General William T. Sherman's sword and scabbard

Physical Description
Model 1850 forged steel with gilt brass scabbard.
Specific History
General William T. Sherman wore this Model 1850 staff and field officer's sword during the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee, April 6–8, 1862.
General History
One of the greatest battles of the War between the States erupted near the banks of the Tennessee River at Shiloh, Tennessee. On April 6, 1862, General Sidney Johnston launched his attack. The Union forces were quickly driven back; they found themselves rapidly approaching the Tennessee River to the east and Owl Creek to the north. However, the Union troops finally established a line at an area known as "the sunken road." Confederate forces launched eleven attacks against the position, but the line would not break. The area became known as the "Hornets Nest" because of the intensity of gunfire and grazing of bullets. Finally the Southern troops brought sixty-two artillery pieces to bear on the Hornets Nest, many at point-blank range. After holding the position for six hours, the Union forces surrendered. The next morning, the fresh Union forces attacked the tired and surprised Confederates, who believed they had won a great victory. By sheer weight of numbers the federals pushed them back. Resistance stiffened; as the day wore on, the Confederates pulled back and the next day withdrew to Corinth.
Object Name
date made
ca 1850-1862
used date
1862-04-06 through 1862-04-08
Sherman, William Tecumseh
Ames Manufacturing Company
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
brass (overall material)
overall: 8 in x 39 in x 4 in; 20.32 cm x 99.06 cm x 10.16 cm
overall, scabbard: 1 in x 2 7/8 in x 33 1/2 in; 2.54 cm x 7.3025 cm x 85.09 cm
Place Made
United States: Massachusetts, Chicopee
United States: Tennessee
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Civil War
William Tecumseh Sherman
Civil War
Battle of Shiloh, 1862
Civil War and Reconstruction
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
William Tecumseh Sherman
The Price of Freedom: Americans at War
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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