(Below) Beautifully etched and engraved blade on frosted background is a detailed spread winged eagle under "E Pluribus Unum" banner; also etched into a panoply of arms with liberty cap is the Latin motto "In hoc signo vinces"
"I think I understand what military fame is; to be killed on the field of battle, and have your name misspelled in the newspapers"
- William Tecumseh Sherman
(How about your headstone?)
Battery B, 2nd U.S. Artillery located near Fair Oaks in 1862.
~ Library of Congress
One year to the month after the presentation of this sword, Lieutenant Burnes was to succumb to wounds received at the Battle of Hatcher's Run.
German silver grip with triple wire in place
Relief cast mounts with not commonly found middle mount and drag
Detailed and not commonly seen guard with eagle
"At his time Lieutenant Thomas Burnes was struck by a bullet while fighting his section. The wound was mortal, and Lieutenant Burnes died during the night."
"The loss of Lieutenants Granger, Burnes, Metcalf, and Smith will be severely felt in the command. They were all experienced officers with more than their years' services. Burnes and Metcalf were promoted from the ranks of the regular army for gallantry and meritorious conduct (note the presentation reflects Burnes as being a member of the ranks "whilst with them as their 1st Sergeant"). Both fell in the faithful discharge of duty."
Source: War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Volume XLII Part 1
(Serial No. 87) pp. 410-413, 1880-1901, Govt. Print. Off.
(As I can make out)
LIEUT THO'S BURNS
(Note the missing "E", yet all other details are historically matching)
5 th U.S. Artillery
Died from wounds received at the Battle of Hatcher's Run
Oct. 28, 1864
In the 28th year of
The Lord hath claimed his son
Photo Courtesy of Joseph Canner - for more information on Lieutenant Burnes, please follow the link below.
(Left) Lieutenant Burnes's Oath of Office take in his commision to 2nd Lieutenant Co. L. 5th U.S. Artillery.
(Below) Letter in the handwriting of Lieutenant Burnes accepting his commision to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant.
NARA publication No. 1064 Letters Received by the Commission Branch of the Adjutant General's Office, 1863-1870
When Lieutenant Burnes signed this form in 1861 at age 25, he had no idea that he would be killed in battle three years later.
(Copy from the National Archives & Record Administration)
"Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them"
(Below) Documented death of Lieutenant Burnes having died of wounds received in battle on October 28, 1864.
Boston Public Library - U.S. Army Military Registers, 1798-1969
Historical Data Systems, Inc., civilwardata.com