Lot #1236
Lot #1238

Lot 1237: Civil War Presentation Cane Inscribed to Major General Sickles

Historic Civil War Presentation Cane Inscribed to Major General Daniel E. Sickles

Auction Date: December 10, 2022

Lot 1237: Civil War Presentation Cane Inscribed to Major General Sickles

Historic Civil War Presentation Cane Inscribed to Major General Daniel E. Sickles

Auction Date: December 10, 2022

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Estimated Price: $4,000 - $6,000

Historic Civil War Presentation Cane Inscribed to Major General Daniel E. Sickles

Manufacturer: None
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Type: Other
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Item Views: 450
Item Interest: Active
Catalog Page: 214
Class: Other
Description:

Like the revolver in the preceding lot, this historic Civil War presentation cane is inscribed to Major General Daniel E. Sickles (1819-1914). The smooth L-shaped antique ivory handle of this cane is joined to the shaft by an inscribed brass band. The inscription reads "Presented to/Maj Gen. Daniel E. Sickels[sic]/by P.D. Kilduff,/Jan. 8th 1864." Patrick Daily Kilduff (1829-1893) was an Irish immigrant, a key demographic for Sickles and Tammany Hall, and owned a liquor store in the 1860s and then opened the Mammoth Billiard Rooms at 946 Broadway in New York City in 1865. He later moved to Chicago, Illinois. The shaft appears to be Malacca and shows some significantly darker patches or staining along its length and is tipped with iron. It measures 35 3/4 inches overall. As discussed in the previous description, on July 2, 1863, Sickles was the commander of the III Corps at the Battle of Gettysburg and lost much of his right leg after being struck by a cannon ball as his men fought for their survival against the onslaught of General Longstreet's Confederates. He was struck by a cannon ball after riding forward to get a better view of the action near Peter Trostle's farm. By July 3rd, Sickles was back in Washington, D.C. Almost immediately, he turned to salvaging his reputation and career, including attacking and slandering General Meade, even claiming that it was he, not Meade, that secured the victory at Gettysburg due to his advance disrupting the Confederate attack. He also claimed Meade had wanted to retreat rather than fight. He was awarded the Medal of Honor 34 years later for his actions at Gettysburg and took a leading role in various veterans organizations into the early 20th century. The bones from his amputated leg were given to the Army Medical Museum in a small casket, and he sent with them a note reading "With the compliments of Major General D.E.S." While many Victorian era gentleman carried a walking stick as a piece of fashion, Sickles actually needed support to walk for the rest of his life, usually crutches, so this more robust cane was a very fitting presentation piece for one of the Union's most famous and controversial figures. He is said to have visited his amputated leg on occasion and wore his wound with pride for the rest of his life.

Rating Definition:

Fine, the grip showing a few hairline age cracks and an attractive aged tone. The mostly bright brass has a slightly aged patina. The shaft is very good and has a few darker patches as noted and some scattered minor handling marks.



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