Lot 389 View Catalog
A fine, ornate presentation sword awarded to captain, and later brigadier general Francis S. Dodge, an American army officer who led colored cavalry troops in the Civil War and would be awarded a Medal of Honor for rescuing fellow soldiers under siege by the Ute - a rescue undertaken by "buffalo soldiers" for which Dodge was awarded this sword. The sword, which measures about 41" long, bears the hallmark "P. D. L.", that of Peter D. Luneschloss, the noted German sword maker. It bears an ornate hand guard, not hallmarked but possibly silver, showing an eagle, wreaths, oak leaves, and a scowling figure near the pommel. The grip is wrapped in brass wire which remains tight. There is a small fracture to the hand guard opposite the center of the grip which could be easily filled. The blade is near perfect, shiny and bright and needing just a bit of cleaning at the tip, and it is engraved with with ornate filigree designs, an eagle with U.S. motto "E PLURIBUS UNUM" and "U.S.". The chromed scabbard bears three decorations in high relief, all with patriotic themes including a standing soldier, shields, cannon, flags, swords, etc., with two hanging rings. The upper part of the scabbard bears a period engraved presentation: "Presented to Capt. Francis S. Dodge 9th Cavalry For Gallant Action October 1879". Reverse of scabbard bears some pitting to the chrome, else overall in fine condition. Deaccessioned by the Canadian Military Studies Museum, Limehouse, Ontario. FRANCIS S. DODGE (1842-1908) was born in Danvers, Mass. and enlisted in the army in October 1861, reaching the rank of corporal by late 1863. In December 1863, he was commissioned a first lieutenant in the 2nd Volunteer Cavalry Regiment U.S. Colored Troops. With that regiment, he fought at Bermuda Hundred, Drury's Bluff, and in the assaults on Petersburg and Richmond, ending the war with the rank of captain. Post-war, Dodge led the "Buffalo Soldiers" of the 9th Cavalry, and African-American regiment organized by order of Phil Sheridan. While in command of his company of forty men and on scouting duty in northwestern Colorado in 1879, Dodge heard of the attack of the White River Utes on the command of Major Thomas F. Thornburg. He immediately marched his force to the relief of the major and fought off the Indians for three days until aid arrived. For this action Dodge received a Medal of Honor...and this sword, quite possibly from his own men, or from those whom he saved.