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Invite for Mexican War Presentation Sword ceremony for future General Henry M. Judah
Invite for Mexican War Presentation Sword ceremony for future General Henry M. Judah. Wear as shown. An amazing imprinted invite for "W. H. Judah."
Measures roughly 5" x 7" and has wear as shown.

$175.00 plus shipping

"On May 13, 1907, Henry Finkelstein, a pawnbroker, offered Gov. Edward C. Stokes of New Jersey a presentation sword he discovered in the garret of his Trenton, New Jersey, pawnshop when he purchased the building it was located in. The sword boasted a fine Damascus-steel blade, while the hilt, guard, and scabbard were crafted from coin silver. Engraved on the scabbard was the following inscription: “Presented to First Lieut. Henry M. Judah, 4th United States Infantry, for meritorious conduct and distinguished courage in the battles of Palo Alto, Resaca de la Palma, Monterey, Vera Cruz, Cerro Gordo, Churubusco, Molino del Rey and the City of Mexico by his friends and fellow-citizens of the city of New York.” Dr. Carlos E. Godfrey of the New Jersey Adjutant General’s Office was informed of Finkelstein’s discovery and attempted to track down Judah’s living descendants to return it to them.

Lt. Judah’s youngest child, Mansfield, claimed that his father’s presentation sword had been temporarily left in a cigar store, where it was stolen. He requested that it be returned to him in Reno, Nevada, by express, and he agreed to pay the $75 asked upon its delivery. Finkelstein agreed to send it to him, but Mansfield did not redeem it from the Wells Fargo Express Company in Reno as promised. There was some suspicion that he actually pawned the sword due to financial misfortunes. Henry R. Judah, assistant general passenger agent of the Southern Pacific Company in San Francisco, California, and son of Lt. Judah’s oldest child, Theodore, was notified and sent a certified check for $75, requesting that the sword be forwarded to him immediately for safekeeping.

Newspaper clipping reporting Judah's sword found in a pawnshop. (Trenton Sunday Advertiser, May 12, 1907, Trenton, New Jersey) Newspaper clipping reporting Judah’s sword discovered in a pawnshop. (Trenton Sunday Advertiser, Trenton, New Jersey, May 12, 1907) In a way, the tale of Judah’s presentation sword, left to languish in the attic of a pawnshop symbolized his legacy — one largely overlooked by those beyond the confines of his hometown of Westport, Connecticut.

Henry Moses Judah graduated from West Point in 1843, the same class as Ulysses S. Grant. He also served in the same regiment as Grant, the 4th U.S. Infantry, as a second lieutenant during the Mexican War. Judah fought in nearly all of the war’s major battles. Like numerous future Civil War generals, he experienced his baptism of fire at the Battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma on May 8 to 9, 1846.

A day after the fight at Resaca, he wrote to his mother, Mary, expressing his struggle to find the words to describe the horrors he had witnessed in the latter battle. “The cries of the wounded still ring in my ears,” he said.

At the end of September, Judah found himself fighting through the streets of Monterrey in an even more vicious struggle. He had his cheeks grazed by several musket balls and his sword knocked out of his hand by a cannonball. One of his West Point classmates was killed nearby. Somehow, he managed to survive the ordeal.

“Their cries and groans, the terrible hissing of the cannon and musket balls, which filled the air, added to the roar of artillery in every direction, made an impression that I could never describe,” Judah wrote home.

He would go on to fight in the battles to capture Mexico City and was brevetted first lieutenant and captain for gallant and meritorious service at the bloody debacle at Molino del Rey and the storming of Chapultepec...."