Tiffany & Co. partnered with the company of Peter D. Luneschloss of Solingen, Prussia, to supply swords for the Union during the war of a variety of patterns, but this one is particularly fascinating. Its hilt is the style used on the Model 1860 Cutlass used by the Union Navy during the American Civil War but with an iron plate in the guard rather than brass. Instead of a heavy cutlass blade, it is mounted with an imported saber blade marked "PDL" (Peter D. Luneschloss) on the left ricasso and "TIFFANY & CO/NEW YORK" on the right ricasso. The 31 inch, lightly curved blade has a single fuller transitioning to narrow double fullers for the front 19 inches and is etched with detailed scroll, classical martial, and U.S. patriotic motifs giving the sword considerably more beauty than a normal cutlass. The hilt is gilded, and the shagreen wrapped grip is wrapped with gilt wire. The iron scabbard has brass hardware, and the upper suspension band is inscribed "Presented to/Lt. Colonel/H.A. Manchester/by his Friends attached/to the U.S. Marine Artillery." Records for Lieutenant Colonel Horace A. Manchester of the New York Marine Artillery (1st Marine Artillery) are included. The unit was recruited by Colonel William A. Howard to serve on gunboats during the war. Most of the men came from New York City, Buffalo, Newark, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. Horace Almy Manchester (1812-1877) of Providence, Rhode Island was a Democrat with a prominent legal career before the war. He mustered in on December 1, 1861. He served until January 27, 1863, when he was dismissed on the grounds of "inefficiency, want of capacity, and conduct prejudicial to the public interests." Given his political affiliations, it would not be surprising if politics played a considerable role in his dismissal. During the war, the 1st Marine Artillery lost one officer and sixteen enlisted men killed or mortally wounded in action plus an additional officer and seventy-two men from disease. They were engaged at Roanoke Island, Elizabeth City, New Berne, Elizabeth, the Siege of Fort Macon, South Mills, Tranter's Creek, Swift Creek, Neuse River, Washington, near Shiloh, Rawle's Mills, an expedition to Goldsboro, Kinston and Folly Island, and several other minor affairs per "The Union Army: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States, 1861-65..." Manchester reported on the conducting of naval operations in North Carolina in mid-December 1862. Commander Alexander Murray, reporting on the actions led by Manchester during the "Expedition Against Goldsborough, North Carolina," wrote that "This flotilla left Newburn on the evening of the 12th instant - the Alisson, Port Royal, Ocean Wave, and Wilson, in the advance under Colonel Manchester- with orders to reconnoiter, and in the case of attack or the discovery of batteries to fall back on the heavier vessels. This movement was partially strategic, and was very successful. The attack on the batteries, and the falling back of the lighter boats, the shelling of the woods, and the feint to land a force on the north bank, had the desired effect..." Manchester's report indicated they fired upon the Confederate batteries with their Parrott gun, "the first fire being within canister range. Three shells were exploded within the batteries with apparent effect, as the enemy ceased their fire for some after." He indicated that in subsequent engagements "Of the enemy one was shot from the bridge and fell into the river, and two men were blown to pieces on the bank. At the log-house, 30 men are said to have been in it, when two 30-pounder Parrott's, loaded with canister, were fired through it, at a distance of two hundred feet, and at the Oldfield Bank Landing, the fire of the Ocean Wave, North State, and Port Royal was direct, and within four hundred feet of the enemy." The boats were somewhat damaged, and they lost one man killed, three severely wounded (at least one died from his wounds), and several lightly wounded. Among the included documents are copies of correspondence written by Manchester to General Canby in response to the accusations that he lacked the qualifications to command his men. The accounts of the operations in early 1863 certainly suggest he was a capable officer, but it sounds like the issues stemmed from earlier in his career. He evidently had issues at home as well, as he publicly forbid anyone from doing business on his behalf, especially his wife, in 1864. News reports upon his return from that expedition in early 1863 stated that Manchester's 16 year old son had been with his father and in one instance shot and killed a rebel sharpshooter who had been killing Union pickets (supposedly "upwards of fifty"). Young Manchester hid himself in the grass and watched for the smoke of the sharpshooter's rifle and then returned fire. He lost a finger and his bayonet when the Confederates in turn returned fire on him. In other instances, the boy reportedly charged to within six feet of the enemy lines. Lieutenant Colonel Manchester later moved to California were he died in 1877 in Stockton. Provenance: The Dr. Joseph A. Murray Collection; Property of a Gentleman
Very fine. The blade is bright with exceptional etching, a strike mark at the edge of the blade, slight spot of discoloration at the tip, and minimal wear. The hilt retains much of the original gilt finish and has attractive aged patina on the balance of the brass and mottled gray and brown on the iron. The grip has mild age and handling wear and is solid and tight. The scabbard has mostly aged patina on the brass fittings and mottled gray-brown patina on the iron body. The inscription remains distinct. This is a fascinating Civil War presentation sword from the men of the New York Marine Artillery to Lieutenant Colonel Horace A. Manchester who led them in close range battle against the Confederates in North Carolina.
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