The C. H. Mott sword is, without doubt, the rarest Confederate sword in private hands for a number of reasons:
I - The Sword was custom made by the South's finest craftsmen.
II - Hyde and Goodrich as the company transformed to T. G. & Co. elaborately crafted, as only fine jewelers could, (Hyde & Goodrich Jewelers, New Orleans) every part of the sword to have specific meaning to its new owner.
III- The Sword and the scabbard are in near mint condition. The sword was protected, after Mott's premature death, first by his descendents then by the museum that meticulously cared for it until purchased by its present owner.
IV- The Sword is gold and silver gilded, elaborate, artistic, beautifully etched, double presentation both on the etched blade and the scabbard; overall in pristine, near mint condition.
V- The importance of the individual to whom the sword was presented. One of the first five Generals, including Jefferson Davis, to form the Army of the Mississippi to succeed from the Union. Led the 9th, 10th and 19th Mississippi until his death at the age of thirty six as a Brigadier General.
A silver eagle head perched as the pommel on the gold gilded bronze grip is carved silver over brass. The grip is circumferenced with alternating band of plain and starred strips. Gothic rectangular panels on each side of the grip are adorned with: Left: Skull and "Crossed-Bones" over Medieval Shield over crossed cannon. Right: stack of arms, pikes, axes, flags, and crossed cannon. These emblems were commissioned to be sculptured in admiration of Mott's beliefs, convictions and commitments. The Skull and Crossed bones represent the "death" (skull) and resurrection (crossed bones) of Christ. The flaming bomb (today's symbol of Ordinance for the Military) then represented explosive, aggressive or forceful offensive attacks. The crossed cannon, as does the eagle head, represent high rank.
The guard flows from the beak of the silver eagle pommel with three dimensional "oak leaves" adorning the knuckle-bow; the leaves represent the early, perhaps the first, secession meeting held under the "Secession Oak" at Kirk's Bluff (Bluffton), South Carolina. Facing the blade, the guard includes a Pelican feeding her young, surrounded by a garland. Perched on the garland is the Confederate eagle, wings folded in suppression. On either side of the oval garland are two stands of arms, cannon and drums. On the reverse side, one finds the back of the eagle, his feathered back and tail; an exceptional casting showing a 360-degree view of the eagle.
T. G. and Co. was selected to produce the sword, not utilizing the Pelican as a State symbol but rather as the symbol of Christ piercing his body to feed the children of Christ, as used in the 16th century and again by the Masonic Order of which Mott was a member. On the left side of the guard is a raised "C S" found in a similar format on Haiman swords. The two panels, like the eagle, are silver gilded while the rest of the grip and guard are gold gilded brass. The blade's etching is, like the rest of the sword, extraordinary in both condition and artistry. On one side is a burst of tobacco leaves near the guard followed by beautifully etched laurel leaves preceding the presentation "Brig. Gen'l C. H. Mott". The presentation is followed by elaborately etched acorns, then laurel and tobacco leaves to within 10 inches of the swords double edged blade. On the reverse is a similar tobacco leaf burst near the guard followed by tobacco and laurel leaves, this time followed by a banner including "C S " followed by etched dogwood and/or magnolia blossoms.
Both sides of the blade are pristine. The etching, but for a few minor spot of raised encrustation, show a mirror finish over frosted etching. The scabbard is of similar material and size of the Griswald's rare Ft. Sumter guarded sword, with the exception that gothic banding replaces the cannon ball bands found on that sword. The scabbard was originally gold gilded with traces of the gilt remaining around the drag, the brass bands and the solid silver presentation plague which reads: "Presented to Brig. General C. H. Mott by his former company the Jeff Davis Rifles on March 28th, 1862 " The scabbard, like the sword, is one-of-a-kind.
Christopher Haynes Mott was born in Livingston County, Kentucky, on June 22, 1826. When he was very young, his family moved to Holly Springs, Ms., where he was educated at St. Thomas Hall.
Holly Spring, Mississippi
He studied law under Roger Barton and later practiced law with James L. Autry and L.Q.C. Lamar in Holly Springs and surrounding counties. He fought in the Mexican War and was elevated to Lt. of the Marshall Guards, Co. I, 1st Miss. Infantry. "The quota of men was quickly raised; indeed, so fast did volunteers pour in -- particularly after the gray dawn of April 12th heard the booming of the first cannonof the war at Sumter -- that soon no more could be accepted. Gen. Mott served a term in the State Legislature, was a Judge of the Probate Court and a one-time special commissioner of the US Government to investigate the official conduct of Federal officers in California and Oregon. At the outbreak of the WBTS, he organized the Jeff Davis Rifles, but was then chosen as one of four Brigadier Generals of the State of Mississippi, commanding the Ninth and Tenth Mississippi.
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