 3rd Corps was dissolved, and Major General French mustered out of volunteer service on May 6, 1864. French retained his seniority in the regular army and added a sixth career brevet promotion to major general, this in the multitude of promotions given in March 1865. The intrepid French remained in the army for another fifteen years being promoted to regular colonel, 4th Artillery on July 2, 1877 before retiring at his own request on July 1, 1880. The idle officer did not last long in retirement. General French died on May 20, 1881 in Washington, D.C. and is buried in the Rock Creek Cemetery there. Having achieved the rank of volunteer major general interspersed with six brevet promotions. French must have been very proud of this sword because there is a CDV image pictured in the article showing him with this sword when he held the rank of Major General which was during the Civil War. The sword will be accompanied by a copy of the magazine. It is also accompanied by an original Civil War CDV image by Mathew Brady of French in his General's Uniform. This sword is a keeper in all regards and deserved a place of honor in any collection or museum.

Item #: A9303
Shipping Weight: 15 lbs
Your Price:$25,000.00 USD
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