Original U.S. Civil War Model 1860 Light Cavalry Saber with Scabbard by D.J. MILLARD - Dated 1862

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is a very rare excellent example of the principal cavalry saber used in the U.S. Civil War of 1860-1865. It has all brass mounts with wood with leather wrapped sword grip and mostly intact bound brass wire wrap. Produced under the smallest government contract for sabers (only 10,000) by the D. J. Millard Company’s manufacturing center in Clayville, New York, this early production weapon is a M-1860 Light Cavalry saber. Considered a lighter, more maneuverable weapon than its predecessor the M-1840 Wristbreaker, the light cavalry saber weighed about 3 ½ pounds in the scabbard.

The curved blade is marked on one side (partially worn off)-


One the other side it is marked-


C.E.W is the marking for a Union Government Inspector Charles E. Wilson, who worked at the Millard factory during 1862, which was the only year they were producing swords. The markings are all clear and can be seen on the blade's ricasso and on the brass pommel. Brass domed pommel cap is tight and its brim exhibits government inspector’s marks C.E.W. in two locations. Brass hilt wears a pleasing finish overall and is tight to the handle. Still has its original leather washer. The grooved, center-swell grip features bridle leather wrap in very good original condition with no rips or tears. Brass wire wrap is original and still very tight. Steel scabbard is in good condition with a few minor dents and minor pitting. Drag exhibits little wear.

Offered in very nice collector's condition, original Civil War Cavalry Swords are getting harder and harder to find every year, but those by MILLARD who only produced a small amount are among the most difficult to find!

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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