Sword makes historic return to Corinth
by Lena Mitchell
NEMS Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
CORINTH – The sword taken from the body of Col. W.P. Rogers on the battlefield at Battery Robinett during the Battle of Corinth will make a historic return to the city.
The sword will be showcased at the Corinth Civil War Relic and Militaria Show Saturday and Sunday at the Crossroads Arena.
Allen Wandling, the general manager of the BelleClair Exposition Center in Belleville, Ill., and for 21 years and Civil War hobbyist, owns the sword is bringing it back to make what he considers a historic full circle.
“It’s a very famous sword and just one of many items in my collection,” Wandling said. “In fact, I have a museum in my home.”
Wandling also has been able to acquire the scabbard that Rogers used with the sword, so that, too, will be part of his exhibit. Rogers was commander of the 2nd Texas Regiment when he died in the Battle of Corinth on Oct. 4, 1862.
The other Civil War artifact of significance Wandling will bring is a sword used by members of the 63rd Ohio unit that fought against Rogers’ forces at Battery Robinett. Wandling’s great-great-great uncles, Private John Wandling and Private Adam Wandling, were members of the 63rd Ohio.
The show, sponsored by the Col. W.P. Rogers Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 321, features about 50 vendors with a broad range of items that will interest Civil War enthusiasts, said Commander Larry Mangus. The show is 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday.
A descendant of Rogers who lives in Texas will make the trip to Corinth to see the sword as well, Wandling said. She is bringing copies of Rogers’ war letters that tell about the battles in which he was engaged, which will add significantly to the history of the sword.
“I’m honored to be able to bring it back to Corinth after all these years,” Wandling said.