32" blade etched with military motifs. Fancy brass knuckle bow with E. Pluribus Unum. Brass pommel and silver-handle. Marked at ricasso Miller & Company New York. Lacquered brown metal scabbard with fancy brass drag, bands and carrying rings also with silver plate inscribed Presented to Captain James T. Morgan of Co E. 30th Mich. Infantry by the members of his Co(mpany). Feby 9th, 1865.
Not yet 25 years old and a combat veteran of both theaters of war, Captain James T. Morgan of Muskegon was commissioned into the one-year 30th Michigan on January 9, 1865 with rank retroactive to November 28, 1864. Morgan was acting commandant at Wyandot having survived three years of arduous service including a stint as a prisoner of war when he succumbed to disease on May 31, 1865. Morgan had originally enlisted in Company E., 17th Michigan as 2nd lieutenant in July 1862.
The Wolverines soon joined the Army of the Potomac and were baptized by fire at South Mountain on September 14, 1862 where they earned the sobriquet the “Stonewall Regiment.” This was followed in quick succession by the bloody maelstrom at Antietam. Shortly afterwards Morgan became acting aide-de-camp to brigade commander Colonel William B. Fenton, 8th Michigan. The regiment participated in the battle of Fredericksburg and the “Mud March” and with little time to rest and refit transferred to Louisville joining the Army of the Ohio with Morgan having been advanced to 1st Lieutenant (Co. B.) in February 1863. Morgan was then detailed as brigade acting assistant quartermaster in May.
As summer commenced the 17th Michigan found itself in the Vicksburg siege lines and after a month’s heavy fighting witnessed the fall of the Confederate bastion of the west. The regiment spent August and September in Kentucky and then marched to Knoxville, Tennessee where it endured the privations associated with the early winter siege. The 17th fought the battle of Campbell’s Station on a dismal November 16, 1863 in which Burnside’s Corps held-off an uncoordinated attack by two of Longstreet’s divisions. Longstreet broke off the attack after suffering about 600 casualties while Burnside drew back to Knoxville with the loss of 400 men including Captain James Morgan, captured.
Morgan was confined at Macon, Georgia and Columbia, South Carolina where he appears on a list of officer-prisoners. The officer made good his escape on December 15, 1864 and was mustered out shortly thereafter in January 1865. Not content to sit idly by Captain Morgan volunteered for the 30th Michigan intended for service in the state. While still recuperating from his recent captivity he was presented this memorable sword on February 9, 1865 but would not live long enough to recollect the piece as an heirloom of three years’ honorable service.
Condition: Blade has been lightly cleaned. All brass fittings has a nice untouched patina. Scabbard still retaining most of the lacquered brown finish mixed with some light brown spots. An outstanding presentation sword.