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Thread: Civil War Presentation Sword Help

  1. #1

    Civil War Presentation Sword Help

    Can anyone help me with the sword?




    More Photos can be seen on my web page at:
    http://www.oddballantiques.com/sword.html

    My friends had this sword up on eBay, I went to see them for dinner and saw the sword on their table and just had to have it! Now that is mine and hanging on my wall, I would like to try and figure out a mystery.

    This is the information I got with the sword.

    The sword was made by W CLAUBERG - SOLINIGEN with standing knight. The back edge is marked IRON PROOF. Both sides of the blade are heavily etched. On one side it is inscribed ONE AND INSEPARABLE. On the other side is US with a federal eagle. The etched area has a gold wash background. There is a serial number of 63838 on the quillion and proof marks J & C stamped in the D guard. Blade length 32'' Overall length 39''. There is the remnant of a sword knot still attached to the D guard.

    The Rock City Guards were a militia group started about 1859 in the city of Nashville Tennessee. Shortly before the outbreak of the Civil War they formed Co’s. A, B, & C of the first Tennessee Confederate Infantry and fought in many of the major battles of the war.

    Samuel C. Randall was a Captain in the 23rd Michigan Infantry and did fight in the Battle of Nashville on December 15th & 16th of 1864. He went on to work in the lumbering industry, was a director and vice president of the National Bank of Flint, and served 1 term as the Mayor of Flint Michigan 1897-1898. He died in 1909.

    Now the question???
    I really would like to find out why he (Union) was presented this sword in 1872 by a Confederate organization I have no clue?
    Any ideas?
    Thanks
    Rich

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Rich,

    Welcome to the Sword Forum.

    Your sword is made in the style of the US Model 1850 Foot Officer Sword. It was presented well after the end of the Civil War in 1872 so it is a postwar Nashville, Tenn. Militia sword and has nothing to do with the Confederacy. The moto on the blade is indicative of the Union sentiment of "One and Inseparable" meaning that states had no right to seceed from the Union.

    The US changed sword styles in 1872 so this would have been an "old style" sword of the type Capt. Randall would have carried during the war.

    I hope this information is helpful.

    George
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  3. #3

    Still Confused?

    Thanks for the info! I still am confused about the “Rock City Guards”? I can’t find any information about them after the war? You said “Post War Militia”, were their remnants of the guard still around after the war and if so, what was the function? Secondly, I don’t understand why they would have presented a sword to someone who was on the other side during the war.

  4. #4
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    The "Rock City Guards" were likely an INDEPENDENT militia company that has a ceremonial and social function. I Am a member of the Cleveland Grays, it has a similar function. Many independent militias were absorbed into the National Guard.This type of unit loved to present things to each other and important visitors.

  5. #5

    Sword Serial Number and Proof Mark?

    I have another question; this sword appears to have a serial number on it? I have looked at lots of similar swords and don't see and with serial numbers? Also what is the J C Stamped in a circle? Proof Mark of some maker?



  6. #6
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    This sword hilt is actually from a French Officer sword, which the US Model 1850 Foot Officer sword was based upon. Notice that I said it was "...made in the style of the US Model 1850 sword" above. The French version normally had horn grips where the US sword normally had sharkskin grips, etc. This sword has been reworked into this US Militia presentation sword with a French hilt and a German made blade. I am not certain when your sword was made in this configuration. While it is certainly possible that a US dealer put the sword together in 1872 it is also possible the sword is a more recent fake composite. I do not like the big gap between the guard and the grip that is evident in the above photo. Also, the sword knot is not original to this sword as it is for an Austrian sword and not a US one.

    Perhaps you can show us a picture of the top of the pommel of your sword so we can see how the blade is peened to secure the hilt? It would also be helpful to see a closup photo of how the shoulders of the blade sit against the bottom of the guard and if there is a leather washer there.
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  7. #7

    More Help

    OK, I think these are the photos you want.



  8. #8
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    Thank for the good clear photos. The peened blade tang looks OK and the hilt sits nicely on the blade from what I can see. I don't know why there is such a gap in the grip. Does it move up and down?

    Perhaps others will weigh in here, but I feel better about the posibility of the sword having been assembled in 1872 than I did before.
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

  9. #9

    Presentation Sword

    Well I guess I will never know the story on this one. I Hung it on the wall with my other mystery sword. Thanks for the info.






  10. #10
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    Wuerttemberg Heavy Cavalry, Late 19th, Early 20th Century, Damask Blade...very nice and hard to find in any shape these days. Looks like a Bavarian, but has a different back strap.....Made by J A Henkels Zwillingwerk, which still makes Kitchen Knives..

    Dale

  11. #11
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    Lightbulb

    Quote Originally Posted by George Wheeler View Post
    Thank for the good clear photos. The peened blade tang looks OK and the hilt sits nicely on the blade from what I can see. I don't know why there is such a gap in the grip. Does it move up and down?

    Perhaps others will weigh in here, but I feel better about the posibility of the sword having been assembled in 1872 than I did before.
    When they took this one apart to replace the wire wrap with the wrong kind of wire, they reassembled is a little out of kilter...IIRC: they used a twisted wrap in that era on the Horn or Ebony grips...just my 2 C. on this...God only knows with these sort of rebuilds for such organizations...

    Also, they may have not mated the blade to the hilt exactly, leaving a gap or a mismatch...

    Dale
    Last edited by Dale Martin; 12-11-2011 at 12:49 AM. Reason: add

  12. #12

    German Sword

    Ya, the German one my father picked up from a German Field Marshal in WW2, I wish I still hand the knot, but he lost it at some point.


  13. #13
    The first sword pictured in this thread is very nice, though post-war. I watched it on eBay and wish now I'd bought it. Great find and reasonably priced for what it was.

  14. #14
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    I will add a slight bit to this by remarking that, unlike American officers' swords of the period, almost all of which were private purchase, therefore having NO connection whatever with the U.S. government, the French officer prototypes WERE inspected and serial numbered by French government inspectors.

  15. #15
    Well, I have been searching for info on this sword for a year now and still can't find any info on Samuell Clark Randall? Anyone have a suggestion?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Allen View Post
    I really would like to find out why he (Union) was presented this sword in 1872 by a Confederate organization I have no clue?
    Any ideas?

    Well, I have been searching for info on this sword for a year now and still can't find any info on Samuell Clark Randall? Anyone have a suggestion?
    Not saying this is the case with yours, BUT... In the post-war period, there was a great rage for militia drill teams; Southern teams vyed with their northern counterparts for honors in drill competetions. This COULD have been the "prize" for the captain of the winning team, hosted by a reconstituted postwar Rock City Guards company, and engraved for him after-the-fact. You might see if there are any obits for him in his hometown that might shed light on possible membership in such a postwar organization, which was likely more of a "social" than a real military nature.

  17. #17
    WOW, It took me 5 years, but I finally found the person on Sword. I found a newspaper dated the day after the date on the scabbard, describes the presentation and the sword!
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  18. #18
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    Good afternoon Rich,
    Nice find.
    The hilt is from a French infantry model 1845.
    The grip should be made of horn and the wire is clearly a replacement.
    Now, these stamps are from the arsenal of Châtellerault.
    The "double circled J" belongs to C.Jouffray, "directeur" from march 1862 to september 1862.
    The "double circled C" doesn't fit in the time frame since two "contrôleurs" used this stamp in 1891/1896 and 1902/1904.
    It is always possible someone used the same stamp before but I have no trace of that.
    Dan

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=Rich Allen;1220579]WOW, It took me 5 years, but I finally found the person on Sword. I found a newspaper dated the day after the date on the scabbard, describes the presentation and the sword!

    Great find! From this it appears the Samuel Clark Randall to whom this sword was presented is an entirely different person than the Samuel C. Randall of the 23rd Michigan. Have you found any info on the Maj Randall of the Rock City Guards?

    The other mystery still remains however: Why would a unit which was part of the Confederate army just 7 years before choose a sword etched with such an anti-secessionist sentiment to present to one of its senior officers? I didn't think reconstruction was that successful that quickly.
    Last edited by Richard Schenk; 06-08-2016 at 05:08 PM.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by DanR View Post
    Good afternoon Rich,
    Nice find.
    The hilt is from a French infantry model 1845.
    The grip should be made of horn and the wire is clearly a replacement.
    Now, these stamps are from the arsenal of Châtellerault.
    The "double circled J" belongs to C.Jouffray, "directeur" from march 1862 to september 1862.
    The "double circled C" doesn't fit in the time frame since two "contrôleurs" used this stamp in 1891/1896 and 1902/1904.
    It is always possible someone used the same stamp before but I have no trace of that.
    Dan
    thanks, It sure appears who ever did the Presentation sword made it from some unusual parts. They did do a nice job, and the date range would be correct.

  21. #21
    [QUOTE=Richard Schenk;1220677]
    Quote Originally Posted by Rich Allen View Post
    WOW, It took me 5 years, but I finally found the person on Sword. I found a newspaper dated the day after the date on the scabbard, describes the presentation and the sword!

    Great find! From this it appears the Samuel Clark Randall to whom this sword was presented is an entirely different person than the Samuel C. Randall of the 23rd Michigan. Have you found any info on the Maj Randall of the Rock City Guards?

    The other mystery still remains however: Why would a unit which was part of the Confederate army just 7 years before choose a sword etched with such an anti-secessionist sentiment to present to one of its senior officers? I didn't think reconstruction was that successful that quickly.
    Yes, clearly a different Samuel Clark Randall. I think I have made some progress, It appears that the unit was disbanded after the war, but reconstituted in some form in 1872 with surviving members of the original unit and new "young" recruits?

    I have found several other articles beginning in 1871. Additionally, I found some type of enlistment card for a Randal, S and also marked Randel , C. S. clearly they could not spell the name the same way twice on the same card, so maybe it is the soldier I am looking for. You will as see in one article, he is called Clark Randall, so the Randal C. S. makes sense.
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    Last edited by Rich Allen; 06-09-2016 at 06:20 AM.

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