People find some really intriguing things when they clean out the family’s old homestead. For example, in 2013, Col. Joshua Chamberlain’s Medal of Honor for his actions at Gettysburg was found in the back of a book, sold at an estate sale!
In the Fall 2017 issue of the Civil War Trust’s Hallowed Ground magazine, an article reported that another fascinating discovery has been made. Over the last century, historians assumed that Col. Robert Gould Shaw’s sword was buried with him at Battery Wagner, where he was killed while leading the 54th Massachusetts Regiment in an assault on the fort. Well, it wasn’t.
This past March, descendants of Col. Shaw’s sister found his sword while cleaning out their parents’ house! Ornate and bearing Col. Shaw’s initials, the sword is the specially-made one that his uncle gave him only weeks before the assault on Battery Wagner. The sword now has a permanent home at the Massachusetts Historical Society, where staff are thrilled with the very special donation.