EXCEPTIONAL CONFEDERATE COLLEGE HILL PRESENTATION OFFICER’S SWORD, KIA TENNESSEE OFFICER LT. COLONEL JAMES BOTTLES
inv # 02-15399
Classic College Hill characteristic 30” bright “pen-knife” blade, long thin unstopped fuller with 22” etched thin foliate panels with 4” panel “CSA” inscribed: “Capt. J. L. Bottles / Ball Mt. Guards / 3rd E. Tenn. Regt.”, the finest survivor of any College Hill foot officer’s sword. The finely engraved inscription and crossed Confederate first national flags with “CSA” was done by master rarely seen on Southern swords. This pattern was made very early in war as General Felix Zollicoffer was wearing one when he was killed January 9, 1862. Nashville fell in February 1862 and College Hill swords ceased to be made. Choate’s Ford, TN was renamed Zollicoffer (now Bluff City) in honor of the fallen general. Ironically, Capt. bottles carrying the same pattern sword when Zollicoffer was killed, was mortally wounded in a skirmish at Zollicoffer (Choates Ford) September 21, 1863. His gravestone reads: “Aged 38 years 5 m 4 days. Col. 26th Reg. Tenn Vol. CSA” On the battles gory field, When foes assailed our Southern land, His dauntless spirit would not yield, But boldly met the invading band”
Captain James L. Bottles (1838-1863) Captain Bottles raised and commanded the Ball Mountain Guards, 3rd East Tennessee Infantry at Haynesville, TN in June, 1861. He probably received this sword shortly thereafter, the unit was consolidated in September as company B, 26th Regiment Tennessee infantry, most of his company was captured at Fort Donelson February 16, 1862 after suffering 96 casualties. Capt. bottles was imprisoned at Johnson’s Island, Ohio. He was exchanged and reunited with his unit in late 1862 being promoted to lieutenant colonel, dying from wounds received while in pursuit of Union raiders at Zollicoffer, TN September 21, 1863.