Macomb cited Appling for his bravery and promoted him on the battlefield.
"He stayed in the army for another year," Carmicheal said of Appling's career following the war. "They sent him off to Missouri where he resigned his commission in 1816. He then went to Fort Montgomery in Alabama as a settler and later died at age 29."
With his death, the ceremonial sword became state property, but its whereabouts were unknown early in the 20th century.
It was located recently by a former state archivist who spotted it in an advertisement in Antique magazine.
Carmicheal contacted the owner and began negotiations for purchasing the sword, which was being offered for $250,000.
The owner has agreed to sell the sword back to the state for $100,000, and the Friends of Georgia Archives and History have started a fundraising effort to obtain the relic.
Thus far, the group has raised $30,000.
"We're not using state funds and taxpayer dollars," Carmicheal said, noting that the sword will be put on public display in the state Hall of Valor in the Capitol Building. "Georgians have always loved their military heroes, and this is a great way to tell Appling's story."
E-mail Jeff Meyers at: firstname.lastname@example.org