Confederate Light Artillery Saber

Some of the most sought after edged weapons in collectors collections are Confederate swords. Most commonly they are Calvary 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.

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.

Kenansville D-Guard Artillery Short Sword

The following Confederate Short Sword is attributed to Louis Froelich of Wilmington North Carolina. Mr. Froelich born 1817 in Bavaria (Germany), he and his family soon traveled to Liverpool England where he worked as a mechanic/machinist. June of 1860 he and his family leave Liverpool for New York. By the spring of 1861 he and his family are living in Wilmington North Carolina.

At the start of the War Of Northern Aggression, Wilmington was North Carolina’s busiest seaport and largest city with a thriving German community and probably the reason Froelich chooses it for his home. He takes a job working at the Wilmington Button Manufactory where he is soon promoted as “Director” but the factory closes in the summer of 1861.

Not one to sit idle the highly skilled Froelich recognizes the need for arms and equipment the new Southern Government would need. He soon starts manufacturing quality edged weapons, such as Bowie Knifes, Swords, Pikes, and D-Handles. In September 1861 he partners with a Hungarian immigrant named Bela Estvan and they name there weapons manufacturing firm “Wilmington Sword Factory”. Although the circumstances surrounding their business connection remain unclear, Froelich apparently planned to produce the weapons while Estvan would handle sales and distribution.

Soon after opening the Wilmington Sword Factory they change the name to C.S.A. Arms Factory. The change perhaps reflects the owners concern that potential customers might mistakenly believe the Wilmington Sword Factory was limited to the manufacture of only swords. The change also reflected there devotion to the Confederate States of America. There loyalty apparently impressed the government in Richmond and led to a lucrative arms contract.

During the morning hours of February 1863 the Confederate States Armory catches fire and destroys the industrial complex. Shortly after he dissolves his partnership with Bela Estvan and relocates his armory in Kenansville, North Carolina.

In July 1863 the Union Army storms the town and burns the factory. Not one for giving up so quickly Froelich rebuilds and by November 1863 is producing edged weapons, knapsacks and accoutrements. He is financially troubled at this point due to relocation and fires but he continues to do whatever he can for the Southern Government.

After the war Froelich and his family become farmers, planting orchards of apples trees, pear trees, peach trees, plum, apricot and fig trees. Records show that the family had profits of $2663.25 from their agricultural pursuits in 1870. He must have been as good as a farmer as he was a businessman. Louis Froelich dies of consumption (tuberculosis) in Halifax County N.C. October 27,1873 at the age of 56.

Louis Froelich’s legacy as an arms maker to the Confederacy survives today. The Bavarian craftsman immigrated to America seeking a new life, only to find himself situated in the South as war breaks out. He took advantage of the opportunity to provide for his growing family by manufacturing the much needed weapons and equipment for North Carolina and Confederate Troops.

His skills as an industrial craftsman are evident in examples of his now scarce swords, sabers, bayonets, pikes and Bowie Knives. They were all of high quality and were widely used by the Army of Northern Virginia. For the duration of the war North Carolina armed and supplied its 125,000 troops more effectively than any other Southern State, in large part because of the efforts of independent industrialists like Louis Froelich.

So is everybody still with me? I’m hoping that you haven’t zoned out by now,lol…..

I have the pleasure of introducing the newest member of the Civil War Arsenal, which is a Artillery Short Sword sometimes referred to as a Kenansville D-Handle or D-Guard. It’s overall length is 21” long, the blade measures 15 ¾”. The spear point blade is about ¼” thick towards the center of the oval shaped cross section. The grip handle is made of walnut and the guards are of steel stock. The grip is basically round in shape except for a flattened area on either side running up about 3 ¼” up from the guard.

Scabbards are extremely rare especially ones with the leather throat belt loop still in tact. The example that we see here is far from complete but it is a survivor with probably about 65% of it intact. The leather they used for these knifes was usually poor quality which became brittle and cracked easy. The design flaw to this scabbard was the leather belt loop would rub against the D-Handle guard. Over time this would tear though the leather loop dropping it from the belt it was attached too hindering it useless.

So that just about does it for now, I hope you enjoy the photos and if you have any questions about this Knife or any of the other weapons in the Civil War Arsenal feel free to contact me.
Attn: Gene West civilwararsenal@yahoo.com

CS Star, Confederate Artillery Short Sword

Even though considered scarce this type Short Sword is one of the more common Confederate edged weapons.

These Short Sword are often reproduced so the buyer needs to beware, however there are many ways of identifying an authentic sword versus a reproduction. If you look closely at the handle you will clearly see the casting flaws. The star at the top of the pommel rarely has the five points you would normally see if it were perfect and even if one side did the other side wouldn’t. The CS on the guard at the base of the handle are barely readable. The handle is hollow and many have holes in them, some were even filled with lead. You’ll also see where the mechanics filed the rough edges.

The brass handles have a high copper content that’s often very noticeable. The blades are crude but cleaner in appearance then the handles, but all still have there flaws. There is a single nonstop fuller that’s about 13” long which is never straight. Believed by many to have been manufactured in Selma Alabama or Macon Georgia.

So that brings me to the next example in the Civil War Arsenal. The overall length of this Short Sword is 24 ½” long with a handle of 5 ½” and blade 19”. It weighs 2 ¾ lbs which would make it cumbersome to carry, especially on a long march with all the gear a foot soldier would have to carry.

Typical of many Confederate weapons you will never find two alike, but I believe that’s the beauty in them. Thanks for stopping by and if you have any questions about this Short Sword or any of the other weapons in the Civil War Arsenal email me at civilwararsenal@yahoo.com attn: Gene West

Confederate and Union Artillery Swords


Some of the neatest edged weapons produced were made during the Civil War. The Artillery Sword which was obsolete at the outbreak of the war is arguably the neatest of all, even though most were made before and during the Mexican American War. Which leads me to my next example of Civil War Arsenal Weapons.

The first example is of the M-1832 Foot Artillery Short Sword. This is the most common U.S. example of the artillery sword. Manufactured by Ames in Springfield Mass. and stamped U.S, makers mark, date and inspector. These swords have a fish scale handle with an Eagle on each side of the pommel and have 3 fullers on each side of the blade. The overall length is 25″and the blade is 19”long. This sword would have been used by artillery men to swipe at the bodies of horses rushing them, but this was a very Napoleonic type of fighting and like I said earlier by the outbreak of the Civil War this was an obsolete way of warring. However obsolete I still love these swords.

My next example is of a Confederate Foot Artillery Sword (Maker Unknown). Because of the star in the pommel this sword was originally thought to be of Texas background and others claimed it was carried by the Louisiana Tigers the assumption was based on Lord knows what logic (William A. Albaugh III Quote). This sword is the most common of all Confederate Edged Weapons, yet its maker remains unknown. The hilt is brass, very poorly made cast, so much so that the C.S. in the cross guard can barely be identified and the Star in the pommel lacks the points. The blade is 18 ½ long, double edged with an unstopped fuller on each side. No makers mark appear. If you’re lucky enough to have a scabbard it would be made of wood with tin mounts, but I have also seen ones made completely of tin but I’m not sure if these were Civil War accurate. Most Civil War Historians believe these were made somewhere in Georgia or possible South Carolina, but we’ll probably never know for sure. William A. Ablaugh wrote in his Confederate Edged Weapons Book (The Bible of CW Edged Weapons) It is for sure that the Star in the pommel has no Texas connotation and I am sure that the Louisiana Tigers would have turned up their noses at such a weapon due to the lack of quality.

A side story about this Confederate Sword is that I bought it from a Rock Island Auction with 4 other swords. I paid about $1300.00 for all 5 pieces 2 of which were World War 2 era so I sold them on ebay for about $450.00 another sword is 1840 Persian which has an etched blade and a leather scabbard in good condition and yet another sword is Civil War Calvary S.K. Solingen with no scabbard. So I guess I did pretty good at that auction. You might say I got this Confederate Sword for little or no money, NOT BAD if I do say so my self