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The Birney Sword

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The Birney Sword
321 Washington Avenue
Bay City, Michigan 48708
Voice: 989-893-5733

One of the most valuable local artifacts of the Civil War is the Birney Sword, housed in the Bay County Historical Museum. The ornate dress sword reputedly was presented by Col. George Armstrong Custer to Capt. James G. Birney IV, grandson of James Gillespie Birney. Young Birney, who enlisted from Bay City at age 19, was a hero at Gettysburg as Custer's Michigan Cavalry stopped Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart from turning the Union line. After fighting in many major engagements, Birney and other Michigan cavalrymen were shipped West to fight Indians. The location of young Birney's grave has not been found, although a memorial to him has been erected in the Birney family plot at Pine Ridge Cemetery.



Pictures and images were provided by Bay City, Michigan Visitors Bureau

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