The Massachusetts Historical Society has acquired a pretty special Civil War object: the sword that Col. Robert Gould Shaw, commander of the 54th Massachusetts, was carrying when he fell at Ft. Wagner. Descendants of Shaw’s sister found it while cleaning an attic, and it’s going on exhibit this month.
The Globe reports that the sword was “stolen from Shaw’s body shortly after he was killed,” but doesn’t say how it made its way back to his family. The MHS, however, has traced its provenance all the way back to its manufacture, so it’s the real deal.
Quite an acquisition! I’d almost be willing to drive to Boston just to see it.