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A Sword for General Grant

In mid-March 1862, following his major victories at Fort Henry and Donelson, General U.S. Grant experienced a "low point." The entire North, including President Lincoln, celebrated his victory with the exception of his commander, General Henry Halleck. Halleck was jealous of this no-name having praise heaped upon him, and not Halleck himself, Grant's superior. In fact, he communicated with General George B. McClellan to cut him down to size with an effort to promote one of Grant's generals, C.F. Smith, over him. It was in this frame of mind when Grant was surprised by this sword presentation as described by Colonel C.C. Marsh that appeared in the Cleveland Morning Leader of March 11, 1862:

"COL. MARSH: I am instructed by Gen. Grant to say that he accepts this beautiful sword and return to you and his heartfelt thanks. He accepts with more satisfaction, that it is not a tribute which the world is ever eager to render to success, but a manifestation of confidence and respect which has resulted from many months of official and friendly intercourse. War has its delights as well as its shadows, valor is not the only virtue it developed. Confidence, sympathy, brotherhood, in fact all the virtues of the human heat find their fullest fruition in the soldier's life. The most beautiful in Napoleon's life was the confidence, sympathy, and respect between him and his Marshals. It was something which all Europe could not exile him. He carried it with him to Elba, and the grace, I know full well that he for whom I speak values the consciousness of having the confidence and respect of those who have served under him through many weary days and nights of this campaign, far, far above all éclat that the world rewards to victory. his, thank God, is something in which he cannot be superseded by any power on earth. This testimonial of you fidelity and hose for whom you speak, Colonel, will be safely kept and treasured. God grant that it may be unsheathed to lead you on to fresh victories; that it is not permitted to rest with an unkind thought, in its scabbard and General Grant's heart will follow you to the battlefield whomever may lead you.

The inscription on the word was simply as follows: 'Presented to Gen. U.S. Grant by G.W. Graham, C.B. Lagow, C.C. Marsh and John Cook, 1861.'

Marsh said "They (sword & scabbard) were given to General Grant on March 1862. They were ordered long since, and before a glorious victory....but they have fortunately been delayed 'because it now' afford us an opportunity to express our renewed confidence in your abilities as a commander."


C.C. MARSH-Col Charles Carroll Marsh-20th Illinois-resigned 4-22-1863

C.B. LAGOW-Clark B. Lagow 21st Illinois-aide-de-camp

G.W. GRAHAM-civilian head of river transportation

JOHN COOK-Col 7th Illinois

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