Thanksgiving Hours

The Museum will close early at 3 pm on Wednesday, November 22, and will be closed all day on Thursday, November 23. The Museum will be open on Friday, November 24, 10 am to 8 pm. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Infantry officer's sword and scabbard

Object Number: 
1916.20ab
Date: 
1861-1865
Medium: 
Steel, fish skin, textile; steel, brass
Dimensions: 
Overall: 39 x 5 x 4 1/8 in. ( 99.1 x 12.7 x 10.5 cm )
Marks: 
etched: on obverse of blade near center: "E PLURIBUS / UNUM" on banner (part of eagle insignia) etched: on obverse of blade near hilt: "TOMES SON / & MELVAIN / NEW YORK" etched: on reverse of blade near center: "U. S." stamped: on reverse of blade near
Description: 
Sword with slightly curved, single-edged steel blade with fuller that runs from ricasso to within 12 inches of point and etched designs on obverse and reverse; steel half-basket hilt with American eagle and initials "US" incorporated into openwork on obverse side and short broad quillon with scroll design; grip covered in charcoal gray fish skin and wrapped with wire; oval pommel with backstrap that extends to ferrule at base of grip; four black textile fragments are tied to hilt; blackened steel scabbard with brass mounts consisting of upper and middle bands, each with one carrying ring, and tip with drag.
Gallery Label: 
This sword belonged to Captain Philip Schuyler (1836-1906), who served in the U.S. Army, 14th Infantry, from 1861 to 1865. The black crepe (or crape) attached to the hilt of the sword was worn as a sign of mourning for fellow officers who died in battle. Abraham Lincoln's death was also mourned in this way.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Miss Louisa Lee Schuyler and Miss Georgina Schuyler
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group