Exceptional, high grade 1850 Staff and Field Officer’s Sword with a silver presentation plaque on the scabbard engraved “Presented to Lieut. C.G. Baldwin by the members of Co.I. 18th Regt. O.V.I. for Bravery at the Battle of Stones River and as a Token of their esteem as an Officer & Soldier. The brass guard is decorated with an eagle head shaped quillon, and the pommel bears the bust of Lady Liberty encircled with flowing scrolls and laurels. The grip is beautifully ribbed cast brass with some areas of silver wash remaining. The French manufactured blade is bright with some very light, scattered pitting and exhibits elegant frosted foliate designs, a spread winged eagle gripping olive branches, panoplies of arms, “U.S” in bold letters one side of the blade and “E. PLURIBUS UNUM” on the other. The original, scalloped leather washer is present at the ricasso, and an officer’s bullion sword knot adorns the guard. The steel scabbard is adorned with equally fine brass mounts, including two pairs of angels flanking the presentation plaque. A deluxe, gilt brass chain with spring clasps connects the two scabbard rings.
Charles G. Baldwin enlisted in August 1861 as a sergeant in the 18th Ohio Infantry. He was slightly wounded on August 29th, 1862, during an engagement with Nathan Bedford Forrest near Manchester, Tennessee. Baldwin and the 18th Ohio fought with great gallantry in the thick of the fighting at the Battle of Stones River. The Union Army, Vol. 2: A History of Military Affairs in the Loyal States 1861-65 contains a brief a brief account of the engagement. “At a critical moment at the battle of Stone’s River, the regiment charged into the woods filled with Confederates and checked their advance. Upon the second day of the fight Gen. Rousseau ordered Col. Stanley to take his brigade across the stream. It was a fearful thing to do, but the order was executed. An order to charge was given and the enemy flew panic-stricken, leaving 4 pieces of artillery.”
Accompanying the sword is a binder with numerous copies of muster rolls and surgeons’ certificates regarding a bout of chronic diarrhea that Baldwin suffered for nearly a year. Despite his meritorious service and numerous promotions, Baldwin was dismissed from service in April 1864 for drunkenness. The binder contains a photocopy of the following letter…
“Col. Swaine, Sir,
I was put in these barracks yesterday for getting drunk all of which is right. I am now sober and I am very sorry. It is my first offense and I am hoping that you will deal with me as lightly as you can. I can give you Col. J. Given 74th Ohio as reference who I believe is now in the city.
I am sir very Respt. Your obt. Svt.
Cls. Baldwin 1st Lt. 18th O.V.I”
A very fine presentation sword from a brave Union officer with an unfortunate end to his military career.
Charles G. Baldwin - 27 years old. Enlisted on 8/1/1861 as a 1st Sergeant. On 8/1/1861 he mustered into “A” Co. OH 18th Infantry. Promotions: 2nd Lieut 11/6/1861 (As of Co. I). 1st Lieut ¼/1863 (As of Co. A). Intra Regimental Company Transfers: 11/6/1861 from company A to company I. 1 /4/1863 from company I to company A.
OHIO EIGHTEENTH INFANTRY (Three Years)
Eighteenth Infantry. - (Three Years' Service.) Cols., Timothy R. Stanley, Charles H. Grosvenor; ; Lieut.-Cols., Josiah Given, John M. Benedict; Majs., Johnson M. Welch, Robert Chappell. This regiment was organized at Athens, from Aug. 16 to Sept. 28, 1861, to serve for three years. It was mustered out Nov. 9, 1864, by reason of expiration of term of service, and the veterans and recruits consolidated with the veterans and recruits of the 35th Ohio infantry, the consolidated force being designated the 18th Veteran Ohio infantry. The 18th veteran regiment was organized Oct. 31, 1864, by consolidation of the veterans and recruits of the 1st, 2nd, 18th, 24th and 35th Ohio infantry. The regiment, 930 strong, moved into Kentucky and saw its first service in the occupation of Bowling Green. It next participated in a similar proceeding at Huntsville, Ala. At Bridgeport the regiment was attacked by Scott's Con-federate cavalry, 600 strong with 3 pieces of artillery, yet the enemy was held in check for 3 hours. At Limestone bridge a spirited fight occurred, in which the regiment lost 3 killed and several wounded. On Aug. 29 1862, Cos. A and I of the 18th Ohio, and D of the 9th Mich., were attacked at a stockade near Manchester, Tenn., by Forrest, but the Confederates were soon repulsed, losing about 100 men, without the loss of a man on the Federal side. At a critical moment at the battle of Stone's river, the regiment charged into the woods filled with Confederates and checked their advance. Upon the second day of the fight Gen. Rousseau ordered Col. Stanley to take his brigade across the stream. It was a fearful thing to do, but the order was executed. An order to charge was given and the enemy flew panic-stricken, leaving 4 pieces of artillery. In June the regiment accompanied the advance on Tullahoma and on Sept. 11, at Dug gap, it confronted Bragg's army. It went gallantly through the battle of Chickamauga, making several brilliant charges. After the reorganization the command was got together in time for the battle of Nashville, in which it rendered signal service and took part in the bloody and finally successful assault upon Overton hill. It lost 4 officers out of 7 and 75 men killed and wounded out of less than 200. Attached to Gen. Steedman's command, the 18th followed Hood's defeated forces to Huntsville, and two days later assisted in the capture of Decatur. The summer of 1865 found the regiment stationed at Augusta, Ga., until Oct. 9, when the order for muster out came and in a few days the regiment was on its way to Columbus, Ohio, where on Oct. 22, 1865, the men scattered to their homes.
Number: SWO 220 / SOLD