Old South Military Antiques

Columbus, Georgia Naval Iron Works Cutlass
Item #: OS-7011





The Confederate Naval cutlass shown here was made at the Columbus, Georgia Naval Iron Works. Usually when these are encountered, they have an iron S shaped crossguard, but some few of the earlier examples have the more desirable brass S guard like the one shown here. The wasp-wasted blade is alike on both the brass and iron mounted models. The blade is smooth, even though it looks pitted in the images. That is merely built-up patina. The wooden grip is secured by having the blade’s tang peened over a large cent, this too is typical. I suppose they figured it would cost more than a cent to make the washer so they used what they had. The iron S guard and the grip are as tight as the day it was made.

These swords were originally intended to be used by Naval boarding parties. The idea being that when two ships engaged in close quarters combat, the attacking party would leap from their own ship onto the enemy ship. The cutlass would then be used in hand to hand combat, but more importantly they could hack through the enemy ships rigging, thereby disabling the ship.

By the time of the War Between the States, rifled cannons made boarding parties obsolete just as the rifled musket had made smoothbore musket tactics obsolete. Though obsolete, cutlasses were standard equipment on Confederate ships.

Price $2,800.00 USD