If you were a little boy, wouldn’t you love to get into one of those cases in the Relic Room in the First White House of the Confederacy? Especially the one with Jefferson Davis’ sword, Rifle & Walking Stick. Since you are probably still a little kid at heart, let me tell you about them.
The sword is what is known as a “presentation sword”. The handsome scabbard and hilt are of brass, probably once gilded and inlaid with silver. It is a “non-regulation staff and field officer’s sword” from the mid-19th century, made in France, all intact and in fine condition. It was purchased by Mrs. Napier at the sale of the possessions of William Hayes in Colorado Spring and therefore a Davis family heirloom.
The rifle is an historic United States Army muzzle-loading Mississippi Rifle, Model # 1841, made at the Harper’s Ferry Arsenal and carried by Col. Jefferson Davis in the Mexican War, 1846-48. It is a type called a “Flanigan” rifle. It was purchased in 1977 by the White House Association from Norm Flayderman & Co. Historic Arms and Militaria, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The Walking Stick is either bamboo, or possibly hardwood with bamboo turning, of a simple form, with an engraved gold head. This historic walking stick was given by President Franklin Pierce to Jefferson Davis, when he was serving in the Pierce cabinet as Secretary of War. It was donated by Mrs. Hudson Strode in 1976.
We are so fortunate to have these artifacts as well as so many others in the First White House of the Confederacy.