Reference Items
Identified Items
Brigadier's Frock Coat - General John Cook

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General John Cook wore this frock coat, after his promotion to Brigadier General in March 1862. Cook is pictured in "General's In Blue" by Ezra J. Warner, wearing what may likely be this same uniform.

The coat exhibits all the characteristics of a Civil War pattern frock, including its comparatively long skirts and broadened sleeves, well gathered at the shoulders. The fabric is indigo blue broadcloth with black velvet facings at the cuffs and collar, both velvet areas showing use at the edges. The coat’s interior has the typical green body lining and white polished cotton sleeve lining. The breast is heavily padded, the pockets in both tails are lined with brown cotton. The original shoulder straps are a large triple border pattern with dark blue velvet field. Each has an applied German silver brigadier's star bordered by bullion wire wraps, with alternating dead bullion and bright bullion strands . Sixteen breast buttons and four skirt buttons are all eagle staff, high convex buttons, backmarked "Extra Quality."

Cook served as Colonel of the 7th Illinois Infantry, then rose to brigade command in the Fall of 1862. At Ft. Donelson, he directed an assault by his regiment on a Tennessee battery of guns, under the view of Ulysses S. Grant. The bold assault won General Grant's praise and a brigadier's star for Cook. A few weeks later, on the morning of April 6, 1862, General Cook was seated in a stateroom with Grant on the steamboat Tigris. While chatting over breakfast, a messenger burst in with news of artillery fire at Pittsburgh Landing. The Battle of Shiloh had begun.

General Cook rose to serve as commander of the Department of Illinois, and survived the war.

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-217

Andrew Jackson Mackay's Pipe

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Hand carved American walnut pipe; the width of the bowl measures 1¾ inches and its height is 2¾ inches:

Left: Incised eagle with banner over shield; banner reads "on ward”.
Center: Relief eagle with banner; banner reads "E Pluribus Unum”.
Right: Incised eagle with banner over shield; banner reads "union for ever”.

Inscribed battle honors:
Pea Ridg March 6, 7, & 8 1862                                            Chapin Hills Oct, 8th 1862
Stone River Dec, 30, 31st 1862 And Jan, 1, 2, 3 1863          Chickamauga Sept, 19, 20th, 1863
Mission Ridg Nov 25 1863

Andrew Jackson Mackay was born August 7, 1827 in Caledonia, New York. He left home at the age of 16 for Texas where he devoted himself to various business ventures and ranching before the Civil War. When hostilities began, he returned home where he enlisted on October 7, 1861 and was commissioned as a Captain and Assistant Quartermaster. Mackay served in the Tennessee and Kentucky campaigns under Generals Buell, Rosecrans, and Thomas. A Frank Leslie lithograph shows him on the staff of General Asboth at the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas.

On January 28, 1863 Mackay was appointed Chief Quartermaster, 14th Army Corps and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. On August 8, 1864 he was appointed Chief Quartermaster of the Army of the Cumberland and subsequently promoted to the rank of Colonel. He served on the staff of General George H. Thomas, the "Rock of Chickamauga” for much of the war. Mackay was brevetted Brigadier General on March 13, 1865. Following the war he returned to New York City, and passed away January 18, 1901.

This pipe came from his estate. There is no record of who carved the intricate detail on this pipe, but talented soldiers were known to carve such pipes for sale to officers. This is an especially fine example of both incised and relief carving, listing multiple battle honors.

Member - John Beckendorf
Item #: CIV-215

Inscribed Sword - Nicholas Grumbach, 149th NY

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The "Syracuse Daily Courier and Union” of September 22, 1862 recorded that "On Saturday evening Capt. Nicholas Grumbach was made the recipient of a sword, sash and belt, a present from his fellow members of the Board of Supervisors. The presentation took place at the Mayor’s room in the City Hall, and was attended by the members of the Board residing in the city, a number of Capt. Grumbach’s company and several citizens.”

Captain Grumbach was the Supervisor of the Second Ward, Onandaga County, New York, a member of the city’s war committee, and captain of the Monroe Cadets. He was instrumental in raising Company B of the 149th New York Volunteers and was elected their captain.

This sword was carried by Captain Grumbach throughout the war. He was subsequently promoted to Lt. Colonel and commanded the regiment for the last year of the war. The 149th NYV took part in the battles of Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Wauhatchie. Lookout Mountain, Ringgold, Resaca, New Hope Church, Lost Mountain, Pine Knob, Kennesaw Mountain, Peach Tree Creek (where Major Grumbach was wounded) and the siege of Savannah; and they were present at the battles of Missionary Ridge, Rocky Face Ridge, Averasboro, Bentonville and The Carolinas. The 149th NYV lost 133 dead and 353 wounded, placing them among Fox’s 300 Fighting Regiments.

For additional details of this magnificent battle sword, see "The 149th New York at Culp’s Hill – Gettysburg” by WCCWC member Mike Shotwell, found in the Articles Section of this web site.

Member - John Beckendorf
Item #: CIV-214

Inscribed Sword - Lt. William McNamara, 69th P.V.

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"A thousand fell where Kemper led;
A thousand died where Garnett bled;
In blinding flame and strangling smoke
The remnant through the batteries broke
And crossed the works with Armistead.”

Lt. William F. McNamara commanded Company I ("The Tiger Zouaves”) of the 69th Pennsylvania Volunteers. McNamara’s company held the 69th’s right flank under the copse of trees at the famous angle of the wall at Gettysburg. This spot was Robert E. Lee’s objective for General Picket’s historic charge on July 3rd, 1863. It has since been known as the high water mark of the Confederacy for the Civil War.

McNamara’s sword was presented to him by comrades of his company. It was carried that day in his hand, a hand that was subsequently extended in friendship to those of Pickett’s Division exactly 24 years later during the dedication of the 69th’s monument at Gettysburg (see the picture above).

Additional information about the 69th PVI at Gettysburg can be found in D. Scott Hartwig’s excellent article in Gettysburg Magazine "It Struck Horror to Us All”.

This fine Staff & Field Officers sword is marked "Evans & Hassal” and "Philada” at the ricasso. The German silver scabbard is inscribed "Lieut. Wm. F. McNamara Co. I 69th Reg. P.V.” Lt. McNamara carried this sword at Antietam, Fredericksburg, the Wilderness and Spottsylvania Court House. At Fredericksburg he was wounded in the charge on Marye’s Heights. A Confederate bullet passed through his left thigh, striking and damaging the scabbard of his sword. The German silver repairs to the scabbard are visible on the scabbard.

Member - John Beckendorf
Item #: CIV-213

Inscribed Sword – Captain R. S. Seabury AAG

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Vetted Civil War General & Staff Officers swords, often referred to incorrectly as Model 1860 Staff & Field officer swords, are exceedingly rare. Those most commonly seen are of post war issue, and are difficult to distinguish from Civil War dated swords. Most of the swords documented to Civil War use were of Ames manufacture. During the Civil War this diminutive model sword was not popular with officers.

This beautiful General Staff & Officer sword bears an inscription on the clamshell guard which reads: "Presented to Captain R.S. Seabury AAG by Lieut. P.C. Rogers ADC”. The sword measures 36 inches overall, the diamond shaped blade 29½ inches with a maximum width of 11/16 inches. The blade is marked on the ricasso with a circle inside of which is "F B D” arched left, above and right respectively of a plumed Greek helmet crossed by a sword, indicating that this sword was likely an import from the French firm of F. Delacour & Bakes. The fine leather grip is wrapped with a single twisted wire strand. The 32 inch scabbard has elaborate mounts which appear to have been made from the same mold designed by master sculptor John Q. Word of New York and used by the Ames Sword Co. to fabricate a documented sword presented to General U.S. Grant in 1863. The Seabury sword could have been one of the 25 imported by Schuyler, Hartley & Graham 20 August 1862.

Captain Robert S. Seabury AAG of the 71st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry was on the staff of Brigadier General Joshua T. "Paddy” Owen, first with the Philadelphia Brigade and then 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 2nd Army Corp (1864). He received numerous commendations in the Official Records, but notably December 18, 1862 from Colonel Owens for his role on Marye’s Heights at the Battle of Fredericksburg and on March 25, 1864 from Major General Gouverneur K. Warren for his heroic actions during the demonstration on the Rapidan. Captain Seabury died May 8, 1864 from wounds received two days earlier at the Battle of the Wilderness.

The sword’s presenter, 1st Lt. Phillip Clayton Rogers, served with the 55th New York Volunteer Infantry and then with the 39th NYV ("The Garibaldi Guards”). On February 29, 1864 he was promoted Aide de Camp on the staff of General Owen; prior to this date he had been acting in this capacity. A report penned by General Owen on February 9, 1864 mentions both Seabury and Rogers as serving on his staff and having rendered "gallant” and "valuable” assistance. The above photograph of Lt. Rogers while in the 39th NYV (provided by Michael Hammerson) shows him holding a similar sword.

Member - John Beckendorf
Item #: CIV-205

Inscribed Sword - General Michael Corcoran

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Known as the "Prince of Wales sword”, this is a Model 1850 Presentation grade Staff & Field Officer’s sword by Ames Manufacturing Co., Chicopee, Mass. The sword bears a Phrygian pommel and a white sharkskin grip. The gilted guard retains substantial gilt in protected areas. Highly unusual is the removal of the regulation "U.S.” in the guard and the placement with an Irish harp. The knucklebow and outer branch of the basket have additional engraving. On the obverse mount is inscribed:

"Presented To Col. M. Corcoran of the 69th Regt N.Y.S.M.
In commemoration of the 11th of October 1860”

Known as "The Hero of Bull Run,” Brigadier General Corcoran is one of the most storied Irish/American patriots to emerge during the American civil war. Born in Ireland in 1821, he immigrated to New York in 1849, but he retained his feelings against the British crown. Just prior to the Civil War, Corcoran rose to command of the 69th New York State Militia, a famed Irish regiment.

The following year, Colonel Corcoran made his national reputation as the champion of all Irish in America. On October 11, 1860 (see sword inscription), President Buchanan invited the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII of England) to visit New York, where a ball and a militia parade were given in his honor. Corcoran refused to order the 69th Regiment to march in a parade in honor if the future king. His insubordination was met with arrest by state authorities and a court martial. The case was pending when Sumter was fired upon, and expediency led to a convenient forgetting of the charges. The 69th, with their colonel at its head, was one of the first regiments to march to the defense of the Union.

Upon departure for the seat of war, Col. Corcoran was presented by his supporters, in honor of his disregard of the Prince of Wales, with a green silk flag whose center was the ancient flag of Erin, and the above pictured 1850 Model Staff and Field Officer’s sword.

The regiment was first stationed on Arlington Heights at Fort Corcoran, then marched to Bull Run where Corcoran was wounded in the heavy fighting and taken prisoner and confined to Libby Prison in Richmond, Virginia. Exchanged in August, 1862, Corcoran was promoted to Brigadier General of Volunteers and was received in a massive celebration by 650,000 onlookers, until that time the largest crowd ever amassed in the United States. Here, General Corcoran received a jeweled presentation sword. General Corcoran then organized the Corcoran Legion. The legion was engaged in various battles in Virginia, then in October, 1863, was transferred to the Army of the Potomac. On Dec. 22, 1863, while riding in the company of General Thomas Meagher, Corcoran fell from his horse and was crushed to death. It is believed he suffered a heart attack due to the privations endured in Libby Prison.

General Meagher, Corcoran’s friend and fellow member of the Fenian Brotherhood, delivered the eulogy at the lecture hall of the Cooper Institute. This event was attended by officers of the 69th N.Y.N.G., officers of the Irish Legion and Irish Brigade, and members of the civic and military communities. Meagher, in a moving oration, spoke of General Corcoran’s brave resistance to the Prince of Wales...”Never with so dazzling an effect, did an impeached soldier reverse the tide that had set in against him. That when he had heard the reply that the republic was in danger, he had gone forth himself amongst the first of its defenders, consecrating his sword and life to its defense.”

The sword was obtained from family descendants in 1992.

Member - Mike Shotwell
Item #: CIV-201

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