Thomas, Griswold & Co. Artillery Saber

The partnership of Henry Thomas Jr. and A.B. Griswold was a welcome combination for the Confederacy in the spring of 1861. New Orleans was the largest city in the South with a population of over 170,000 and there was much money to be made as aggressive entrepreneurs.

Thomas, Griswold & Co. we’re not only manufactures of military goods but importers as well and the large port of New Orleans would give them access to trade ships from Europe filled with many of the supplies the South needed.

Unfortunately there success only lasted a short while, Union Naval forces captured New Orleans April 25, 1862 putting an end to there brisk business and seizing South’s largest port.

For sometime now I’ve been searching for a Thomas, Griswold Artillery Saber……with its brass/bronze scabbard, makers mark ricasso and fine attention to detail, one can make the argument there was hardly a finer sword made South of the Mason Dixon Line.

My new saber & scabbard is in excellent condition, with an almost perfectly straight scabbard that has a sweet mustard patina and the lap seam is almost unnoticeable unlike most other Confederate scabbards.

As for the saber, where do I start….hmmmmmm. The leather grip on the artillery saber is about 75% intact with all its brass wire wrapping in place, the pommel, knucklebow and quillon all have a pleasant patina with some casting imperfections. The blade, fuller and edge are about as nice as any you will see, with its leather insulator still in place and a fine makers mark stamp this saber would rival any Northern made saber/sword.

I have many new pieces in my collection that I’ve yet to post at the Civil War Arsenal, I hope to photograph and write about them soon. In the mean while if you have any questions about this Artillery Saber or any of the other weapon in my arsenal feel free to contact me at civlwararsenal@yahoo.com attn: Gene West………oh, and if you have any Southern Weapons for sale maybe we can strike a deal…..I’m always in the market to buy. Thanks for stopping by, hope to see y’all soon.

Artillery Short Sword, Confederate States Armory

It’s believed this artillery short sword was manufactured at the C.S.A. Arms Factory in Wilmington/Kenansville North Carolina. The Armory was owned and operated by Louis Froelich who was born in Bavaria (later part of Germany) in 1817. He and his wife arrived in New York in 1860, eventually settling in Wilmington North Carolina during the spring of 1861 as tensions between the North and South had reached its boiling point.

Froelich was a skilled craftsman and recognized the need for arms and equipment in the Confederacy. He made many different types of Edged Weapons…….D-Handle Knives, short swords, sabers, swords, lance & pikes and just about anything else that would cut through a man or beast.

Unlike most of the edged weapons produced in the South Froelich’s quality standards was higher then most. A smart businessman Froelich named his Armory “C.S.A. (Confederate States Armory) Arms Factory”, he believed that the Confederate Government would recognize his allegiance and purchase goods from him……which they did.

My new short sword has some pitting on the blade which adds to its character, it’s sand cast brass handle has a red hue showing its high copper content and the pommel is about as cockeyed as could be……just some of the details collectors love about Southern Edged Weapons.

The scabbard (in my opinion) is not original to this type of short sword, I believe it to be from a Southern Short Sword however not this style………it’s believed that the frog stud on a Froelich manufactured scabbard would be tear drop shaped, however as you can see in the images above this example is round suggesting that it’s not a Froelich made scabbard (or maybe Froelich used subcontractors to make leather scabbards)…..maybe one day we’ll know…”.🤔

I’d like to thank John W. McAden Jr. & Chris E. Fonvielle Jr. for there book “Louis Froelich, Arms-Maker to the Confederacy” without there book much of what we know about the CSA Arms Factory would be lost to time.

If you have any questions about this Artillery Short Sword or any of the other weapons in the Civil War Arsenal feel free to ask. Attn: Eugene West, www.civilwararsenal.com thanks for stopping by.

Kraft, Goldschmidt & Kraft Cavalry Saber – Lewis L. & T.R Moore Wooden Scabbard

Henry Kraft, brother Peter Kraft and Maurice Goldschmidt are the name sakes of “Kraft, Goldschmidt & Kraft” formed in 1861 as military outfitters in Columbia South Carolina. Henry a jeweler and Peter a gunsmith complimented each other’s skills by making some of the South’s finest engraved swords but they also made standard issue enlisted men’s calvary sabers.

Little is known about the wooden scabbards these Cavalry Sabers are housed in. It’s believed they were made by Lewis L. and T.R. Moore of Atlanta Georgia. In Gordon Jone’s book “Confederate Odyssey” he writes that 556 “wooden saber scabbards”were delivered to the C.S. Arsenal at Charleston South Carolina in 1863. So it’s assumed this is one of those wooden scabbards made by the Moore brothers and yes there may have been additional deliveries to the 556 mentioned earlier.

This highly desirable cavalry saber and wooden scabbard serves as testament to the South’s inequality to the North’s industrial revolution, wooden scabbards may have owed as much to practicality as to desperation, thin inferior wrapped leather, small gauge single wire used on the grip, casting flaws on knucklebow and forging flaws throughout the blade. All the qualities that collectors of Confederate weapons love to study.

My new saber and scabbard is just one of my recent acquisitions, it’s been on my wish list for a while and I was able to negotiate a fair price with the seller. The saber measures a total of 39 ½” from pommel to the blade tip with the blade length of 34 ¼”. The blade has a large fuller approximately 27” long with many forging flaws. The brass knucklebow, branches and pommel all have casting flaws and the finest aged patina.

The scabbard measures a total of 36 ¾” from the throat to the bottom of the drag. It’s a testament to the craftsman who made these scabbards, that more then 150 years later they still serve the purpose they were designed for. The wooden scabbard has lots of aged patina only complimenting its history, however it does have some cracks towards the bottom half and I believe the boot style drag has been professionally replaced which does not distract from its character. The scabbard is two pieces of hollowed out carved wood held together with wrapped tin. The throat, ring bands and drag are brass with the darkest hues of brown, red and gold.

This sword and scabbard is typical of so many Southern Weapons that tell a side story of ingenuity, practicality and even desperation……maybe that’s just one of the things that fascinates me and other collectors. I’m thrilled to be the keeper of this piece of American history even if it’s only for a short while.

I’m always looking for new to the market Confederate artifacts, if you have any and are considering selling them maybe we can make a deal. Thanks for stopping by the Civil War Arsenal if you have any questions or thoughts about this posting feel free to contact me at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com attn: Gene West

Confederate Bayonet Pike

The Civil War Arsenal’s collection of Confederate Pikes has grown again. My new acquisition was probably made in the great state of Georgia and measures a total of 82” long from from the base of the wood pole to the tip of the socket bayonet.

The fabricated bayonet pike at the top of the shaft measures a total of 25 5/8” and has a cross guard just below the attached U.S. bayonet. The attached bayonet does not have the U.S. markings like you’d find on so many existing examples.

There isn’t much information on these Southern Pikes and it’s hard to say if they were made for the home guard, militia, Navy or maybe even Artillery defense, but either way there Southern and there just cool.

Most surviving examples do not have an attached wooden shaft and I’m not convinced the wooden shaft on this example is original to the weapon. Maybe it was attached after the war and was displayed in a GAR Hall in the North or maybe a previous owner wanted a better display example for the war room, one things for sure it’s been attached to the fabricated socket bayonet for a very long time based on the color and petunia of the wood.

Check out the images of this “in the black Bayonet Pike” you’ll see lots forging flaws and hammer marks. If you have any questions about this weapon or any of the other weapons in the Civil War Arsenal feel free to contact me at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com, attn: Gene West…..Thanks for stopping by.

Ames Enlisted Model 1860 Cavalry Saber

Troopers in the field were unhappy with the model 1840 commonly referred to as the “old wrist breaker” they wanted a lighter and more maneuverable Saber. The new model 1860 Saber as the Ordnance Department response. The light Cavalry Saber had a blade that was shorter, not as thick or wide, and came with a scaled down scabbard to fit the new blade. The center of balance was moved back more toward the hilt by slimming the overall blade and the tip from the hatchet type tip to more of a sharp point.

So in 1857 the Ames Sword Company received a request from the US Government to provide sample patterns of a new light Cavalry Saber made after the French model of 1822 and referred to in the Ordnance Department records as the “new pattern”.

Pre War US Government procurements were as follows.

Prewar 1859-1860
Made by Ames
1856-57 – 1000
1858 – 1800
1859 – 5000
Total. 7800

Wartime 1861-1865
Made by Ames
1861 – 10000
1862 – ——–
1863 – 23500
1864 – 31000
1865 – 10000
Total. 74500

The sword you see here is stamped U.S. ADK, 1862 on one side of the ricasso and Ames Mfg. Co, Chicopee Massachusetts on the other side. One of the branches on the knuckle-bow has an inventory # 18320…..the drag plate on the scabbard is also marked ADK, these initials are of the weapons inspectors who’s name was King.

The blade measures 34” long and the handle is 5.5” for a total length of 39.5” with a small and a large fuller. The leather grip is in excellent condition and has 13 rows of brass wrappings. Overall this is a nice example of a Ames Enlisted Model 1860 Calvary Sword, in my opinion it’s a early version probably from the 1856-57 Government procurements.

If you have any questions about this sword or any of the other items in the Civil War Arsenal feel free to contact me at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com attn: Gene West

Confederate Light Artillery Saber

Some of the most sought after edged weapons in collectors collections are Confederate swords. Most commonly they are Cavalry Sabers and Staff & Field Swords however occasionally Southern Artillery Swords become available.

Confederate Artillery Swords are rare, no reason is known for this but the fact remains that three to four officers swords show up for every Artillery sword. So when this sword became available I negotiated the best deal I could to make it apart of my collection.

My new acquired Confederate Enlisted Man’s Artillery Sword is a copy of the Model 1840, Type 1 U.S. Artillery Saber. The Saber has a typical Southern scabbard with a crude lapped seam and brass mounts. The grip retains about 90% of the original leather with the iron wire. The blade is unmarked and has the classic unstopped fuller with very visible fault lines typically found on Confederate swords. The overall length of the sword is 36” with the blade measuring approximately 31” the scabbard measures a total of 34” from the throats to the bottom of the drag. The blade is 1 ¼” at its widest point with a 24” fuller on either side. The sword has what I believe to be many of the characteristics of swords manufactured by the Haiman Brothers of Columbus Georgia.

If you have any questions about this sword or any of the other weapons in my Arsenal contact me at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com Attn: Gene West….thanks for stopping by.

Louis Haiman & Brother Enlisted Man’s Cavalry Saber

Columbus, Georgia was home to perhaps the Confederacies largest sword factory. Prussian born brothers Louis and Elias Haiman were owner/operators of the Columbus Iron Works which at the outbreak of the war was turned into a sword factory where a variety of edged weapons were forged and cast.

It’s thought approximately 8000 Cavalry swords were manufactured under Confederate contracts. Patterned after the U.S. Model 1840 Cavalry Saber, the Haiman Brothers version was not quite the quality of the Union counterpart. Having casting flaws on the ricasso near the tang, grip wrapped with painted cloth (rather then leather) with a single strand of iron wire and crude seams on the backs of there scabbards.

Most existing examples are unmarked however there are a few that are marked at the ricasso “Haiman & Bro”, the scabbards throats are always iron as well as most drags, ring mounts are always brass with iron rings and some surviving examples have a reddish shade on there hilts due to a high copper content which was the result of periodic shortages of zinc.

The Haiman Brothers operated there factory throughout the war but on April 16, 1865 Union Cavalrymen under Major General James Wilson captured Columbus and torched the factory.

The example before you is one I acquired a while back which I would consider to be in excellent condition. The scabbard has the crude seam running up its back with brass mounts, iron rings, drag and throat. I see no signs of paint on the scabbard and it’s free from dents and damage.

The swords hilt has a great patina and is wrapped with painted cloth with a single strand of iron wire which seems to be original to the sword. If you look closely at the images above you will see the castings flaws on either side of the blade, most near the tang just below the hilt which undeniably identifies the sword as a Haiman Brothers Enlisted Man’s Sword. However there are many flaws throughout the length of the blade, which add to its character and beauty.

The overall length of the sword is 42” with the blade measuring 36” long and the scabbard measuring 38” from the top of the throats to the bottom of the drag. The Haiman Brothers sword measures a total of 43 ¾” when sword is set in scabbard compared to its Union counterpart (Model 1840 Calvary Sword) which measures 42”.

If you have questions about this sword or any of the other weapons in the Civil War Arsenal email me at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com attn: Gene West.

Fake Confederate Artillery Sword

I Recently purchased a Confederate Artillery Sword that was for sale at an online auction, going against my better judgement ( because if something seems to good to be true it generally is) I put my bid in for the sword and won. In about a week my sword arrived and I quickly and carefully removed it from its packaging. I was surprised to have won the auction at the price I paid, not that I paid a little for the sword but I certainly would’a payed more if I purchased it through a reputable dealer.

After carefully studying the sword for a couple of days and having some questions about its authenticity I sent it to one of the leading experts of Confederate weapons in the country. Shortly after receiving the sword the expert called me and said he couldn’t and wouldn’t authenticate the Artillery Sword. Needless to say I was pretty bummed and embarrassed about being fooled into buying the sword. Fortunately there was a 30 day inspection period that allowed me to return the sword, leaving me the cost of shipping only out of pocket…..oh, and a little embarrassed.

I’ve written in earlier post that you should never purchase Civil War Weapons from online auctions….funny how I don’t heed my own advice. I guess it’s another learning lesson on how and how not to buy CW weapons.

I recommend to all potential buyers, DO NOT BUY CW WEAPONS FROM ONLINE AUCTIONS…..FIND A REPUTABLE DEALER AND BUY FROM THEM…….it’s safer, cheaper (in the long run) and just a better overall experience.

Carefully examine the photos of the artillery swords in the photos above, one is real and the other is fake…….can you tell? Its very hard to tell with just a photograph, most would need to handle the weapon.

Richmond Style Confederate Pike

In February of 1862, Georgia Governor Joseph Brown gave an address to mechanics throughout the state of Georgia.

Let every army have a large reserve, armed with a good pike, and a long heavy side knife, to be brought upon the field, with a shout for victory, when the contending forced are much exhausted, or when the time comes for the charge of bayonets. When the advancing columns come within reach of the balls, let them move in double quick time and rush with terrible impetuosity into the lines of the enemy. Hand to hand, the pike has vastly the advantage of the bayonet, and those having the bayonet, which is itself but a crooked pike, with shorter staff, must retreat before it. When the retreat commences, let the pursuit be rapid, and if the enemy throw down their guns and are likely to outrun us, if need be, throw down the pike and keep close at their heels with the knife, till each man has hewed down, at least, one of his adversaries.

Governor Brown gave this decree to all good people of Georgia but he was also broadcasting to other States of the Confederacy as well as other armies in the South.

So that brings me to my newest Confederate Pike, thought to be made in Richmond Virginia hence its name “Richmond Pike”. This pike is in very good condition with no cracks or missing parts. The blade has some pitting which just adds to its beauty.

Overall length is 98 ½”, with the spear point blade measuring 12 ½” long, and the iron collar at the base of the pike “ which is generally missing on most examples” measures 7”. The brass collar at the base of the blade measures 2” and is held in place a what appears to be a copper rivet.

The two metal straps that hold the blade in place run down the length of the pike beneath the brass collar and measure 17”. One strap is held in place with two copper rivets and 4 metal screws and the other strap is held in place with one copper rivet and 5 metal screws.

All in all this is a fine example of a Confederate Pike in great condition. If you have any questions about this weapon or any of the other weapons in my Arsenal feel free to contact me at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com attn, Gene West. Thanks for stopping by and enjoy the history.

C.S.A Arms Factory, Kenansville Enlisted Men’s Cavalry Sword

The newest addition to my collection is an 2nd Model Enlisted Men’s Cavalry Sword made at the C.S.A Arms Factory in Kenansville, North Carolina. The interesting thing about this Confederate sword is its copper scabbard, which happens to be in very good condition. Not really certain if this scabbard is original to the sword, however it fits the scabbard well and just looks really cool.

Most Kenansville Cavalry Swords are marked with Roman numerals on the edge of the knucklebow (this example is marked with RN # XXVIIII or 29) and most scabbards are marked with a Matching RN # on the top of the throat (this example is not) leaving one to believe that this scabbard is not original to the sword. I’m also told by the experts that this scabbard is an earlier version, considered to be the 1st Model scabbard. So maybe, just maybe they made the sword at the factory and they had a 1st Model scabbard lying around which just happen to fit the sword……don’t really know, because I wasn’t there…..one things for sure it’s a really neat sword and scabbard.

The blade on this sword has some pitting and is very dark but is not damaged in any way and the brass guard has great color, color that takes 150 plus years to create. The grip has been rewrapped at one time or another, which is a bummer but there’s worse things in life.

The Scabbard is just about as pretty as it gets (my opinion) when it comes to Confederate Scabbards. The 150 year old copper color is just over the top and its crude soldering on the back just reeks of the Confederacy, and I say that in a loving way…..you can see traces of red paint throughout suggesting that it was originally painted. This is not unusual for Confederate Scabbards to be painted either red or black.

If you have any questions about this sword and scabbard or any of the other weapons in my arsenal feel free to ask, if you have any Confederate Weapons you’d like to sell let me know maybe we can work out a deal. Contact me at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com attn Gene West….thanks for stopping by the Civil War Arsenal.