Jump to content


Civil War sword Emerson & Silver dated 1865

Started by Bob Hudson , Sep 01 2012 06:40 PM

  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Bob Hudson

Bob Hudson

    Forum Co-Founder (Ret)

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 2
  • 21,576 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 01 September 2012 - 06:40 PM

This came my way today: a Model 1860 cavalry saber made in 1865 by Emerson & Silver of Trenton, New Jersey. According to http://www.ruble-ent...rson_silver.htm the company had contract to produce 27,060 Model 1860 cavalry sabers. The Springfield Armory Museum has one of these in its collection and has some details about Emerson & Silver at http://tinyurl.com/emersonsilver

The makers marks are pretty worn, but that's not uncommon for a 147-year-old weapon that appears to have seen some use. But the leather and wire on the grip is in very decent condition. Overall this is a nice example.

1.jpg

It has an inspectors mark on the pommel as well as the blade.

4.jpg

#2 Bob Hudson

Bob Hudson

    Forum Co-Founder (Ret)

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 2
  • 21,576 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 01 September 2012 - 06:42 PM

2.jpg

3.jpg

5.jpg

#3 Bob Hudson

Bob Hudson

    Forum Co-Founder (Ret)

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 2
  • 21,576 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 01 September 2012 - 06:53 PM

The last Civil War sword I found was in August 2011 and it too was made in New Jersey, by Sauerbrier in Newark ( see http://www.usmilitar...howtopic=119779 ) It was not a cavalry saber and did not have a scabbard, so when I was offered this Emerson & Silver I was glad it had a scabbard but concerned that it was dented. The guy who sold it to me said he was told that someone had used it to defend himself in a sword fight. Well that didn't make sense since you'd use the sword itself for that and the scabbard attached to your belt would be awkward, to say the least, to use. As my daddy never said, "Never bring a scabbard to a sword fight..."

But as I started looking online at other Emerson & Silver Model 1860's for sale or sold, I found that many of them also had these dents. Now those of you with knowledge of cavalry sabers know all about this, but for the rest of us, it can be a surprise.

6.jpg

So for my fellow cavalry saber virgins, why the dents? Well consider where the cavalry officer wears the sword:

cav1.jpg

In addition to the dents, the scabbard I got today has some small nicks near the bottom: those pretty much match up to the soldier's boot heel - and spurs.

The larger dents - according to what I read in various sources, have a lot to do with the scabbard being prone to bending during combat when the sword is withdrawn.

#4 hbtcoveralls

hbtcoveralls
  • Members
    • Member ID: 2,138
  • 1,192 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Anderson SC USA

Posted 01 September 2012 - 07:10 PM

They also get caught in doors when you're walking around on the ground, leaving just about the same mark. Very nice looking sabre.
Tom Bowers

#5 gunbarrel

gunbarrel
  • Members
    • Member ID: 70
  • 6,105 posts

Posted 01 September 2012 - 07:15 PM

FS,

I've heard that putting a dent on metal scabbards on purpose was done to keep the sword from rattling around in the scabbard and making noise. I don't know how true this is.

BTW, your photography nowadays is amazing :thumbsup:

#6 Jack's Son

Jack's Son

    BANNED

  • Banned
    • Member ID: 8,213
  • 19,660 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Over the rainbow.

Posted 01 September 2012 - 07:44 PM

FS,
........... your photography nowadays is amazing :thumbsup:

GB......There you go again!! :rolleyes:

#7 gunbarrel

gunbarrel
  • Members
    • Member ID: 70
  • 6,105 posts

Posted 02 September 2012 - 03:27 AM

GB......There you go again!! :rolleyes:


:wink2:

#8 Varangian

Varangian
  • Members
    • Member ID: 1,047
  • 1,421 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas

Posted 02 September 2012 - 05:35 PM

I don't think anyone really knows why scabbards are dented. If you look at how they were mounted to the saddle, they're certainly exposed enough to be damaged by brush or what have you.

I can say my own M1902 got a nice dent in the scabbard from getting caught in a door while being improperly worn (drag to the rear).

And that it did fit tighter in the scabbard after the dent.

#9 DSchlagan

DSchlagan

    IN MEMORIAM

  • IN MEMORIAM
    • Member ID: 21,709
  • 804 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:FAR West, of Nod

Posted 02 September 2012 - 06:40 PM

F/S
Great looking cavalry sabre! Thank you for the added information, as well.

I have purposely been rather chaste regarding sword collecting. Although I much appreciate and would really enjoy them; I have attempted to restrain from their most attractive indulgence.
[Besides, I already have enough bayonets to outfit about three or four PLTs!]


GB
The notion that "putting a dent on metal scabbards on purpose was done to keep the sword from rattling around in the scabbard and making noise." ... certainly does make logical sense.

Regards,
Don.

#10 vette

vette
  • Members
    • Member ID: 8,222
  • 404 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ohio

Posted 26 September 2012 - 02:30 PM

F/S
Great looking cavalry sabre! Thank you for the added information, as well.

I have purposely been rather chaste regarding sword collecting. Although I much appreciate and would really enjoy them; I have attempted to restrain from their most attractive indulgence.
[Besides, I already have enough bayonets to outfit about three or four PLTs!]
GB
The notion that "putting a dent on metal scabbards on purpose was done to keep the sword from rattling around in the scabbard and making noise." ... certainly does make logical sense.

Regards,
Don.

That is what I have heard for years. I think it is true and makes lots of sense. Most swords have leather washers to keep the guard area from rattling but not on the end.

#11 Flashlarue

Flashlarue
  • Members
    • Member ID: 87,451
  • 775 posts

Posted 26 September 2012 - 03:17 PM

If all the swords manufactured during the Civil War were issued half of the Union Army would have been dragging swords around. At the end of the Civil War there were literally thousands of swords which had never been issued. Hollywood bought up tons of them to use in movies. Often times they were modified by bending or having the hand guard enclosed for various movies. I can't remember the name of the Army surplus store that bought all the government surplus but they armed half of the South American revolts in the late 1800s to early 1900s. A sword manufactured in 1865 never saw a U.S. Civil War battlefield.

Edited by Flashlarue, 26 September 2012 - 03:17 PM.


#12 Bob Hudson

Bob Hudson

    Forum Co-Founder (Ret)

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 2
  • 21,576 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 26 September 2012 - 04:51 PM

If all the swords manufactured during the Civil War were issued half of the Union Army would have been dragging swords around. At the end of the Civil War there were literally thousands of swords which had never been issued. Hollywood bought up tons of them to use in movies. Often times they were modified by bending or having the hand guard enclosed for various movies. I can't remember the name of the Army surplus store that bought all the government surplus but they armed half of the South American revolts in the late 1800s to early 1900s. A sword manufactured in 1865 never saw a U.S. Civil War battlefield.


Bannerman's is the company you are thinking of...

As for an 1865 sword being used before May 1865: I don't know. I tend to think that WWII gear made in 1945 most likely would not have made it into service, but we can't discount it entirely and during the Civil War I think it even more likely that something from made in the final year of combat could have been placed into service - the supply line and bureaucracy was not nearly as long. As with even something made in 1861-1864, the best we can know - in lieu of any documented provenance - is that it COULD have been issued. We can never say never.

#13 Bob Hudson

Bob Hudson

    Forum Co-Founder (Ret)

  • Administrators
    • Member ID: 2
  • 21,576 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 26 September 2012 - 04:56 PM

As I mentioned in the first post, the Springfield Armory has this same sword in its collection (also dated 1865) but I just realized that the link to their webpage about it did not work so I created a new link: http://tinyurl.com/emersonsilver

#14 ludwigh1980

ludwigh1980
  • Members
    • Member ID: 23,325
  • 1,374 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Western Colorado

Posted 29 September 2012 - 06:15 PM

Very Nice sword, regardless weither the 1865 dated Sabers were used in the Civil War. For a purist Civil War collector, this may be important. The civil war produced M1860's continued to be used into the Indian Wars, Spanish American War, and the Philippine Insurection. They certainly did not carry those chincy M1872 Cav Sabers into combat and would have been only used for dress occations.


Terry in Colorado


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


In Memory of Co-Founder GREG MILLS ROBINSON, a.k.a. "Marine-KaBar"
(February 17, 1949 - March 5, 2011)