Old South Military Antiques

Louis Haiman & Bro. Artillery Sword
Item #: OS-7447

  These scabbards should not have a throat




  The scabbard fits into the recess in the guard




In his classic works on Confederate edged weaponry, William Albaugh referred to this rare sword as a "Dog River” (unidentified maker) product while noting similarities to Boyle & Gamble products. In the forty years since, a few more specimens have come to light and have been documented, allowing the modern historian the advantage of examining several at the same time. Upon examination, we find that all are essentially the same, having a broad, unadorned pommel cap, an oilcloth covered wooden grip wound with heavy iron wire. The underside of the guard is countersunk like the U.S. type I artillery officer’s sword, in order to allow the top of the scabbard to enter into the guard when fully sheathed.

Their blades are thirty-two inches long with unstopped fullers, the backs are flat. These swords have a separately forged tang that is hot forged into the blade, so that the two could be tempered separately, just like the Boyle & Gamble swords. Mr. Albaugh had noticed the prominent fault lines where the two pieces joined. It was there, however, that the similarity ended.

The grips of these swords, covered with oil cloth or leather and wound with iron wire led me to compare other features of this pattern with now identified Louis Haiman & Brother enlisted cavalry swords. The Haiman cavalry swords had drop forged tangs and were tempered as one piece; unlike these swords, but the painted canvas grip wraps and iron wire wraps are identical, and the blades of the Haiman cavalry swords and this pattern both have flat backs and both narrow at the ricasso.

The similarity does not end there. The scabbards of both always have a seriously exaggerated seam filled with a tin/lead alloy, brass mounts and iron drag. The lower portion of the drag is shaped differently on the cavalry sword and the artillery sword, but in a very distinctive manner they are alike. Both of the models have a distinctive 45 degree angle on the ends of the drag which is very unusual. The brass ring mounts on the original scabbards for these swords were tapered to a high central ridge and the cavalry sword scabbard mounts are rounded.

Another bit of evidence is a letter to the Confederate Ordnance Department dated October 22, 1861 that describes the firm’s artillery sword "32 inch blade with single strap guard and metal scabbard”. Note that all swords of this pattern have a 32 inch blade.

With all of these things taken together, there cannot very little doubt that this pattern was made in Columbus, Georgia by Louis Haiman & Brother.

This example is in good, unaltered condition. The blade has approximately eight "flea bite” nicks near the tip, which have been lightly hit with a file to remove their sharp edge, however one has to look carefully to see this was done. The blade has never been re-pointed. The brass guard has a very slight amount of play. The leather grip wrap is about 95% complete and the iron wire wrap is complete and tight. It is still sheathed in its original scabbard, which is in excellent condition, only having a few light pushes to mar its perfection.

Though Haiman was the largest producer of swords in the Confederacy, having produced over nine thousand cavalry swords, their artillery officer's sword is rare, and finding one in this original state difficult.


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