Frank Baldwin's Sword Donated to Park

Frank Baldwin's sword on display in the Visitor Center museum.
Frank Baldwin's sword on display in the Visitor Center museum.

Visitors to Fort Larned will be able to see the cavalry sword of double Medal of Honor winner Frank Baldwin thanks to the generosity of the Fort Larned Old Guard. The Old Guard, Fort Larned's friends group, purchased the sword when it became available on eBay and donated it to the fort this past spring.

The sword is a model 1840 Cavalry Saber nicknamed "Old Wristbreaker" and was given to Baldwin on the occasion of his promotion to 2nd Lieutenant in the Michigan Volunteers (Horse Guard) on September 19, 1861. The saber is engraved with the words: "Lt. Frank Dwight Baldwin Michigan Horse Guards Sept. 19, 1861 by his Seargeants." Baldwin started his military career as an enlisted man and eventually worked his way up through the ranks to retire as a Brigadier General on June 9, 1902.

Baldwin is one of only 19 people to ever win the Congressional Medal of Honor twice. His first medal was awarded for action on July 12, 1864 at Peachtree Creek, Georgia. He won his second medal during an engagement at McClellans Creek, Texas on November 8, 1874 when his small command was attacked by a superior number of Indians. Baldwin was able to rescue two girls, saving them from death at the hands of the Indians. During heavy action during the Civil War, Baldwin is recorded as using his "Bloody Sword" to rally his troops and motion them forward into battle.

Frank Baldwin was stationed at Fort Larned from May 1 to June 5, 1872 and from October 29, 1872 to May 24, 1873. During that time he lived in the Fort Larned's Officers' quarters with his wife Alice. Baldwin died in Denver, Colorado on April 22, 1923, 21 years after he retired. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.


Last updated: April 10, 2015

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