Original U.S. Civil War M1860 Light Cavalry Saber by Henry Boker- Solingen with Steel M-1906 Scabbard
Original Item: Only One Available. This is a nice example of the principal cavalry saber used in the U.S. Civil War of 1860-1865, the Model 1860 Light Cavalry Sabre. It features all brass mounts, a wood with leather wrapped grip, most of the original brass wire wrap, and a fine steel scabbard. The leather of the grip is, for the most part, intact. But it does show very minor scuffing, surface loss, cracking, and so on from years of honest use and decades in storage.
The curved 34.5 inch blade's ricasso is marked on one side with a crisp Henry Boker / Solingen maker marking. The blade has a bit of light peppering and staining, however it also still has almost all of the original bright finish, something we rarely see. It has a nice edge with only a few small nicks and no major damage. The three branch brass hand guard is in good condition, although misshapen, likely from a mounted trooper taking a spill off his mount a few times!
The saber comes with the original all steel-curved scabbard and complete with both mounting rings. The drag of the scabbard is not beaten up at all, with overall structural integrity excellent. There is dent on one side of the scabbard towards the end of the
The scabbard is the correct darker color of the issue versions. The sword belt rings were moved closer in accordance with the Model 1906 saber upgrades. Model 1860’s sabers were used from the American Civil War, Indian Wars, Spanish-American War, and even into the Mexican Border Punitive Expedition. It was not until the introduction of the M-1913 Cavalry Sabre was able to fully replace the old M-1860s, that they stopped being used.
A great example to an American military, or an edged weapons collection!
Blade Length: 34.5"
Blade Style: Single Edged Curved Saber with double Fullers
Overall length: 40“
Basket dimensions: 5" width x 5” length
Scabbard length: 36 1/2”
The Model 1860 Light Cavalry Saber (also known as the M1862 as this was when the first 800 were issued) was used by US cavalry from the American Civil War until the end of the Indian wars; some were still in use during the Spanish-American War. It was 41in long with a 35in by 1in blade and weighed 2 lb 4oz alone or 3 lb 10oz with iron scabbard.
During the Civil War there was no light or heavy cavalry in the US army. Instead there were "Dragoons" (founded 1830) "Mounted Riflemen", (founded c.1840) and "Cavalry" (founded 1856), distinguished by the orange, green or yellow piping on their uniforms. In 1861 these mounted regiments were renamed cavalry and given yellow piping.
The M1860 saber received its name to distinguish it from the larger and heavier Model 1840 Heavy Cavalry Saber that it replaced. Like its predecessor it had a brass guard, leather-wrapped grip and steel scabbard but unlike the M1840 it was smaller and easier to handle.
By the end of the Civil War over 300,000 1860 sabers had been produced: 200,000 by Ames, 32,000 by Roby and many more by firms such as Tiffany and Co, Glaze, Justice, and Emerson and Silver. M1860s were carried not only by cavalry but also by many infantry and staff officers as the regulation Model 1850 Army Staff & Field Officers' Sword had to be privately purchased. High-ranking officers, like their European counterparts, often had their swords ornately engraved with gilding and foliage. Famous users included George Armstrong Custer and J.E.B. Stuart.
Later in the Civil War large cavalry charges became less common and the cavalry took on the role of skirmishers. Many replaced their sabers with extra revolvers, or left it in the saddle while fighting on foot with their repeating Henry rifles and Spencer carbines.
This is the sword the cavalry use in Westerns, many being original antiques purchased by the movie industry in the 1920s when surplus Civil War equipment was cheap.
This model is currently used in some U.S. Army Cavalry units in Color Guards, or when in period type uniforms. Most are given as PCS (Permanent Change of Station) or ETS (Expiration of Term of Service) gifts to a departing Cavalry Trooper. Usually engraved on the scabbard with his name, rank and dates of service. Some are also worn, in full Dress Blues, (when earned on a "Spur Ride" or combat tour) with Stetson and Spurs.
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