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Thread: Civil War Model 1852 Naval Officers Presented to a Freemason!

  1. #1

    Civil War Model 1852 Naval Officers Presented to a Freemason!

    Here is my first acquisition of 2019. It comes with a great story:

    Civil War Pattern 1852 Naval Officers’ Sword and Scabbard of Acting Master Gustavus B. Simonds. Retailed by Shreve, Stanwood & Co Boston.

    This standard pattern sword bears the presentation inscription on the reverse of the top scabbard mount “G. B. S. / Presented by / M.M. Rounds / T.J. Stafford /J.B. Hotchkiss / P. Dennis / H.T. Douglas / and W. Mansfield” The blade is etched on each side with exceptional naval motifs. In addition, the obverse contains the symbol of the Mark Master 4th degree of Royal Arch Masonry, York rite and contains in a circle “G.B. SIMONDS” and the letters “H. T. W. S. S. T. K. S.” standing for the motto Hiram, Tyrian, Widow’s Son, Sendeth To King Soloman. The reverse contains a Masonic Square & Compass and the ricasso contains the retailors name in needle engraving.

    Gustavus B. Simonds was appointed an Acting Master on October 1st 1862 and was assigned to the Mississippi Squadron and served on the Steamer Judge Torrence, an ammunition ship that supplied the western mortar gunboat flotilla with ammunition during operations against Island No. 10. He was also present during the bombardment of Fort Pillow and at capture of Memphis, Tennessee. On January 24th 1863, Acting Master Simonds received the following order from Acting Rear-Admiral David D. Porter, “Sir: You will assume charge of the navy yard at Memphis, Tenn., and all the mechanics of the yard, subject to the order of any naval officer that may be there. All the material, stores, machinery, etc., will be for the present under your charge, and you will make me weekly reports of what is going on. Mr. Rowe is no longer employed, and he will turn over to you the orders he has received from me. Every precaution must be taken against surprise by the enemy. The public property must strictly guard and none of the public buildings now in the yard be allowed to be used by persons now belonging to the navy, expecting the blacksmith shop, now in use by the army. You will take up your quarters in the commandant’s house until relieved by a person who may be sent to take command.” On April 7th 1863 Simonds tendered his resignation to Acting Rear-Admiral David D. Porter. Porter “Respectfully forwarded, this person’s resignation is recommended to be accepted from the fact of his committing supposed frauds in charging captains $10 for clearance of their vessels.” He would later be granted an invalid pension for deafness caused from mortar fire He died April 13th 1902 and his widow would be denied her pension claim as his resignation was not considered an honorable discharge.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    North West US
    Very nice, Skipper
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Kansas City Metro (USA)
    What a neat sword along with the history. You know, in my experience, the villains are often much more interesting than the heroes. Great story of the owner.

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


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