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War of 1812 - Artefact of the Week - December 7th, 2012

Sword, Scabbard and Sword Belt of Lieutenant-Colonel William Caldwell, Senior.

Parks Canada: FF.75.68.1-2-3

This curved blade sword, known as a sabre, is a private purchase officer’s weapon supplied by the British firm of Osborn and Gunby. The sword’s grip is of ivory and the hilt is of gilt metal with a lion-headed pommel. The scabbard is of black leather with gilt metal fittings. The sword belt is of white buff leather.

William Caldwell was a prominent and active officer in the Essex County Militia, Caldwell’s Rangers and the British Indian Department during the War of 1812. He first took up arms as a Loyalist in Butler’s Rangers during the American War of Independence and settled in Amherstburg, Upper Canada along the Detroit River at the end of that conflict. Caldwell led his rangers in numerous actions around Lake Erie and at the Battle of the Thames in 1813, and at the Battle of Longwoods in 1814. In May of that year he was appointed to the British Indian Department and organized the western First Nations to fight against American incursions into Upper Canada.

For more information, visit Fort Malden National Historic Site on the Parks Canada Website.

Sword, Scabbard and Sword Belt of Lieutenant-Colonel William Caldwell, Senior Sword, Scabbard and Sword Belt of Lieutenant-Colonel William Caldwell, Senior
© Parks Canada