The Cleburne Sword
This sword was made for Confederate General Patrick R. Cleburne and was presented to him in April 1864. Cleburne was a native of Ireland and served in the British Army for two years as an enlisted man before immigrating to Arkansas to make a name for himself in business. When the war broke in 1861, Cleburne recruited a regiment of soldiers from Arkansas; and it was that regiment, the 15th Arkansas, that presented Cleburne with the sword. Cleburne was killed at the Battle of Franklin. He wasn’t carrying it at the time he was killed. It was found in his baggage. His staff officers sent his baggage and the sword to Mobile, Alabama to Susan Charlton, Cleburne’s fiancé. Susan Charlton kept the sword as a reminder of what might have been, if her beloved General Cleburne had lived.
After World War II when Charlton’s house was cleaned out, evidently no one knew what the sword was; it ended up in an antique store, placed in an umbrella stand and forgotten. It was rescued by a collector operating out of Connecticut who realized that the sword once belonged to General Patrick R. Cleburne and kept it for many years. The collector parted with the sword in 1988 when it was purchased by Beverly DuBose, III and given to the Atlanta History Center in memory of his father, Beverly DuBose, Jr., who helped build the collection at the Atlanta History Center. General Patrick R. Cleburne was his father’s favorite general.
Not only is this sword an incredible reminder of a great general, it also a reminder of how the Atlanta History Center builds its collections.
Research and background provided by
Atlanta History Center
130 West Paces Ferry Road, N.W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30305
Contact: Hillary Hardwick, Public Relations Manager