Original U.S. Civil War Model 1860 Light Cavalry Saber with Scabbard by Emerson & Silver - Dated 1863
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. The leather grip binding is still in place wrapped with brass wire. The saber comes complete with its original all steel scabbard.
The curved 35" blade's ricasso is marked on the one side with the maker information, which is partly faded. -
One the other side it is marked-
Of note, the date is double marked, with “1863” being stamped twice on the ricasso.
The brass hand guard exhibits a nice patina, and is tightly secured in place. The handguard basket exhibits some bending, which was most likely due to taking a blow at some point, whether from combat use, or simply the mounted trooper being bucked off his mount. The original leather blade buffer is still present, and in good shape.
The blade is in excellent condition for its age, retaining a bright finish. It has a multitude of nicks, so this is a sword that definitely saw a lot of use. Some minor salt and pepper pitting is evident on the blade.
The saber comes with the original all steel nickel-plated curved scabbard complete with both mounting rings. The scabbard is bright metal, which is how they were when they were issued.
A sword knot is included with the saber, and was fitted on the piece when it came into our possession. It is unlike the common Federal issue knot, in that it is leather with a fabric-covered wooden knot at the end, which is in a deep blue color. The leather on the knot is nice and pliable
Offered in very nice collector's condition, original Civil War Cavalry Swords are getting harder and harder to find every year!
Blade Length: 35"
Blade Style: Single Edged Curved Saber with double Fullers
Overall length: 40 3/4“
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.
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