Palmetto Armory Sword


Description and Photograph




     William Glaze, the most recognized name associated with the Palmetto Armory, was a native South Carolinian and businessman of Columbia, South Carolina in the decades before the War.  In 1850 the South Carolina general assembly appropriated $350,000.00 for the purpose of buying war material.  As a result, Glaze, Benjamin Flagg and James Boatwright partnered together to make muskets, rifles, bayonets, pistols and swords for the state of South Carolina in 1850 or 1851.  On April 15 the armory contracted to make 6000 muskets with bayonets, 1000 rifles, 2000 pistols, 1000 artillery swords and 1000 cavalry swords.  The contract specified that the arms were to be made within the state.  Remarkably, the firm fulfilled, or nearly fulfilled, the complete contract.

     The arms they produced were extremely high quality and all followed U.S. patterns so closely as to be nearly indistinguishable except by the maker marks.  So close are they that there is much speculation as to whether the arms were made at the Palmetto Armory, or purchased elsewhere and marked by Glaze.  However, a writer for the Southern Agriculturist describing the factory said that they were making swords and muskets and described how they formed a musket barrel.  This report, combined with the contract requirement certainly makes it appear that the weapons were made in Columbia, though the debate continues.

     The sword shown here is an excellent example of their work; the pattern is that of a Model 1840 heavy cavalry sword.  It is in near mint new condition with the exception of the missing throat washer.  It is still sheathed in its original Palmetto Armory scabbard, which is also in perfect condition.  The Columbia S.C. marking at the ricasso is crisp and clear with the exception of the missing portions resulting from Glaze having continued to use a broken die stamp and is not only to be expected, but is desirable, with this maker.  This is the finest example of this makerís sword I have ever examined.     



We buy high quality Confederate items.