THE CIVIL WAR
Sword

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Record 242/294
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Description Presentation grade sword and scabbard: steel double edge blade with etched decoration of 4 groups of incised floral design; hilt is decorative cast bronze with gilt; pommel is decorated with armor helmet with plume; grip has replacement-incised bone grip (original was diagonally-incised ivory); lion head on knuckle bow, eagle on counter-guard; scabbard with 2 brass bands with rings and applied floral-design on drag. The following components were replaced with new parts during 1998 restoration: rings on scabbard, wood liner in scabbard, incised bone grip, and red pad at hilt.

Presented to 2nd Lt. Henry B. Harshaw during the Civil War. Henry B. Harshaw was born on June 13, 1842 at Washington County, New York. He was a son of George and Reliance Harshaw. George was born circa 1795 in Ireland and Reliance was born circa 1801 at New York. Henry came to Wisconsin with his father in 1849 and settled at Oconomowoc, Waukesha County. In 1854 the family removed to Oshkosh, Winnebago County, where Henry attended school until 1859. He then attended a one year course in Beaver Dam, Dodge County at Wayland University. In 1860 he taught at a country school near Ripon, Green Lake County. George, his father, was listed in the 1860 federal census as residing in the fourth ward of the city of Oshkosh. Residing with him was his wife and sons Henry and Albert Harshaw. Henry enlisted at Oshkosh on Apr. 21, 1861 and was assigned to Company E, 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry as a private. He was then promoted to Sergeant Major in that regiment on Sept. 8, 1862. Henry was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant of that company on Mar. 3, 1863 and was an Assistant Aide de Camp from Oct. 9, 1863 through Apr. 15, 1864. He was wounded at Laurel Hill, Maryland on May 8, 1864. Henry's left arm was amputated below the shoulder due to his wound while he was a patient at Seminary Hospital in Washington, DC and he rejoined Company E on June 19, 1864. He was mustered out on June 28, 1864 at the end of his term of enlistment. Henry was married on Dec. 21, 1864 to Georgia M. Finney. She was born in 1839 at Sackett's Harbor, New York. Georgia was a sister of Edwin E. Finney, Company E, 2nd Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. Henry was listed in 1868 as the clerk of circuit court and residing at 80 High Street in the city of Oshkosh. He held that elected position from 1866 through 1878 and resigned only to accept the appointment as postmaster for the city of Oshkosh and to practice law. Henry had a daughter, Flora Angie, who was born in Oshkosh on Nov. 23, 1880/1. He formed a law partnership with A.W. Weisbrod in 1879. He was listed in 1883 as residing at P.O. Oshkosh and receiving a pension of $24 per month for the loss of his arm. When Lucius Fairchild, former commander of the 2nd Wisconsin, was elected Governor of Wisconsin in 1886 he appointed Henry to his staff with the rank of Colonel. In November of that same year, Henry was elected as a republican to the position of State Treasurer. He was listed in the veteran section of the 1885 and 1895 Wisconsin State census at P.O. Oshkosh. Henry was listed in 1888 as a member of GAR Post #241 at Oshkosh. He was listed in the 1890 federal census as residing in the town of Oshkosh at P.O. Oshkosh. He was involved in many business, service and charitable organizations at Oshkosh. Georgia died at Milwaukee in Feb. 1893 while visiting her daughter and seeking treatment for a heart disease. Henry died at the home of his only child,Flora Angie, Mrs. T.H. Hay, in Milwaukee on Dec. 25, 1900. He had been taken there three months earlier while suffering the effects of a throat cancer. Flora Angie Harshaw, his daughter, was married in Winnebago County on Apr. 27, 1887 to Thomas Hamilton Hay.

Dimensions H-4 W-2.25 L-35 inches
Dimension notes 38 inches long with blade in scabbard.
Year Range from 1861
Event Civil War
Year range to 1864
Material Steel/Brass/Gilt/Bone/Wood
Object ID 1870-30
Object Name Sword
People Harshaw, Henry B.
Related Publications Oshkosh Public Museumemo, Spring 1999.

Sword Brings History Alive / Civil War Artifact Damaged in Museum Fire is Back, Sandy Mickelson, 2/3/1999, Oshkosh Northwestern, C-1
Used Harshaw, Henry B.
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Last modified on: December 12, 2009