Mon., October 15, 2012 3:28pm (EDT)

Appling Sword Returns To Capitol
By Joshua Stewart
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Updated: 2 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
First Lady Sandra Deal looks closely at the Appling Sword after it was formally presented Monday to the governor. A group of heritage groups raised $100,000 to buy it from an antiques dealer. The sword disappeared over a century ago. (Photo by Joshua Stewart.
First Lady Sandra Deal looks closely at the Appling Sword after it was formally presented Monday to the governor. A group of heritage groups raised $100,000 to buy it from an antiques dealer. The sword disappeared over a century ago. (Photo by Joshua Stewart.
Roughly a century after it disappeared, a unique part of Georgia’s history is back in state hands.

The Appling Sword returned to the state Capitol Monday.

The Georgia General Assembly commissioned the ceremonial sword for War of 1812 hero Daniel Appling. However, he died before it could be presented to him.

The sword hung in the governor’s office and the Capitol for years before it disappeared in 1907 after it was sent to a history exposition in Jamestown. State archivists found the sword in an antiques magazine two years ago.

“We talked with the attorney general and he said that because it had been so long, the statute of limitations had run out [so] it would cost more for us to pursue it by legal means than to buy it back for $100,000,” said Dianne Cannestra, president of the Friends of the Georgia Archives and History.

That’s exactly what a group of nonprofits did and Cannestra was among those to present the sword to Gov. Nathan Deal at the Gold Dome. They purchased the sword from an antiques dealer in North Carolina.

“It is such a tragedy that it was lost for so many years,” said Linda Appling Sumpter, a distant relative of Daniel Appling. “ It was located -- and so many caring people from the Dames of 1812 and DAR thought enough to raise the money to bring it back home – and home in Georgia it is.”

The sword now hangs in the Capitol’s Hall of Valor.