Sword Presented to William T. Sherman

This sword was presented to William T. Sherman for his service in the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, or Shiloh, by Major General H.W. Halleck. The straight double edged blade is engraved with ornate floral and scroll patterns. It is very pitted in places, but the obverse features the figure of a knight in armor. Only part of the inscription on the reverse of the blade is legible. It shows General Halleck’s letter of recommendation to the Secretary of War and reads:
“...Stanton, Secretary of War- / ...the unanimous opinion here that Brigadier General W.T. Sherman saved the fortune of the day of the 6th and contributed largely to the / ....victory of the 7th. He was in the thickest of the fight on both days having three horses killed under him, & being wounded twice. I respectfully request / that he be made a Major General of Volunteers to date from the 6th instant. - Very respectfully, your obedient servant, H.W. Halleck, Major General / Commanding.”
Inside a hollowed grip, the figure of Athena slays a dragon. On the pommel an eagle rests atop a globe covered with stars. The knuckle-bow is decorated with laurel leaves and a banner which wraps around the top and reads, "PITTSBURGH . LANDING. / April / 6TH& 7TH 1862". Set within an enamel counterguard is Sherman’s monogram "WTS", which is covered in approximately 90 tiny diamonds. On the reverse of the counterguard there are two laurel leaves. The quillon extends away from the counterguard and is in the shape of the head of Ares.
The scabbard is gilded and has three gold mounts. The first bears the head of Ares and two American flags on the obverse. On the reverse of the mount there is a snake. The second and third mounts are decorated with oak leaves. The scabbard has three carrying rings, one on each side of the top mount, and one on the right side of the middle mount.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
ca 1864
associated person
Unlinked Name
Sherman, William Tecumseh
presented by
Halleck, Henry W.
Tiffany & Co.
Physical Description
metal, gilt (?? material)
metal, steel (blade material)
metal (scabbard material)
metal (blade material)
metal (hilt material)
blade: 31 in x 1 in; 78.74 cm x 2.54 cm
scabbard: 33 in x 2 1/4 in; 83.82 cm x 5.715 cm
overall: 39 in x 5 1/2 in; 99.06 cm x 13.97 cm
overall, scabbard: 1 1/8 in x 4 1/8 in x 33 in; 2.8575 cm x 10.4775 cm x 83.82 cm
overall, sword: 3 in x 5 3/8 in x 38 3/4 in; 7.62 cm x 13.6525 cm x 98.425 cm
place made
United States: New York, New York
United States: Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Edged Weapons
Civil War Presentation Swords
Civil War
William Tecumseh Sherman
Civil War
Battle of Shiloh, 1862
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
William Tecumseh Sherman
Civil War Presentation Swords
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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