Exceptionally fancy sword presented to Lt. Melvin D. Wilson who enlisted at Geneva, NY, on 9/2/1862 at age 26 and was commissioned 1st Lieutenant 11/3/1862 into Company F, 148th New York Infantry. He served until January 8, 1863.
This regiment, recruited in the counties of Ontario, Seneca and Yates, was organized at Geneva and there mustered into the U. S. service on Sept. 14, 1862, for three years. It left the state on the 22nd and was chiefly engaged in garrison duty at Suffolk, Norfolk and Yorktown, Va., until 1864, when it was placed in Wistar’s division, 18th corps.
The regiment by its signal gallantry displayed on many occasions had gained a well earned reputation for courage and efficiency. Corp. E. Van Winkle and privates Henry S. Wells and George A. Buchanan distinguished themselves at Fort Harrison and were the recipients of medals of honor from the war department.
It lost by death during its term of service 4 officers and 95 men killed and mortally wounded; 2 officers and 156 men died of disease and other causes, a total of 267.
The sword is an import from Solingen, Germany, and retains its full shagreen grip and wire wrap. The leather scabbard has a minor seam opening on the reverse as shown but is otherwise very fine and supple. The mounts are extremely fancy and hand engraved, as is the presentation to Wilson. The overall condition is as-found and the blade is fully ¾ etched with US motifs, scrolls and foliage. The blade will clean to near excellent overall. There is minor rust near the tip that should clean well.
This is a relatively inexpensive example of a fine grade Civil War officer sword presented to a known soldier who served early in the Civil War.