1st Vermont Cavalry Presentation Sword

32" curved, single-edged spear-point blade with an 8" false edge and a 22" stopped fuller. 38" in overall length with a 6" gilt brass hilt with cast US and foliate themes in the guard. Grooved wood grip with shagreen cover and fourteen wraps of gilt twisted pair wire, leather throat washer. Reverse ricasso marked with the Ames "scroll mark" reading Made By / AMES MFG. Co / CHICOPEE / MASS. Reverse of blade with frosty etched panel with foliate scrolls and a panoply of arms and US as the central theme, obverse with similar foliate patterns a panoply of arms and a spread winged eagle. Gold gilt brass scabbard with engraved foliate and geometric decorations and a panoply of arms on the body and oak leaf engraved mounts. Presentation engraved between the upper mounts on the obverse reads in four lines: Presented to / Lieut. W. J. Clark / By his Friends / April 3rd 1863. Research in service records of Civil War soldiers suggests that this sword was presented to Waldo J. Clark of Rupert, VT.

Waldo Clark enlisted in the 1st Vermont Cavalry as a sergeant on September 27, 1861 and was mustered into Company G of that regiment on 19th of November. On May 24, 1862 at a skirmish near Middletown, VA elements of the 1st Vermont Cavalry accidentally charged supporting elements of the 1st Maine Cavalry, resulting in many of the men being cut off from the main body of troops and 4 members of the 1st VT being killed, 8 wounded and 80 captured; among them Sgt. Clark. He was paroled that same day and returned to service officially on September 13, 1862. Clark was promoted to Lieutenant on April 28, 1863  and was wounded on May 30, 1863 at Greenwich, VA. Lt. Clark was mustered out of service on November 18, 1864. The 1st Vermont Cavalry was one of the hardest fought of the Army of the Potomac, fighting in at least 75 different engagements from skirmishes to major campaigns like Gettysburg. Much of their service between 1862 and 1864 was in the Shenandoah Valley, searching for and fighting such notable Confederate cavalry commanders as Turner Ashby and John Singleton Mosby. It was Asby's men that captured Clark and elements of the 1st VT at Middletown and Mosbly's men who wounded Clark during his raid on Catlett's Station on May 30, 1863.

Provenance:With display documents.


About fine. Blade with some of the polish and much of the frosting showing some dulling from age and some lightly scattered freckles of minor surface oxidation and discoloration. Etching remains intact and fully visible. Markings clear and crisp. Hilt fine with much of the gilt remaining, particularly on the guard, grip with some light wear and minor scuffing from carry and use. Blade and hilt tight, throat washer in place, wire wrap tight, peen undisturbed.

Estimate: $8,500 - $9,500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

Internet Bidding

Have a Similar Item?

Consign With Us

Let Cowan's Handle Your Shipping!

 Cowan's Auctions is one of the only houses to offer full service, in-house shipping.  
Our experts pack and ship over 5,000 purchases each year.  
Shipping costs are included on every invoice to make getting your items as fast and easy as possible. 
For more information, click HERE or contact shipping@cowans.com