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Presentation: US Army Swords 1832--1865 “The Golden Age of US Army Swords” Based upon my 2 volumes on American Swords Civil War Cavalry and Artillery Sabers,

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Presentation on theme: "Presentation: US Army Swords 1832--1865 “The Golden Age of US Army Swords” Based upon my 2 volumes on American Swords Civil War Cavalry and Artillery Sabers,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Presentation: US Army Swords 1832--1865 “The Golden Age of US Army Swords” Based upon my 2 volumes on American Swords Civil War Cavalry and Artillery Sabers, 1833 through 1865 Civil War Army Swords 1832 through 1865

2 The Company of Military Historians

3 The Regulation of 1825 Not a particularly specific regulation thus leading to a confusion of sword types “The swords of officers of the general staff, engineers, artillery and rifle, will be yellow mounted, with a black or yellow gripe, and straight blades. Those of the officers of the Infantry will be of similar form and will differ only in the color of the mountings which shall be white. Medical officers will wear yellow mounted small swords.” Note no Cavalry yet

4 The Army knew that it needed to update the regulations covering dress and weapons The Dress regulation of 1832 specified a new model of sword to be carried immediately—with general descriptions but none actually existed Gen John Woll was in London and sent examples of British swords to Gen Macomb in the Ord Dep in Nov 1832 Ames was given the English swords in early 1833 The swords were then made up, developed as models, adopted and produced in 1834

5 Four Major Models of Swords from 1832 through 1860 The Model of 1834 Began with the 1832 Foot Artillery Sword, The model 1833 Dragoon and then the Models of 1834 The Model of 1840 Wholesale redo of the earlier sword patterns except for the 1832 Foot Artillery Sword The Model of 1850 This new Model superseded both foot, mounted Infantry officers and the artillery officers sword No enlisted swords The Model of 1860 Only a new light Cavalry Saber and a new Staff Sword

6 The Model 1832 Foot Artillery Sword In 1828 Lt. Tyler was in France to study artillery. He sent examples of French accoutrements among them the sword This sword was carried by the Foot Artillery from 1832 through the 1880’s. It was made from 1832 to 1862 It was also used by NCO’s and Musicians till the model of 1840 Shown here with its first belt and scabbard, note the buckle

7 The M 1833 Enlisted Dragoon Saber made from 1834-39, Texas in 1840 Many went to state regiments, NC, SC, MS, Ga, Pa, Ky, among others –Officers have gilt hilts, sharkskin grip, etched blade

8 Model 1834 Infantry, Artillery, Staff and General Officers Hilt and Blade Style This officers sword was made from 1834 to 1840 with leather scabbard for officers of the Infantry and artillery. Staff and General Officers carried it with a metal scabbard

9 M 1834 General Officers Sword: it is distinguished only in the use of a metal scabbard and the top suspension ring mount

10 Model 1834 Medical Staff Sword This small sword style was also carried by Engineer and Pay Department Officers

11 M 1839 Topo Engineers Saber This is a very rarely seen sword

12 The Model of 1840 resulted from trials in 1839 and the need for a special Saber for the new Light Artillery The models of 1840 swords: A newer pattern and sturdier infantry officers sword Light Artillery Sabers Better--heavier Dragoon/Cavalry sabers Separate NCO sword Separate Musicians sword *Note the new maneuvering—firing from multiple positions light artillery concept was a key to success in the War with Mexico*

13 Model 1840 Officers Sword First contract with Schnitzler and Kirshbaum in Prussia in 1840 as part of a large sword contract for Dragoons, Artillery, NCO’s and Musicians swords Model 1840 General Officers had a fancier hilt and metal scabbard Model 1840 Officers except for the Artillery and Cavalry had a Plain hilt and leather scabbard

14 Model 1840 Artillery Saber For Light Artillerymen and Officers Regulation for all Artillery men through 1870 and for Artillery Officers to 1850 *All Mounted Officers from 1840 through 1850* *Officers Saber, fancy gilt hilt & etched blade

15 Light Artilleryman as posed but did they really look like this in the Field

16 Model 1840 Cavalry Saber First Contract with S&K Solingen in 1840, S&K Trial saber 1839 Ames first contract in 1844, delivery 1845 made through 1858 State contracts “MS” Massachusetts in 1851, 1 st Mass Cav Heavily used in the CW—mostly Prussian “Solingen” imports

17 Model 1840 Medical Staff and Pay Department Swords used till 1880’s Medical Staff Pay Department

18 The Model 1840 Engineers Small Sword—note the rattle snake grip Note the castle and starBlade etching

19 Model 1840 NCO and Musicians The new M1840 NCO and Musicians sword replaced the 1832 Artillery Sword

20 The New Model of 1850 affected only Officers swords. It was based on the French model of 1845 The Officer Corps disliked the Model of 1840 sword “it was typically laid aside in the service” The Officers wanted “a more durable and serviceable sword” than the cut and thrust model Only Medical and Pay Officers, General Officers and Cavalry Officers retained a separate model All other Officers carried the new model of 1850— (1851 Ord. Reg.) including “mounted artillery officers”

21 Model of 1850 Foot Officer New and Improved over the M 1840 – more functional, better blade for field use. Mandated also for Artillery Officers even those mounted

22 Model of 1850 Staff & Field Carried by Staff officers and Field officers, those in the grade of Major and above Replaced the model of 1840 Artillery Officers Saber for all Mounted Officers, except Generals--note the US in the guard

23 Non Regulation British and French Officers swords carried by company grade, staff and field officers British 1822/’45 Infantry and 1827 Rifles Patterns & French infantry and Marine Models

24 The Models of 1860 A new lighter cavalry saber (but already in use) as the model of 1840 was large and heavy – hard on the wrist and troopers tended to be slightly smaller men A new smaller staff sword—the model of 1850 Staff and Field sword was heavy and cumbersome for staff officers who spent most of their time at the writing desk It was also regulation “optional” for General officers to carry in the field and many did carry it.

25 Trooper with his 1860 saber and pistol many early war volunteer state troopers were armed with only sabers and then with sabers and revolvers

26 Model of 1860 Cavalry saber Note on the Example below the screw at the scabbard throat which is a likely a field repair Contract by Ames in 1856 first delivery in 1857

27 The M 1860 Cavalry Officers saber Above Ames / below Sauerbier

28 Non Regulation Cavalry Sabers Both Enlisted and Officers carried them during the CW. British P1822 and the French Models of Non Regulation Cavalry sabers below. Almost all imported.

29 The Model of 1860 Staff Sword was authorized for use by only Staff Officers and General Officers

30 Militia Staff Swords 1830’s through 1860’s Early Militia Staff Swords Eagle, Indian Princess or Birds Head pommels Lighter Narrow straight Blades Small hilts, simple knuckle bows Engraved metal scabbards Typically with a round finial or simple strap for a scabbard drag Later Militia Staff Swords Knights Helmet, Standing eagle Heavy cruciform style hilts with ivory, silver, mother of pearl and chains from pommel to guard Wider double edged oval straight blades Engraved and ornamented scabbards Fancy drags

31 The Militia Staff Sword 1830’s - 1860’s

32 High Grade Swords Generally made for presentation Often made with gold, silver and jewels Sometimes jewels and precious metal added to equal the money being allocated, in poor taste Often custom made Usually cased with accoutrements Early high grade swords almost always use a cruciform hilt style Later styles usually include an element of custom manufacture but will contain similar stylistic elements (Tiffany, Ames, Ball and Black, Clauberg)

33 High Grade Presentation Swords

34 This Power Point was a very quick review of US Army Golden Age Swords I’m happy to answer your questions but keep in mind that this quick fire hose review is a summary from: Civil War Cavalry and Artillery Sabers 530 pages and 1,600 images, pub 2001 Completely end-noted with all sources identified Civil War Army Swords 640 pages and 2,400 photos, pub 2008 Completely end-noted with all sources identified

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