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.