Edward Shuttleworth graduated from Norwich in the Class of 1891. Just five years later, in 1896, members of the Corps of Cadets were surprised and delighted to learn that Shuttleworth had promised to give a sword every year to the member of the junior class “who should attain the highest average in his military work.”
Shuttleworth was born in Boston and graduated from high school in Bellows Falls, Vermont. After receiving a civil engineering degree from Norwich, he commissioned in the U.S. Army, beginning a varied and colorful career. He was involved in pursuing the “Apache Kid” in Arizona; acted as commissary for the troops sent to Chicago to suppress the Pullman Strike in the summer of 1894; and helped install the American Civil Government in Puerto Rico in 1898.
When Shuttleworth decided to create a prize for outstanding military achievements in the junior class at Norwich, he was still just a second lieutenant. We do not know why he chose to make this lasting tribute to his alma mater so early in his career. But his actions show that his undying love for Norwich remained a centerpiece of his life. He served his country for a total of 38 years, was elected a trustee of Norwich in 1927, and retired to Northfield, where he died in his home in 1931. Six cadets from his fraternity, Theta Chi, served as pallbearers at his burial in Elmwood Cemetery.
The award originally consisted of a regulation foot officer’s sword, according to William Ellis’ history of the university. It changed to a saber in 1913 for reasons that remain unclear. Today, the Shuttleworth Saber is awarded to the incoming regimental commander when they are chosen as a junior—rewarding a member of the junior class who has excelled in military accomplishments, precisely in the spirit of Shuttleworth’s original award.
You can learn about Edward Shuttleworth and past recipients of his prize in the Norwich University Archives’ serial publications index, or by contacting Archives staff. Alumni who wish to donate their sabers to current students are encouraged to contact the Commandant of Cadets.