SD910884 CSA N.C.O. Sword
MODEL 1840 NONCOMMISSIONED OFFICERS' SWORD
"I had lain down without removing even my blanket or sword. At the first volley I sprang to my feet, but little excited at the din. A moment later Colonel Clarke jumped up exclaiming "Chambers! Chambers! Sergeant Major! Sergeant Major!" in such a rapid succession that he failed to hear me till I had answered him the third time."
Atlanta Campaign - "Blood and Sacrifice: The Civil War Journal of a Confederate Soldier" written by William Pitt Chambers (46th Mississippi) and edited by Richard Baumgartner.
In 1838 the U.S. War Department decided that the standard arms of noncommissioned
officers of the Army were inadequate and empowered a commission to design a new
sword to be used as a secondary weapon in both drill and combat situations. The
resulting design was a hybrid primarily based on French weapons but also reminiscent
of British and German swords from the Napoleonic period. It was a graceful and handsome
appearing weapon but heavy in the hilt and somewhat awkwardly balanced. The sword
had a blunt edge and sharp point as it was designed for thrusting rather than slashing
and was often used as an iron club mounted on brass knuckles to smash bones.
In August of 1840 the United States Army Ordnance Department contracted with Schnitzler & Kirschbaum of Solingen Prussia for 1000 swords of this pattern and in 1844 Ames Manufacturing began producing the swords domestically. These were carried by sergeants during the Mexican-American War, The Seminole Wars, and across the western frontier. In addition to the U.S. Ordnance Department, various State arsenals placed orders as well as volunteer militias. In 1860 and 1861 seceding States seized these arsenals and issued the confiscated weapons to their own troops.
Some southern manufacturers such a Boyle and Gamble (Richmond) and L. Haiman & Brother (Columbus, Ga.) produced copies early in the war and an unknown number were sold as private-purchase presentation models with added ornamentation and etched blades.
Period accounts seem to indicate that the weapon was unpopular with the troops due to its weight and impracticability in all but close quarter combat but at least a few persisted in carrying the weapon as late as the Atlanta Campaign of 1864 (see above quote).
The M1840 N.C.O sword remained in service until 1875 when it was officially discontinued from service. Surplus swords were sold to Military Academies were they were used for ceremonial duties as late as the mid 20th century.
More Union and Confederate Civil War Swords Below
CSA Confederate Cavalry
Civil War Sword
CSA - Confederate Swords Index Civil War Swords Swords Home
Medieval Weapons Cart Policies
Swords and Armor Closeouts !
New Introductions - Closeouts - All Great Bargains
Us Via Email
We accept Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover Card and PayPal
Call Us at... 706-235-1670 (M-F, 8-5 est.) To Place Order by Phone
© 2001-2015 swordsandarmor.com . All Rights Reserved