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LOT 80
Historic NRA Award Winning Cased Civil War Schuyler, Hartley & Graham Rich Presentation Field & Line Officer Sword with a Figural Hilt of an Officer Stabbing a Serpent in the Mouth with His Sword and Scabbard Presentation Inscribed to Lieutenant Colonel John S. Hammell by the Sergeants of the 66th New York Infantry - This incredible sword’s pattern is illustrated as No. 11
in the “Rich Presentation Swords For Field & Line Officers” section of Schuyler, Hartley & Graham’s 1861 “Illustrated Catalogue of Military Goods.” It features
an incredible cast brass figural hilt depicting Union officer plunging his sword up to the hilt in the mouth of a mythical serpent no doubt meant to represent the Confederacy, “PATENT APPLIED FOR.” inscribed on the back of his left sleeve, relief scroll carving on the guard, and a gilt finish. The 32 inch long, mostly straight blade has a gold washed etched panel patriotic spread wing eagle and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” banner on the obverse, “SCHUYLER HARTLEY/& GRAHAM” on the obverse ricasso, “IRON PROOF” on the spine, “U.S” in the etched panel on the reverse, and “W/CLAUBERG/SOLINGEN” maker’s mark on the reverse ricasso. The scabbard has a nickel plated bod, brass fittings with elaborate relief scroll, floral, eagle, and martial trophies designs, and “Presented/TO/LIEUT COL JOHN S. HAMMELL/by/the Sergeants of/THE/66th Regt./NYVV/January 1st,/1864.” inscribed on the reverse of the upper suspension
band and the battles “Fair Oaks,/Gaines Mills,/Peach Orchard,/Savage Station,/White Oak Swamps,/Malvern Hills,/South Mountain,/Antietam,/Fredericksburg,/ Chancellorsville,/Gettysburg,/Bristo Station.” noted on the reverse of the lower suspension band. The sword
and scabbard come in a rosewood presentation case with purple velvet lining. The sterling silver medal awarded for this sword at the NRA annual meeting, and the medal’s blue box are included.
This inscription on the sword’s scabbard is dated January 1, 1864, and on the 14th and 15th, the New York Daily Herald documents the presentation via an article initially and then letter to the editor from the eighteen sergeants of the 66th New York Volunteers (copies added to the sword’s file). The
initial article was in error in regards to some of the details of the presentation according to the letter to the editor which
indicates that Hammell’s “sword, sash and belt was a
gift from the sergeants of the regiment, and was presented by Daniel S. Munn.” More details on the unit’s history prior to that point is necessary to understand the significance of the presentation of this fine sword in the early days of 1864.
The document file included with the sword includes numerous documents providing information on John S. Hammell (1842-1873) of New Jersey and the 66th New York Infantry, also known as the Governor’s Guards, Mechanic Rifles, and Old Sixth Militia due to its formation via consolidation of existing units. Hammell was originally a member of the 6th New York State Militia (Governor’s Guards), a 90 day unit that helped

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