Captain Thomas Mickleberry Merritt swords

Captain Thomas Mickleberry Merritt swords

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Manuscripts
Title: Captain Thomas Mickleberry Merritt swords
Dates: 1812-1865
Quantity: 0.75 Linear feet (3 metal swords)
Coll. Number: ms2260

Biographical/Historical Note

Thomas Mickleberry Merritt was born January 28, 1836, in Monroe County, Georgia. He graduated from Franklin College (University of Georgia) with the class of 1857. After his marriage on November 25, 1857 to Anna Hamlin Lewis (b. September 4, 1834, d. February 28, 1877 in Sumter County, Georgia), he moved to Marion County, Georgia to join his two older brothers. From this county he entered the Confederate service.

In April of 1862, Merritt became a 1st Lieutenant (and later a Captain) in the newly formed Company G of the 2nd Georgia Regiment (Marion County). This unit was attached to the Army of the Tennessee, assigned to escort General Leonidas Polk, and was with General Braxton Bragg during his incursion into Kentucky. This unit served in heavy fighting in Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, Lookout Mountain, and in the north Georgia campaign that culminated in the Battle for Atlanta. After the fall of Atlanta, the unit was sent to Savannah. In January of 1865, they were transferred to North Carolina, where they surrendered at Greensboro on April 26, 1865.

After the war, Merritt retired to the life of a gentleman farmer. He died in 1892. His swords were presented by his four grandchildren to the University.


Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of three swords owned by Captain Thomas Mickleberry Merritt. His unit in the Civil War was Company G, 2nd Georgia Regiment (Marion County) in Army of Tennessee.

1. The Officer's Heavy Straight Saber has a 37.5 inch steel blade and a right-handed swept brass hilt. This weapon, with accompanying iron scabbard, was apparently manufactured in the late 18th or early 19th century. The blade is high quality steel, possibly of German manufacture. It is centrally ridged along the length of the blade, creating the effect of a double-fuller along both sides. In addition, there is a dorsal spine flattened some 30" from the hilt pointward. Along this spine, at the hilt, is an engraved inscription. "M" is monogrammed in a circle. This is followed by "S[?]ture Imple du Klingenthal Juin 1812". The swept hilts are made of brass, and bear a small stamped fleur-de-lis and the word "Versailles" along the rear sweep. The grip, originally leather over corded wood, is largely devoid of leather. This is a weapon of exceptional quality.

2. Cavalry Officer's Heavy Saber has a 35 inch steel blade and a right-handed swept brass hilt. This weapon was manufactured in New Orleans, Louisiana, in August of 1861 by Thomas, Griswold, & Co. The blade is characterized by hevay pitting and corrosion, though the brass hilt seems relatively undamaged, save a bar break along the lead sweep.

3. Cavalry/Infantry Officer's Saber (Light) has a 35 inch steel blade and a right-handed swept brass hilt. This saber was the personal property of Captain Thomas Mickleberry Merritt, and was given to the University of Georgia with a steel scabbard. It is of a fairly common pattern, most closely representing the "Palmetto" type sabers of 1852, which were produced in Columbia, South Carolina, by William Glaze & Company.


Index Terms

Confederate States of America. Army. Georgia Infantry Regiment, 2nd. Company G. -- Officers
Merritt, Thomas Mickleberry, 1836-1892
Scabbards.
Swords.
United States--History--Civil War, 1861-1865.
University of Georgia. -- Alumni and alumnae

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Captain Thomas Mickleberry Merritt swords. MS 2260. Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.


Restrictions

Conditions Governing Access note

These swords are housed off-site and require 48-hour notice for viewing.


Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

 
Artifact
1Officer's Heavy Straight Saber (monogrammed), German manufacture, 1812
 
Artifact
2Cavalry Officer's Heavy Saber, by Thomas, Griswold & Co., 1861
 
Artifact
3Cavalry/Infantry Officer's Saber (Light), property of Captain Thomas Mickleberry Merritt, with a steel scabbard, 1852