Light artillery officer’s saber imported from Germany by Horstmann. Peter Leary, Jr. was promoted to brigadier general in 1904.
Peter Leary, Jr. began his military career as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Baltimore Battery, Maryland Volunteers on 18 August, 1862, and mustered out at the end of the war in April, 1865. Leary decided to make the army a career and was appointed a 2nd Lt. in the 4th U.S. Artillery in July of 1867, with subsequent promotions within the regiment raising to the rank of Captain on August 1891.
With the establishment of the new Corps of Artillery (the fore runner of the Coast Artillery Corps) Leary rose to major in February of 1901, and Lt.Col. in February, 1903. In 1904, after twenty two years in the military, Peter Leary, Jr. was retired with the rank of brigadier general.
During his service with the Baltimore Lt. Artillery, Leary’s battery was involved in the Gettysburg and Maryland campaign. He was posted in the west and participated in actions against the Arapahoe with the 4th Artillery in 1869. During the Modoc War of 1873, he was breveted captain for gallant conduct in action against Indians in the Lava Beds, California, and again with the 4th Artillery, participated in the Nez Perce in 1877. While serving with Battery “D”, 4th Artillery, his unit was ordered to Tampa, Florida, and his men were equipped with horses and equipment for transportation to Cuba, but the war had ended before they were sent.
Brigadier General Peter Leary, Jr. died on February 13, 1911, and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
General Leary’s saber, Imported by Horstmann, Philadelphia, and made in Germany is a later 1872 Light Artillery Saber with narrow blade (14/16 of an inch wide), and 31 inches long; finished in a high polish with only the etched panel for his name.
The hilt shows a perhaps 20 percent gilt finish remaining overall, the grip is shark skin, show normal wear from use with a few tiny spots were the shark skin has worn through. The grip is finished with a triple wrapped wire; finely twisted middle with two outer straight wires. The white buff leather washer is present between the hilt and ricasso.
Its nickel plated scabbard has simple mountings; two ring mounts (one missing a screw), the throat, and drag. The nickel is 90 percent with some worn areas, and some blemishing. (It has not been cleaned and could be improved if properly done). Light gilt in protected areas only.
Overall a very nice looking saber, with an excellent blade, and history.