Sword Presented to Marcus LaRue Harrison

Description (Brief)
Presented to Colonel Marcus L. Harrison by the officers and men of the 1st Arkansas Cavalry Volunteers in 1864
Enlisted as a private, Marcus Larue Harrison’s railroad background made him an acting lieutenant of engineers by the fall of 1861. In 1862 Harrison was given permission to organize Arkansas Unionists into the 1st Arkansas Cavalry Regiment. The regiment served in battles in northwest Arkansas. This sword was presented to him by the officers and men of the regiment in 1864.
The blade of this sword is long, curved, and single edged. The fuller is broad and shallow and it extends about three quarters of the way to the tip of the blade. Both sides are decorated in floral and scroll designs in gold and silver chasing. The obverse bears an American soldier holding a sword and a cluster of military trophies bearing the monogram "US". The reverse bears a soldier holding a gun, and a larger "U.S." monogram. The grip of the sword is a plain textured metal that has been wrapped with gilt wire approximately 18 times around in a spiral. The backstrap is a gold metal with scroll designs and military trophies, including a US shield, cast upon it. The pommel is a continuation of the backstrap, and is covered in scroll designs. There is a large dark red jewel in the place of a capstan rivet. The knuckle guard and counterguard are decorated with palm leaves and scroll patterns.
The scabbard bears three gold mounts. The top two mounts bear an ornate laurel spray design. The drag features a scroll design and a handful of flags at the base. The space between the two top mounts bears a silver metal plate with the inscription “M. La Rue Harrison / Col. 1st Ark. Cav. Vols. / from the / Officers and Men of his Command / 1864”. There are two carrying rings on the scabbard, one on the right side of the top two mounts.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
date presented
Harrison, Marcus LaRue
Collins & Co.
Folson, Henry
Physical Description
metal, gilt (scabbard material)
steel (blade material)
brass (hilt material)
blade: 35 in x 1 in; 88.9 cm x 2.54 cm
scabbard: 36 in x 3 1/4 in; 91.44 cm x 8.255 cm
overall: 41 in x 5 1/4 in; 104.14 cm x 13.335 cm
overall, sword: 3 1/4 in x 4 1/4 in x 40 7/8 in; 8.255 cm x 10.795 cm x 103.8225 cm
overall, scabbard: 1 in x 3 3/8 in x 35 3/4 in; 2.54 cm x 8.5725 cm x 90.805 cm
place made
United States: Connecticut, Hartford
United States: Missouri, Saint Louis
ID Number
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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