Original U.S. Civil War Model 1860 Light Cavalry Saber with Plated Scabbard by Emerson & Silver - Dated 1864

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Item Description

Original Item: One Only. This is a very nice service used Union cavalry trooper's curved M-1860 saber made by Emerson & Silver of Trenton, New Jersey. It is in very nice honest matured condition. The markings are mostly clear and the brass hilt is in good shape with a nice honest patina, though the guard is loose. The leather grip binding is still in place wrapped with brass wire, though there is some wear through and cracking in the leather. The saber comes complete with its original all steel scabbard, which has been nickel plated for parade use.

The curved 35" blade's ricasso is marked on the on one side with the maker information, which is partly faded. -


One the other side it is marked-


There is an additional D.F.M. marked on the end of the pommel. Dexter F. Mosman inspected swords at Emerson & Silver from 1862 to 1865, though his marking is only found on 1860 Cavalry Sabers in 1864.

The brass hand guard exhibits a nice patina, though it is somewhat loose on the tang, and has some bending, so this is probably due to taking a blow at some point. The original leather blade buffer is still present, and in good shape. The blade has faded to a peppery gray patina, and definitely shows use on the edge. It has a multitude of nicks and shows sharpening as well, so this is a sword that definitely saw a lot of use.

The saber comes with the original all steel nickel-plated curved scabbard complete with both mounting rings. Scabbard is in good condition, though it does have light oxidation on the plating.

Offered in very nice collector's condition, original Civil War Cavalry Swords are getting harder and harder to find every year!

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.

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