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.

7 thoughts on “Louis Haiman & Brother Enlisted Man’s Cavalry Saber

  1. Mr. West I am looking for info on Louis Haiman and business dealings. Did Mr. Haiman also import products. What marks are associated with Haiman? Where did he live before moving to Columbus? Eric Fairbanks, Boulder, Wyoming

    • Eric, please see the attachments below, thought it better for me to send these rather then explain in my own words…..hope this helps. I will send more then one email due to size of images.

      Regards, Gene West

  2. I am the 2nd Lt Commander of my SCV camp and I restore and collect swords , and I have volunteered to give a talk on the Haiman Bros. and their sword factory in Columbus, Ga. 50 miles from my house . I have the history of the factory but I want more on the Brothers themselves . What part of Prussia were they from – what they did after the war .

  3. Hi Mr. West. I am seeking information on what I believe maybe a Light Artillery sword Made by Haiman and Brothers. I saw the one you posted and wonder if you would give me your opinion.Yours was the first Light Artillery I have seen.

    I an not looking for an appraisal, just your thoughts an observations. I am fairly knowledgeable of period Federal swords but not so much Southern swords. The sword I possess supposedly descended from a family member who had been an enlisted trooper with the 5th Alabama Cavalry from Troy, Alabama. It is crudely constructed. There are no definitive markings on the blade however there is a marking just barely visible on the blade disappearing up under the grip. Other than that it appears pretty much as yours. One thing of interest is that there are traces of red paint on the scabbard as if the scabbard had been painted.

    If I sent photos would you be willing to look at them?


    • Mike, what you have is a Confederate sword, probably Haiman Brothers…….someone has over cleaned it at sometime which not only hurts the way it looks but also it’s value. All in all it’s a very nice sword, congratulations.

      Regards, Gene

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