George Washington’s Battle Sword and Scabbard
Division of Armed Forces History, National Museum of American History

George Washington’s Battle Sword and Scabbard

Date: c. 1778
Catalog #: 32010    Accession #: 68016
Credit: Division of Military History and Diplomacy, National Museum of American History


Bailey, John

John Bailey, immigrant cutler from Sheffield, England. Made sword in Fishkill, New York.

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 3.5" H x 36.25" W x 1.25" D

Physical Description

Hanger-type sword of forged steel with grooved blade. Grip of green dyed ivory with silver strip decoration. Leather scabbard with silver trim.

Specific History

George Washington wore this simple hanger as his battle sword while serving as commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Made in Fishkill, New York by John Bailey, a cutler from Sheffield, England, the sword has a slightly curved, grooved steel blade, silver mounted cross guard and pommel, and a green ivory grip.

The sword was inherited by Washington’s nephew, Samuel T. Washington, an army captain. In his will, Washington admonished his nephew to draw the sword only "in self-defense or in the defense of [the] country and its rights.” Samuel's son donated the sword to the United States government in 1843.


Country: United States
State: New York
War: War of American Independence