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.