Old South Military Antiques

Louis Haiman Cavalry Sword/Columbus Georgia
Item #: OS-6602

Columbus, Georgia sword makers Louis and Elias Haiman operated the largest sword manufactory within the Southern Confederacy. They rented the top floor of a building at the corner of Thomas and Short streets, right beside the Haiman armory. Here they set up the Confederate States Sword Factory. They produced more cavalry swords for the Confederacy than all the other manufactures combined. They also made fine officer’s swords, though in very limited number. The officer’s swords were made not for the Confederacy, but for the retail trade to Confederate officers. They were etched by a local Columbus jeweler by the name of Spear, or a man named Kinsel. The Haiman’s sold their officer’s sword at a street level showroom on Broad Street. These swords were made with an etched panel, which could be personalized at the purchaser’s request. This example has the panel, but it was never filled in. The company advertised "at reasonable prices for officers and sergeants, finished in the best quality for sale at the Confederate states Sword factory of Columbus, GA. We can furnish officers swords with belts for $25 or $22 if four were ordered in one lot. Our swords are tested according the rules laid down by the Manual of War.” The company also produced brass belt plates and cartridge boxes, leather bayonet mountings, camp stove parts, shotgun bayonets, rifle bayonets, wagon covers, revolvers, (they had a contract for 10,000, but very few were produced) mess plates and tin cups. There most important contribution to the Confederate war effort was the production of enlisted cavalry swords. Of these they produced more than 9000, making the by many times over the largest sword maker in the Confederacy.

All of Haiman’s Cavalry Swords are nearly identical, thus are easily recognizable. Nearly all have the distinct forging fault at the ricasso; this fault was made be the tang being formed by a drop hammer forming the blade’s tang. All have the same style grip tapering down from basket to pommel, covered in leather or painted canvas. They are usually wrapped with a single strand of iron wire and painted canvas, though there are some rare examples wrapped with a doubled, small gauge copper wire or with a twisted double strand brass wire. Notice also the distinctive scabbard. All have an exaggerated lapped seam, but in this case the filler is so complete that the sword’s scabbard is nearly smooth even on the back side. The brass mounts, iron carrying rings, flat topped iron throat and an iron drag with tapered ends are all Haiman hallmarks.

The example shown here has a virtually perfect, painted canvas covered grip, wrapped with a single strand of iron wire. The light colored areas are only missing some of the paint, not the canvas. The guard is perfect and has a beautiful even patina though the hilt does have a slight amount of loose play. The sword is still sheathed in its original, flawless Haiman scabbard. The scabbard is as perfect as it is possible for one to be; not having even a single ding in its surface. The sword has a very nice blade, but it has been re-tipped, meaning that perhaps an eighth of an inch of the tip was broken, and it has been re-pointed in modern times. There is about a six inch section of the blade that has been hit with a file. This was done during the War to take off a burr that either a factory flaw, or where another blade struck and damaged this blade.

Price $4,800.00 USD

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