Model 1850 foot officer's sword presentation inscribed Excelsior Brigade. The blade etching is legible, showing a muted silver on a gray background. The upper scabbard mount has a nicely engraved presentation oriented lengthwise reading: Presented to Capt. By Simon Meyer Clerk Board Aldermen May 22, 1861.Keller was 34 years old and mustered in as Captain of Co. G of the 70th New York on June 27, 1861. The regiment was raised under special authority from the War Department with Daniel Sickles as temporary Colonel and nicknamed the Excelsior Regiment.
Sickles quickly expanded his intentions to the enlistment of an entire brigade, and the 70th soon had the nickname of "First Excelsior" or First Regiment, Excelsior Brigade. Sickles's methods of recruiting and retention of new soldiers were apparently as unorthodox as the rest of his life which included shooting his wife's lover on a street corner, bringing a prostitute into the NY State Assembly, etc. And resulted a court case of habeas corpus for the release of an entire company of men. In any case, Keller may have fallen afoul of some of these innovative approaches.His company did not did not muster into service with the rest of regiment in late June, only doing so down in Washington in October. In the meantime neither Keller nor his two lieutenants were granted commissions by the Governor. Lieutenants Washburn and Hussey were discharged at the beginning of August, but Keller seems to have held on until August 29. The story is well worth further research.
Keller must have had some political pull since he was mustered in as Captain and the presentation is from the Clerk of the Board of Aldermen of NY City. The item "CIVIL WAR M 1850 PRESENTATION SWORD TO CAPTAIN JOSEPH KELLER EXCELSIOR BRIGADE" is in sale since Thursday, July 18, 2019. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Militaria\Civil War (1861-65)\Original Period Items\Edged Weapons". The seller is "rachelemandelgallery" and is located in Chicago Heights, Illinois.
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