|Union Winter Camp, near Fredericksburg (LOC)|
During this time of relative quiet and peace, there were a number of special swords and flags presented to members of the regiment.
On January 19, for example, the people of Schuylkill Haven presented to one of its sons--Lt. James K. Helms, a "very handsome sword, sash, and belt." Several weeks later, on February 7, Colonel Joshua Sigfried, commanding the regiment, received a sword from the people of Port Carbon, Sigfried's adopted home. Inscribed upon the scabbard: Presented to Colonel J.K. Sigfried 48th Regiment, P.V., by his friends of Port Carbon, for gallantry and efficiency as an officer in the battles of Bull Run, Chantilly, South Mountain, Antietam, and Fredericksburg.
|Lt. James K. Helms, Co. D |
(The Civil War Diaries of J.K. Helms)
Not to be outdone, on January 24, the soldiers of Company B presented a sword to their former captain--now the regiment's major--James Wren, "for his undaunted courage and gallantry exhibited in the several battles in which this regiment participated."
On January 1, the "Ladies of Port Clinton" presented a new National Flag to the members of Company A. The flag, described as a "beautiful one," contained the names of all the regiment's 1862 engagements, including New Bern and, most recently, Fredericksburg.
All of this, of course, makes me wonder. . . .just whatever happened to all these ceremonial swords??