Lot 205 of 459:
Lt. Col. Porter S. Cox Model 1840/60 Presentation Sword  

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Lot closed - Sold for:$15,600
$10,000 - $15,000


34.5" slightly curved German made blade with fullers, obverse etched with military trophies, Greek keys and floral motifs with inscription "Onward to Victory." Reverse with similar etching and a "U" and "S" separated by a spread-wing eagle. Ricasso with knight logo and maker marked "CLAUBERG / SOLINGEN." Retains the leather scabbard washer.  Hilt has brass three-branch guard retaining good traces of the gilt finish and embossed with laurel and acanthus leaves. Phrygian helmet-style pommel with a bust of the goddess of Liberty. Ivory grip edged with an engraved line.  Nickel-plated scabbard brass mountings embossed with floral patterns and twisted wire hanger rings. Engraved on the reverse between the hanger bands "Presented to / Lt. Col. Porter S. Cox, / the Officer who whipped Thrailkill, / and killed Bill Anderson the Bandit, / by his friends in St. Joseph, Mo. / Nov. 25th 1864."

Porter S. Cox, better known as Samuel P. Cox (1828-1913) was a Missouri farmer and  businessman.  During the Mexican War he served in a unit that did not fight in Mexico, but acted as scouts for two years in actions against Native American forces and helped build Ft. Kearny in Nebraska.  Between the wars, Cox worked as a freight hauler in the West, acting in that capacity under contract for the army during the Utah War of 1858-59.  At the beginning of the Civil War he helped to organize the 1st Regt. Missouri militia with the rank of Major, resigning in 1863 due to ill health.  In 1864, he was again commissioned as a Lt. Colonel in the 33rd Regt. Missouri militia.  Cox commanded the Union forces at a skirmish near Albany, MO, on Oct. 26, 1864 in which the famous Confederate guerrilla leader William "Bloody Bill" Anderson was killed.

William T. Anderson originally served under the notorious Confederate guerrilla William Quantrill were he gained a reputation for both skill and brutality.  By 1863 he was in command of his own guerrilla band in Missouri.  As part of Gen. Sterling Price's 1864 attempt to retake Missouri for the Confederacy, Anderson's men massacred 124 unarmed Union soldiers in cold blood at Centralia.  The Confederates scalped many of the Union men and several scalps were reportedly tied to Anderson's saddle when he died, justifying his nick-name "Bloody Bill."

Among Anderson's officers at Centralia was Captain John Thrailkill, 1st Missouri Cavalry, a recently escaped POW from Alton Prison, who led a small guerrilla band riding with Anderson when Cox's command caught up with them at Albany, MO. Laying an ambush similar to Anderson's own tactics, the federals shot Anderson in the head, killing him instantly.  Although Cox had not actually pulled the trigger, he was proclaimed a hero, with Anderson's reign of terror in Missouri coming to an end. After the war, Cox returned to private business.

Thrailkill also survived the war and in 1865 fled to Mexico with other Confederates, where he became a wealthy man pursuing mining, cattle and railroad interests. His death came in 1895 in Mexico City.

Categories: Weapons & Military Items


Very good. There are a few scattered dark gray age spots on the blade, heaviest on the reverse side near the point with some very light pitting.  Light verdigris in the deeper crevasses on the pommel and the scabbard mounts.  One very sallow dent on the scabbard near the presentation.

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