Steel sword with curved single-edge blade. Brass hilt. Rain guard on the hilt has small engraved decorations of eagle, flowers and cannons. Pommel on the hilt is a detailed bald eagle head. Grip is black.
Sword belonging to Captain Nathan Heald, commanding officer of Fort Dearborn at the time of the Battle of Fort Dearborn, August 15, 1812.
The sword itself indicates Captain Nathan Heald's status as an officer in the United States Army, as swords were often carried by lieutenants, captains, and other commissioned officers during the War if 1812.
Fort Dearborn was built in 1803 with Captain Heald becoming its commanding officer in 1810. After the War of 1812 broke, Captain Heald was ordered to evacuate Fort Dearborn. On August 15, 1812, Captain Heald evacuated the American garrison but was attacked along the lakeshore by five hundred Potawatomi and Ottawa Native Americans aligned with the British. After the attack, formally known as the Battle of Fort Dearborn, Native Americans burned the fort, although it was later rebuilt in 1816. Fort Dearborn is symbolized by the first star on the official flag of Chicago as a pivotal moment in Chicago history, and this sword was present at that pivotal moment.