By Lora Chance - email
SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Georgia history buffs are banding together, raising money to buy what's known as the Appling Sword.
The sword was cast for a Georgia hero of the War of 1812, Lt. Col. Daniel Appling, for whom Appling County is named. It was purchased by Georgia Legislature in 1814 to honor Appling's heroic efforts at the Battle of Sandy Creek in upstate New York and the Battle of Plattsburgh.
But Appling never saw the sword.
"When it got to Georgia, unfortunately, Daniel Appling had already died," explained Susan Lemesis, Georgia president of the U.S. Daughters of 1812. "It went to hang in the governor's office, had several trips here, and end up at the Georgia pavilion at the Jamestown 300th anniversary. At that point, we weren't sure what happened to it."
Lemesis said there is evidence that some of the artifacts were not returned from Jamestown, but there is no record of what happened to the sword after 1907.
An advertisement for the sword was recently spotted by a state archivist who was thumbing through an Antiques magazine at a barbershop. The sword is owned by an antiques dealer outside of Georgia.
"We have made an agreement with him that he will sell it back to Georgia for $100,000," said Lemesis.
The Georgia Archives, the Georgia Capitol Museum and several other heritage groups have launched a campaign to raise funds to purchase sword and return it to Georgia, where it will reside in the Hall of Valor in the Georgia Capitol.