Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's sword draws high bid of $1.6 million at auction

Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's sword draws high bid of $1.6 million at auction
The gold and silver, diamond-adorned sword of General Ulysses S. Grant is shown at the Heritage Auction Galleries in Dallas, Friday, June 15, 2007.
GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) - A diamond-adorned sword once owned by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant brought a winning bid of more than $1.6 million in an auction of Civil War items.

The sword given to Grant, who later became the 18th president, was one of the marquee items among the 750 to be auctioned Sunday and Monday by Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas.

Another showcase item up for bid was Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer's frayed battle flag, which was auctioned for $896,250. Another item of note was a "Bonnie Blue" flag carried by the 3rd Texas State Cavalry, which drew a bid of $47,800.

The priciest item was Grant's sword, which went for $1,673,000 to an unnamed bidder. It was presented by citizens of Kentucky in 1864 to honor Grant's promotion to General-in-Chief of all Union forces.

The silver and gold sword contains a 28-diamond monogram and is covered with intricate designs, including engraved battle scenes on its 33-inch blade.

Gary Hendershott, Heritage's director of Civil War auctions, described the sword as maybe the finest from the Civil War period.

"It's really a hallmark of American silversmith craftsmanship."