Civil War Cannon

N.C.O. Officer's  Sword

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Confederate N.C.O. Sword
Confederate N.C.O. Civil War sword with CSA on brass hilt
Confederate N.C.O. Officer's Dress Sword

38" Long Total - Brass Hilt and Blade Bear CSA Markings
Matching Carbon Steel Scabbard - Etched Carbon Steel Blade


"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.

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