US General Officers Sword Belonging To Mass. Surgeon General 1895
- Maker: US Military
- Model: Sword
- Description: This is a high grade, 1860 Staff & Field type sword that was made to conform to the 1872 regulations for the Springfield General Officer Sword, albeit with a different grip. The sword measures 36 1/2'' overall, with a 30'' diamond-shaped blade marked ''G.M. Simmons & Co. / Boston Mass.'' on the ricasso obverse. The blade is still bright, and has etched panels depicting foliate scroll and panoplies of arms, centered by a Federal Eagle on the reverse and "U.S." on the obverse. Some barely visible scabbard marks can be seen on the faces of the foible and specks of gray patina are present near the tip and over the maker's mark, otherwise the blade has few blemishes. The hilt is cast brass in gilt relief with a folding counterguard (the detent does not function, but the guard stays put in either position), and a silver grip with gilt band wrap. The sword is accompanied by two scabbards (this also conforms to the 1872 General Officers Sword regulation): the first is the dress nickel-plated scabbard with a single Brigadier General's silvered chased bronze star; while the second is service-browned for field use. Both have standard 1860 S&F gilt brass mounts, which differ from the mounts used n Springfield Armory-made examples. Also included is one buff kidskin cover marked ''Brig. General / Lieut. Colonel (struck through) / E.J. Forster. / Surgeon General / Mass'' on the front face. The cover is in good condition overall, but the last few inches of the tip have been lost and the surface shows light age yellowing, a few small perforations and occasional stains. The lettering is a bit faded but remains legible. Contact wear at the side is perfectly consistent with this sword. Edward Jacob Forster ''enlisted in the 26th Unattached Infantry Company, Mass. Volunteer Militia in Sep 1864; discharged in Oct 1866. He did not serve on active duty during the Civil War. He received his MD from Harvard in 1868 and was commissioned as surgeon with the rank of major, 5th Infantry in 1871. Discharged in 1892. Commissioned as Lieutenant Colonel in 1894 and assigned as medical director, 1st Brigade, appointed Surgeon General with rank of brigadier general by Gov. Frederic T. Greenhalge on 23 Apr 1895. Died in office 15 May 1896.'' Presented with this lot is a dossier of research pertaining to the General, including the above statement, excerpts from period publications such as Adjutant General's annual reports, and obituaries for Dr. Forster, an excerpt from A History of the Massachusetts Medical Society 1781-1922 by Walter L. Burrage, A.M., M.D., and a 25-page printout of The Pedigree and Descendants of Jacob Forster, Sen. of Charlestown, Mass. by Dr. Edward J. Forster himself. This excellent, identified Massachusetts General's sword is in fine-near excellent condition, and would make a wonderful addition to any collection.