Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

Sword given to Civil War soldier returns to Conn.

Jul. 6, 2013 - 06:00AM   |  
  • Filed Under

DANBURY, CONN. — A Civil War sword that turned up at a New York tag sale is coming home to western Connecticut.

The sword was used by John Betts of Bethel who enlisted in the Union Army in 1861. The News-Times of Danbury reports that Betts was wounded in the First Battle of Winchester in Virginia, captured and imprisoned.

After four months in prison, he was exchanged for a Confederate soldier and returned to Danbury. His Mason’s lodge honored him with a sword engraved with his and the lodge’s names.

Carl Faust and Stephan Ryan received the sword from an allotment from a tag sale for their store in Setauket, N.Y. The two men researched it and contacted the Danbury lodge.

“We’re both Masons. That’s why we did that,” Faust said.

Finding the origins of a historic artifact is not easy, he said. “It doesn’t happen very often,” Faust said, “but when it does, we try to find out where it belongs.”

Danbury lodge historian Sil Gleissner also did some research.

He found in the meeting notes that lodge members looked into the cost of a new sword and unanimously agreed to buy one for $31.50, he said.

The sword, which has a sharkskin scabbard, was inscribed, “Presented to Capt. Jas. A. Betts, Company A, Fifth Regiment, CT Volunteers, by Union Lodge 40.

“Most Civil War swords weren’t used by officers. They were carried but not often used,” Gleissner said.

Betts moved to New York in 1872, married and eventually moved west where he died in a soldier’s home in Los Angeles.

What happened to the sword from the time Betts’ no longer had it to when it was found in the Long Island tag sale 151 years later remains a mystery.

It will now be displayed at the Danbury lodge.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Marine Corps Times

This Week's Marine Corps Times

Top TA & GI Bill schools
Most popular colleges cater to troops by taking classes to them

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook