Old South Military Antiques

Boyle & Gamble Enlisted Cavalry Sword
Item #: OS-6407






The cavalry sword shown here is the classic Confederate Cavalry sword. There has long been a controversy as to the maker of this sword. Some say Kenansville because it is usually found in the same scabbard as the Kenansville cavalry sword. However, nothing else about the sword resembles a Kenansville in any manner. It has also been suggested that this is a product of Boyle and Gamble because of the similarity of the grip and the pommel to the Boyle and Gamble cavalry officer’s sabre, though the basket is totally different.

I own two of this pattern and have seen many more in an early Boyle and Gamble scabbard that were unquestionably original to the swords. This presents several possibilities, one, that someone was making scabbards and selling them to both Boyle and Gamble and Kenansville. This is very likely as it required different skills to make a scabbard than those needed to make a sword and it is known that Boyle and Gamble out sourced their officer’s sword scabbards to the Bosher Carriage Company. There are also several other sword makers, most notably, William McElroy and E.J. Johnston who shared common foundry men and other craftsmen. Also there are several North Carolinaguns that share common component parts. In short, there can be no doubt that out sourcing was common throughout the Confederacy.

Another possibility is that this sword is a third Kenansville pattern, but seems unlikely because Kenansville already had two models similar to each other, both of which usually utilize Roman numeral bench numbers. Bench numbers are never found on the sword shown here. It is my personal firm belief that this is a Boyle & Gamble’s enlisted man’s cavalry sword.

It has a brass guard with a leather covered grip, and is wound with a copper wire wrap. The blade has a single, unstopped fuller. The scabbard is crudely lapped and has a brass throat and ring mounts. The rings and drag are iron. The sword and scabbard’s condition is phenomenal. The guard is tight and retains one hundred percent of its original leather grip wrap and all double strand copper wire, which you can hardly see because it has turned black. It remains as tight as it was when new. The blade remains near bright and does not have a single nick. Its only imperfection is that it was sharpened during its time of use. This was rare, but it did occur, especially with early swords before the cavalryman learned they were not for chopping but for poking. The throat washer is a replacement. The scabbard is a sight to behold. It is in virtually new condition.

Price $5,950.00 USD

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