Sword Presented to Henry W. Lawton

Description (Brief)
Presented to Lieutenant Colonel Henry W. Lawton by the Officers and Men of his Regiment [30th Indiana Volunteer Infantry] on March 4, 1865
Henry W. Lawton began the Civil War as an enlisted 90-day volunteer. By the war’s end he was a brevet Colonel. Lawton received a Medal of Honor for service in Sherman’s Atlanta campaign.
This sword was presented to Lieutenant Colonel Henry W. Lawton by the officers and men of the 30th Indiana Volunteer Infantry. The blade is Damascus steel; it is long, slightly curved, and single edged. The fuller is wide and shallow, and extends about two thirds of the way to the tip of the blade. Both sides are decorated in silver and gold chasing. The obverse bears a silver eagle surrounded by a scroll pattern, wearing a US shield and holding an "E PLURIBUS / UNUM" banner in the middle of a large sunburst, all backed in gold chasing. The reverse of the blade features the same design with a "U.S." monogram surrounded by the inscription "For Union / and Liberty." The grip features a silver figure of Nike holding a laurel wreath; she is resting against a piece of gold metal in the shape of a large palm leaf. The knuckle-bow is a brass strip that branches off about half way down the hilt. The strip and branch are adorned in oak leaves and acorns. The branch widens into a large half basket shaped counterguard which is covered in openwork scroll design. This terminates in a quillon in the shape of a dragon's head.
The scabbard is gilded and bears three silvered mounts. The first mount features a medieval trophy design surrounded by laurel wreath and scroll designs. The reverse bears a "US" monogram with similar surroundings. The middle mount features a US shield held by an eagle standing on a globe with an identical laurel and scroll pattern. The bottom mount, which acts as the drag, features another eagle/ US shield design, as well as an ornate engraving of laurel leaves and scrolls. Between the first and second mount a plate with an engraved inscription to Lawton reads “LIEUT. COL. HENRY W. LAWTON / 30th Ind. Vet. Vol Infty. / Presented by the Officers and Men of his Regiment / as a token of confidence and respect. / March 4th 1865” The plate is surrounded by names of the battles he fought: Shiloh / Corinth / Stone River / Chickamauga / Atlanta / Franklin / Nashville. Between the second and first mount is a plate with castings of oak sprays and acorns. The carrying rings to the scabbard with an acorn shaped ring.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
date presented
Lawton, Henry W.
Schuyler, Hartley & Graham
W. Clauberg
Physical Description
metal, gilt (scabbard material)
steel (blade material)
brass (hilt material)
overall: 38 1/2 in x 6 1/4 in; 97.79 cm x 15.875 cm
blade: 32 in x 1 in; 81.28 cm x 2.54 cm
scbabard: 32 3/4 in x 2 3/4 in; 83.185 cm x 6.985 cm
place made
United States: New York, New York
Deutschland: North Rhine-Westphalia, Solingen
ID Number
AF*16043 [dup1]
catalog number
accession number
Edged Weapons
Civil War Presentation Swords
Civil War
Civil War
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
Civil War Presentation Swords
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

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