Premier Firearms Auction
November 4, 5, 6, & 7, 2022
IMPORTANT HISTORIC CONFEDERATE SILVER MOUNTED PRESENTATION SWORD OF GENERAL FRANCIS COCKRELL.
Francis M. Cockrell (1834-1915) Prewar attorney from Johnson County, Missouri and postwar attorney before 30 consecutive years senator from Missouri, 1875-1905. Cockrell was part of influential family of postwar Southern politicians including his brother Joseph also Confederate officer and 2 term congressmen from Texas.
Cockrell entered service in Missouri Line in 1861, soon received commission in Confederate 2nd Missouri Regiment as captain showing his natural skill in battle. He was promoted to colonel, was wounded in brilliant defense at Champion Hill, later being wounded by shrapnel from shell at Vicksburg and commissioned brigadier general July 16, 1863. He was the maybe best combat brigadier general in Army of Tennessee not promoted to major general. His war record is legendary including multiple wounds and horses killed out from under him. He led the Missouri Brigade in all the battles of the Atlanta campaign and the Tennessee campaign into Franklin.
His sword given on occasion of promotion to Colonel served him the entire war, as he is photographed with it January 1865 still wearing it. The presentation etched on both sides in long panels in fancy script by Mobile sword maker Louis Bissonnette: “Presented to Col. Francis COCKRELL by his Company H 2nd Mo Regt 1st Brigade 1862”. This is the only gold washed silver hilt sword of this pattern. Another fancy embellishment is heavy looped silver plated brass wire edging guard. The guard is totally silver and silver plate, its scabbard has silver or German silver body. There is very similar Bissonette sword with silver hilt to Brigadier General Daniel W. Adams misidentified as Leech & Rigdon pictured page 28 in Hartzler. The Adams sword also has the same metal scabbard and mounts. Braxton Bragg also has similar silver hilt sword signed Bissonnette.
UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: bill of sale, 5 bound senatorial speeches of Cockrell 1882-1893, newspaper clippings concerning him, 2 obituaries, 2 letters with envelopes from Cockrell to his daughter while senator, Cockrell’s ledger having several pages of a couple hundred books bought for 1850 at Chapel Hill College with prices paid (he read a lot of books in college), 8×10 photo circa 1900 of Cockrell with family in front of home, family copy of wartime photo taken January 1865 as general, wearing this sword.
PROVENANCE: Cullen Smith estate collection.