Calvary Battle at Salineville, Ohio

RobertH

Private
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
There's an existing discussion about Morgan's Raiders up through Ohio and the un-enrolled soldiers that helped capture him. I didn't want to take that thread off topic, but thought some might like to see this 1860 Ames Calvary. US & JF initials. It's seen better days, and has definitely seen some action.
Salineville was the last battle of Morgan's Raiders, as they rode up thru Ohio raiding and plundering in July of '63. They were finally surrounded and defeated in Salineville, but General John Hunt Morgan was able to get away. He was captured soon after. I think the Battle at Salineville was the Northernmost battle of the CW - or was there one near the Canadian border?

I bought this Ames Calvary from a lady in Indiana. Her Uncle dug this sword from the battlefield in Salineville in 1963. The sword was buried under only an inch or two of soil, and covered by the canopy of a tree. The brass guard is heavily damaged/bent and the loop guard is broken off. The bottom of the drag is rusted out completely. When found, the sword was still in it's scabbard. The scabbard was bent, and was binding the blade when I got it. I straightened it a little, but only so I could remove the sword from the scabbard and get the rust off the blade. Other than that, I haven't done much to the sword, and probably won't. I've thought about having it re-wrapped with some "aged" leather and brass twine, but I may never. I kind of like it just the way it is.

Here's what I think happened. I think the leather straps broke or came undone during the battle with Morgan's Raiders and the sword fell to the ground, still in the scabbard. I think after hitting the ground, it was trampled by a horse during the battle. That's the only explanation I can think of for the broken loop guard. Those are not easy to bend or break. But a horse hoof could easily do that damage. I think it lay slightly angled, allowing moisture to collect at the drag and rust it out the bottom of the scabbard. The outside of the scabbard is heavily pitted, but the scabbard helped protect the blade from the elements. Since the sword was laying near the surface, the ground would have been able to dry out and not stay constantly wet - so that probably helped the entire sword from rusting away completely. And it was also protected by the canopy of the tree. Still, to lay there a hundred years is simply amazing.

As mentioned, I've only cleaned the rust off the blade and got some oil on it. It's now resting nicely in my Dining Room. It deserves that.

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Jeff in Ohio

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 17, 2015
I would leave it as is, just as you say. I do think you are correct that the lowest part of the scabbard collected moisture / water, stayed wet, and that's why it rusted through there.
 

James Brenner

Corporal
Joined
Nov 10, 2016
Location
North Canton, Ohio
I hate to sound like a member of the grammar police, but cavalry refers to horse-mounted troops. Calvary (note the spelling difference) has nothing at all to do with mounted warfare.
 

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 5, 2017
A horse could have stepped on it and done the damage for sure. I am glad it is resting in your hands, and being given some TLC.

Always fun to remind my students that the CW wasn’t all that long ago.
 

RobertH

Private
Joined
Jan 25, 2019
I hate to sound like a member of the grammar police, but cavalry refers to horse-mounted troops. Calvary (note the spelling difference) has nothing at all to do with mounted warfare.
Note taken! I can't believe I did that. It must be all those years my parents dragged me to Sunday School?
 

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