This historic Civil War presentation cane is inscribed on top of the gilt grip "Surgeon Arner/from/Officers/of the 108th". Thomas Arner enlisted in the 108th New York Infantry as an assistant surgeon. The regiment was organized in Rochester, New York in 1862 with three year enlistment papers under the command of colonel Oliver H. Palmer. In September of 1862, the regiment was attached to Sumner's 2nd Corps, French's 3rd Division, Morris' 2nd Brigade for the Maryland Campaign. The 108th got their first taste of combat on the morning of 17 September 1862 near Antietam Creek, taking part in a battle which remains the single bloodiest day in American history. At 9:30 a.m. on the 17th, the Battle of Antietam had already been raging for about three and a half hours when Morris' brigade, along with the 108th, were the second of French's brigades called upon to make a frontal assault on a Confederate position in a sunken road that made a natural trench, the first having already been repelled with heavy losses. The 108th advanced head on into the intense Confederate fire, eventually being forced to retreat after suffering 196 men killed and wounded. French's division as a whole suffered 1,750 casualties in under an hour trying to dislodge the Confederates from their strong positions. The 108th would go on to take part in many major battles of the war including Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, Cold Harbor, the First Assault on Petersburg, and were present for Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House, as well as the Grand Review in Washington D.C. before being mustered out on 28 May 1865. The inscribed and gilt knob shaped grip features floral motifs throughout. The ebonized shaft appears to have a metal core and is tipped with iron. It measures 36 1/4 inches overall.
Fine, the grip retaining most of the bright gilt finish with a few scattered light handling marks. The shaft is very good with some scattered light handling marks and some residue from a previous label. An incredible piece of Civil War history!
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