Old South Military Antiques

CS & Star Foot Artillery Sword
Item #: OS-7046

This 24.5 inch Confederate Short Sword is modeled after the Roman warrior’s sword of ancient times and more recently the artillery sword of the Napoleonic War era. In fact, I have seen war time billing invoices that actually refer to these short swords as "Roman Swords.”

In the Napoleonic era, cavalry were used to take batteries because of their ability to rush upon them between fires. These swords were issued to foot artillery soldiers, for the express purpose of dropping to their knees and cutting the legs out from under the enemy’s charging cavalry. While this may have occurred during the War Between the States, the rifled cannon had made these short quick dashes obsolete, just as the Minnie rifle had made the bayonet charge obsolete (even though it took three years to recognize it). This obsolescence relegated the foot artillery sword to service clearing fields of fire and beating into submission recalcitrant swine. However, as a symbol of the brutality and the close nature of War Between the States era combat, it has few equals.

It is commonly referred to as the CS & Star. It takes its name from the crudely cast C S in the cross guard and the star cast into the pommel.

This example is in very good condition. The blade is beautiful; it has not been cleaned, sharpened, re-pointed or altered in any way. The blade and the grip have a deep, natural patina. It has very tiny bit of play between blade and grip, but I stress, it is a tiny bit.

While nothing Confederate can be termed common, the frequency with which these swords are encountered leave no doubt as to their large-scale production. This is the most widely reproduced Confederate artillery sword. Notice the exceptionally poor casting of the hilt on this original example. The hilts were cast hollow so the original specimens often have casting flaws that penetrate to the core. These were often such drastic flaws, that often there were holes in the brass when the hilt was removed from the mold. These flaws no doubt vexed the founder, but today we appreciate the difficult times in which they were working and admire these same flaws.


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