Civil War Sword Discovered

Fitz John Porter is seated in the chair.
PORTSMOUTH — An American Civil War-era sword once belonging to Portsmouth native Fitz John Porter and recently discovered for sale online was unveiled at Strawbery Banke Museum Tuesday morning.

The artifact, which dates back more than 125 years, will be the star attraction of a new exhibit at the museum entitled “Fitz John Porter: Portsmouth's Civil War Hero or Coward?”

The U.S. Army presentation sword, which is mentioned in Porter's letters while he sought exoneration from his 1862 court-martial, was discovered online earlier this year by curator Kimberly Alexander and was purchased for the museum by a local benefactor.

Opening on Sunday, May 1, in the Rowland Gallery, the exhibit will offer a glimpse into Porter's past, which historians say is full of political intrigue and controversy.

The exhibit is just one part of how Strawbery Banke plans to commemorate New Hampshire's role in the Civil War, according to president Larry Yerdon.

Source Article: This article is from the Portsmouth Herald, by Charles McMahon, April 26, 2011


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