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Catalog Number 2732-5-(1)
Title Sword, Military; U.S. Officers Non-Regulation
Object Name Sword
Description Slightly curved blade with gilded design. On one side there is scrollwork with "U.S." and two crossed flags with an axe. On the other, there is scrollwork, a flag shaped like a shield, an eagle with a ribbon "E Pluribus Unum" and a flower shape.
Year Range to 1925
Culture American
Material iron alloy, gold metal, ivory
Length (in) 38.5
Width (in) 5
People Colby, Leonard Wright, 1846-1924
Other Name Sword, USA
History This sword belonged to Leonard Wright Colby.

General Leonard W. Colby was born in Cherry Valley, Ashtabula county, Ohio, August 5, 1848. Four years later he moved with his parents to Stephenson county, Illinois, where he worked on a farm near Freeport. He served in the 8th Illinois Infantry as a private, 1863-5; was wounded in the siege at Mobile, and captured a Confederate flag in the chargé at Fort Blakely, Alabama. On his return from the war he graduated from the Freeport High school in 1867, entering the University of Wisconsin the same year, taking the regular classical course, and in addition thereto the military and engineering courses, graduating in 1871 with the degrees A. B. and C. E. and the highest honors of his class, and a year later from the university law school with the degree of LL. B. After his graduation in law Mr. Colby went West and entered upon the practice of his profession at Beatrice, Nebraska. He was a Nebraska State Senator, 1877-8, and again in 1887-8, and served under appointment of President Harrison as assistant attorney-general of the United States, 1890-3. On June 25, 1875, Mr. Colby was commissioned first lieutenant of infantry in the Nebraska state troops, and served in the Sioux and Cheyenne Indian wars; in June, 1877, he was commissioned captain of a company of mounted rifles, and the following year commanded a battalion in a 500 mile march against "hostile Indians" in Nebraska, Wyoming and Dakota; in August, 1880, he was commissioned captain of the Beatrice Guards; in July, 1881, he became Colonel of the 1st Nebraska Infantry Regiment, and had command of the Nebraska state troops and six companies of United States regulars at Omaha during the formidable strike in March, 1882, when that city was under martial law. For nine years--1887-96--General Colby held the office of Brigadier-general, having command of the Nebraska state troops, composed of two infantry regiments, a troop of cavalry and a battery, leading them into active service in the campaign of 1890-91, during the Sioux Indian uprising. For the successful conduct of this campaign he received the personal congratulations of General Nelson A. Miles, U. S. A., and a gold medal from the State of Nebraska for gallant service. In July, 1894, General Colby and his troops were again called into service to suppress the strike in South Omaha, Nebraska. In December, 1896, he commenced the organization of the American-Cuban Volunteer Legion, with headquarters at Matamoras, Mexico; and during the ensuing year mustered, armed and equipped 25,000 volunteers for the establishment of the Cuban Republic. On June 3, 1898, General Colby was commissioned by President McKinley as Brigadier-general of the United States Volunteers to serve in the Spanish-American war. He was first in command at Chickamauga Park, Georgia, later at Anniston, Alabama, and in January, 1899, at Havana, Cuba, returning to Washington in February, when he was mustered out.
At the close of the Spanish-American war General Colby again entered upon the practice of the profession of law, and on the incoming of the Republican state administration of Nebraska, he was appointed by Governor Savage Adjutant-general of the state, with rank of Brigadier-general, from which position he retired February 20, 1903, being succeeded by General Culver.

General Colby has been engaged in the general practice of law in Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado, Dakota, Idaho, Wyoming, Missouri, Iowa and western territories for the past thirty years, with offices at Beatrice, Nebraska, and Washington, D. C. In 1895 he was employed as attorney and legal representative at Washington, D. C., for the Creeks, Cherokees, Seminoles and four other Indian tribes, and obtained in suits against the government in their behalf nearly $7,000,000.

Credit line N/R, N/R