H20354-L116823400

Civil War Presentation Sword of USN Captain Joseph Pitty Couthouy (US Model 1852 Navy Officer’s Sword)

This is a fantastic original U.S. Navy Model 1852 etched presentation sword owned by U.S. Civil War Navy Captain Joseph Pitty Couthouy (6 January 1808 – 4 April 1864) | Captain J. P. Couthouy was also a scientist – a noted conchologist and invertebrate paleontologist | This Model 1852 Navy Officer’s Sword is of the earlier first version, measuring 35.25″ L x 4.5″ x 2″ and weighing over 3 lbs | The Sword features a pipe backed blade etched on one side with Lt. J.P. Couthouy and on the other side with “USS Choctaw, 1861” | The sword is believed to have been given to Couthouy by Commander Frank M. Ramsey when they each served on the USS Choctaw in 1861 (Couthouy was then a Lieutenant)

Description
Additional Information
  • This is a fantastic original U.S. Navy Model 1852 etched presentation sword owned by U.S. Civil War Navy Captain Joseph Pitty Couthouy (6 January 1808 – 4 April 1864) | Captain J. P. Couthouy was also a scientist – a noted conchologist and invertebrate paleontologist | This Model 1852 Navy Officer’s Sword is of the earlier first version, measuring 35.25″ L x 4.5″ x 2″ and weighing over 3 lbs | The Sword features a pipe backed blade etched on one side with Lt. J.P. Couthouy and on the other side with “USS Choctaw, 1861” | The sword is believed to have been given to Couthouy by Commander Frank M. Ramsey when they each served on the USS Choctaw in 1861 (Couthouy was then a Lieutenant) | Couthouy went on to command several ships including the USS Columbia, Osage and Chillicothe. Captain Couthouy died in battle while commanding the Chillicothe during the Red River Campaign.

    More about Captain Couthouy Prior to the Civil War:  Couthouy was an American naval officer, conchologist, and invertebrate palaeontologist. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, he entered the Boston Latin School in 1820. He married Mary Greenwood Wild on 9 March 1832.

    Couthouy applied to President Andrew Jackson for a position on the Scientific Corps of the U.S. Navy’s Exploring Expedition of 1838. President Jackson said that all positions were filled, to which Couthouy replied “Well General, I’ll be hanged if I don’t go, if I have to go before the mast!” The President replied “Go back to Boston and I will see if anything can be done for you.”

    A few days later his commission was received. He sailed with the expedition on 18 August 1838, but was returned home from Honolulu in November 1840 by Lt. Charles Wilkes for “disobedience of orders.”  Although he meticulously labeled all of his specimens from the expedition, Dall recounts how “The authorities in Washington had appointed a reverend gentleman who knew nothing of science, with a fat salary, to unpack and take care of the specimens sent home by the expedition.” This gentleman then separated the specimens from the tags thus rendering many of them useless. Couthouy returned to Washington and tried to work up what he could of the collection and was then informed, “to crown all of his misfortunes”, that his pay was to be reduced by forty-four percent. He then returned to his profession as a master in the merchant marine, visiting South America and the Pacific. In 1854, he took command of an expedition to the Bay of Cumaná, where he spent three unsuccessful years in search of the wreck of a Spanish treasure ship, the San Pedro, lost there in the early part of the century. A good linguist, he spoke fluent Spanish, French, Italian, and Portuguese, and had mastered several dialects used in the Pacific Islands.

  • Weight

    5lb.

    Height

    4.5"

    Width

    35.25"

    Depth

    5"

    Kind

    Collectibles, Ephemera, Medals & Awards, Memorabilia, Militaria, Weapons

    Subject

    American Civil War, Military, Weapon