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One of the nicest Battle of Franklin related firearms I’ve seen in a long time was sold at auction in 2010 by Heritage Auction. It sold for $21,510.00.

The auction house provided this description.

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Here are some pics of the rifle.

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eBay is selling an 1864 dated GOLD Presentation Cane from 96th Illinois Infantry Regiment to Brigadier General WALTER CHILES WHITAKER.

The gold cane top is engraved: “Presented to Brig. Genl. W. C. WHITTAKER by the Enlisted Men of the 96th Regt. Ill Vol. Infy. Dec. 25, 1864″

The sides are engraved with Battle Honors of his commands:

Kenesaw Mountain, Atlanta and Nashville; New Hope Church, Franklin; Lookout Mountain, Resaca; Chickamauga, Rocky Face Ridge.

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So is it just me, or does anyone else see anything “wrong” with this picture (i.e., artifact)?  I don’t dispute its authenticity.  But if it is, what seems weird or wrong about it?

It is for sale on Heritage Auction until December 8th.

These items are listed for sale in the December 8th, 2012 Heritage Auction.  They belonged to Capt. William F. Kemble, Co. C, 104th Ohio Vol. Infantry.

The auction description says:

 “…breasting the storm of deadly musketry, bursting shell and flying shot…” With his dying breaths he instructed his comrades to be certain to send his sword home to his family. Here is Captain Kemble’s sword and belt, accompanied by a poignant letter from a fellow officer who was by Kemble’s side when he died. The sword is a fine imported non-regulation officer’s sword with rayskin grips and steel hilt bearing a spread-winged eagle over “U. S.” The blade is profusely etched with floral designs, trophies and a large “U.S.” and is in near perfect condition with much luster. The steel scabbard has a smooth, even patina. The sword belt features a heavy M. 1851 officer’s sword belt plate in high relief. The belt itself is sound but the suspensory straps have broken and are detached. Perhaps the most outstanding part of this grouping is the touching letter sent to Kemble’s wife by fellow officer Robert C. Taggart who witnessed Kemble’s mortal wounding and was with him at his death. The letter offers a description of how he was shot and, most importantly that as Taggart was “bending over my expiring friend…the only words he could utter were send my sword to my family and tell them my last thoughts were with them.” The four-page letter continues to mention sending the sword to Mrs. Kemble and inform her that her husband was buried with other members of his regiment “on the north bank of Big Harpeth Creek,” lauding him in the flowery language of Victorian America. One of the most touching groupings Heritage Auctions has ever offered and a sword with exquisite provenance.
Estimate: $8,000 – up.

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Kraig McNutt is the author and publisher of this blog. He has been blogging on Franklin for over five years and on the Civil War in general since 1995. Email him.

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Summary of the Battle of Franklin

The Battle of Franklin was fought on November 30, 1864 in Franklin, Tennessee; in Williamson County. John Bell Hood's Army of Tennessee (around 33,000 men) faced off with John M. Schofield's Army of the Ohio and the Cumberland (around 30,000 men). Often cited as "the bloodiest five hours" during the American Civil War, the Confederates lost between 6,500 - 7,500 men, with 1,750 dead. The Federals lost around 2,000 - 2,500 men, with just 250 or less killed. Hood lost 30,000 men in just six months (from July 1864 until December 15). The Battle of Franklin was fought mostly at night. Several Confederate Generals were killed, including Patrick Cleburne, and the Rebels also lost 50% of their field commanders. Hood would limp into Nashville two weeks later before suffering his final defeat before retreating to Pulaski in mid December. Hundreds of wounded Confederate soldiers were taken to the John and Carrie McGavock home - Carnton - after the battle. She became known as the Widow of the South. The McGavock's eventually donated two acres to inter the Confederate dead. Almost 1,500 Rebel soldiers are buried in McGavock Confederate Cemetery, just in view of the Carnton house.

Make sure to check-out the Google Map of the Franklin Civil War Guide.
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