Reference Items
Edged Weapons
Inscribed sword - Francis J. Herron

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Model 1850 Foot Officerís sword presented to Francis J. Herron in 1861. The sword is in untouched and uncleaned condition. The original wire wrap is fully intact with rayskin grip showing some aging. The brass guard is uncleaned as are the pommel and mounts on the scabbard. The blade retains a dark patina and is etched with floral and patriotic motifs. On the guard is inscribed in period script "Presented to Capt. F. J. Herron by Co. I, 1st Iowa S. Vol. Dubuque, Sept 1861.Ē The browned metal scabbard has miscellaneous handling dings consistent with the untouched condition of the sword.

In 1861, Herron was serving as a Captain in the 1st Iowa where he fought at Wilsonís Creek. His unit suffered heavy losses and was mustered out, having completed their 90 days service. Herron was then commissioned Lt. Colonel in the 9th Iowa. His heroic actions at Pea Ridge a few months later won him the Congressional Medal of Honor, but in the process, he was wounded and captured. A few weeks after the battle, he was exchanged but a squabble arose over his sword. The capturing Confederate officer refused to return the sword, preferring to keep it as a souvenir of the Battle of Pea Ridge. Only the intervention of the Confederate Commanding General VanDorn brought the return of the sword to Herron, with VanDornís compliments.

Immediately after Pea Ridge, Herron was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General. After a fantastic movement of his command over the Ozark Plateau, his forces helped assure a Union victory at the Battle of Prairie Grove and he won promotion to the rank of Major General, making him the youngest soldier to hold such rank for either side during the war. Herron subsequently commanded the XIII corps at Vicksburg. This is a very historic and interesting sword inscribed and presented early in the war to an officer who demonstrated his willingness to take the fight directly to the enemy.

Member - John Beckendorf
Item #: CIV-137

Inscribed Presentation Sword - James C. Parrott

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Presentation grade sword given to James C. Parrott by the men of his company in 1861. The blade displays period etching with scrolls and patriotic motifs. Its eagle guard, quillon and pommel retain much of their original gilt and are uncleaned showing a rich golden patina. The rayskin grip and original wire wrap are near perfect and intact. The metal scabbard has been browned and includes richly cast mountings and drag. On the scabbard is inscribed in original period script: Lieut. Col. J. C. Parrott By Co. E., 7th Regt. Iowa Vols. Keokuk, Iowa 1861.

This sword is accompanied by Parrott's original escutcheon with his military service honors. Parrott served in the military as a private in the 1st U.S. Dragoons, from 1834-1837. When the Civil War broke out, he enlisted at the age of 51 with the 7th Iowa Infantry 1861 and mustered in as a grey-bearded Captain. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel of the 7th Iowa Infantry, and eventually by brevet as Brigadier General in 1865. He has an excellent battle record, opening with the Battle of Belmont where he received four wounds from gunfire, and was given only minutes to live by Union surgeons. Surviving the night, he was granted a furlough by U. S. Grant to allow time for recovery. Upon his return, he was presented this sword by the grateful members of his company in appreciation for his leadership at Belmont. While in command of the 7th Iowa, Parrot led the regiment through their action at Shiloh where they fought alongside other Iowans in the Hornet's Nest. A near miss by a Confederate artillery shell rendered him unconscious during the fighting. Parrott was wounded once again at Corinth, a few months later.

His escutcheon notes that he carried the surrender papers between the lines at Ft. Donelson, as U. S. Grant made his "unconditional surrender" demand to Confederate General Buckner.

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-107

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