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This is among the highest grade Ames staff officer’s sword with engraved brass scabbard with applied relief decoration to scabbard mounts, sharkskin grip with extra engraving on hilt and pommel. 32″ blade has Ames finer “spiderweb” etching with military motifs. Blade and scabbard are both marked with full firm address, “AMES MFG CO, CHICOPEE, MASS”. The scabbard has engraved presentation between the top mounts: “PRESENTED TO / MAJOR BENJAMIN L. TRAFFORD / LATE CAPTAIN OF COMPANY E / 71ST REGIMENT AMERICAN GUARD / BY THE MEMBERS OF HIS RECENT COMMAND / NEW YORK OCT. 24TH 1862. Colonel Trafford was born in New York City in 1836. At the age of 18 he entered the 71st NYNG as Private, and was soon after promoted Corporal. When the war began, Trafford was commissioned Captain April 19, 1861, with final rank of Colonel May 13, 1863. Trafford and the 71st participated in the Battle of Bull Run, where he behaved with great gallantry. He served also in the campaign of 1862. When the rebel invasion of Pennsylvania was made in 1863, Colonel Trafford was in command of the regiment. On the arrival of the regiment at Harrisburg, it was brigaded with the 8th N.Y. Regiment. General J. M. Varian was the Colonel command the 8th at the time, and being senior officer he was placed in command of the provisional brigade. The brigade was engaged in the defense of railroads and bridges. On the night of June 21, the two regiments were to take the cars at Chambersburg for Carlisle. It was divided into two wings with one company as skirmishers. Colonel Trafford remained with the skirmishers, that being the most dangerous position. When the troops took the cars, Colonel Trafford missed the left wing of his command, and although Colonel Varian assured him that, excepting the company of skirmishers, the 71st was aboard the cars, Colonel Trafford was not satisfied. The rain was falling heavily and the roads were very muddy; nevertheless Colonel Trafford rode off in the darkness in search of his missing soldiers. Eventually he found them, wet and fatigued after a march of twenty miles. He secured a train of cars and sent them on to join the remainder of his regiment. He returned with his command soon after to assist in quelling the New York draft riots. Colonel Trafford resigned his command of the 71st in 1866, and about this time published a monograph on military tactics, which had a wide circulation. This sword is accompanied by a small archive of Colonel Trafford’s including several war time muster rolls signed by Trafford, name plate from his saddle, Infantry Manual of Arms written by Trafford and published in 1863 for the 71st Regiment, 80 pgs in wraps missing back cover with tape repair to spine, Major and Lieut. Colonel shoulder straps, cased epaulets, straight razor, swatch of his hair with old tag, several copies of his obituaries and many wartime letters and photographs, a few post-war photos of Trafford, 23 Civil War New York state seal buttons that were once on Colonel Trafford’s coat along with gilded sterling sash buckle and 1855 patent coat tightening buckle. PROVENANCE: The esteemed collection of Rafael Cruz. CONDITION: Sword is very good overall. Grey blade with some luster and discernible etching. Brass scabbard mounts and hilt are cleaned with light mustard patina with strong traces of gilt in protected areas. Inscription and engraving all crisp and discernible. Protective washer has been replaced. Sharkskin has typical longitudinal separation but intact, including twisted brass wire wrap with wear through at high spots and loss of much of its black dye. Several muster rolls are broken at folds. Infantry manual is missing back cover and has tape repairs as noted. Buttons, letters, photographs and shoulder straps are all very good. 53073-20 JS (8,000-12,000) – Lot 1371

Auction: Firearms - Spring 2018
Please Note: All prices include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, which is paid by the buyer as part of the purchase price. The prices noted here after the auction are considered unofficial and do not become official until after the 46th day.