|Description and Photograph||
The sword shown here is one of the most exquisite I have ever offered. It was made in New Orleans, Louisiana by Agrider H. Dufilho. Dufilho made some of the finest swords of the Confederate era. 1860 found him located at 21 Royal Street as a maker of surgical instruments and fine cutlery of every description. The Confederate government purchased of him on May 11, 1861, 2 amputation cases, 1 trepanning, on May 30, 1861, 2 amputating cases, on March 27, 1862, 50 Naval cutlasses, on April 5, 1862, 50 cutlasses and on April 15, 1862, 100 cutlasses. On April 24, 1862 the city fell, thus ending Dufilho’s sales to the Confederate government, and certainly the end of his Confederate sword making enterprise for private sale. Thus, this sword had to have been made prior to the end of April, 1862.
1878 found an H. Dufilho as principle of the Live Oak, boy’s school at the corner of Constance and Ninth Streets.
The sword’s brass scabbard has an inscription on the reverse which reads: “To J G deL’Isle from his friend Jos Durand.”
Jules G. DeLisle was appointed 1st Lieutenant of Company K, 1st Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 1st Division Louisiana Militia on June 15, 1861. By October he was 2nd Lieutenant of Captain Surgis’s Company. In the spring of 1862, he was 2nd Lieutenant in Company C, 28th Louisiana Regiment, which became the 29th Louisiana Infantry in the Confederate Army. On August 25, he was ordered to General D.H. Hill in the Department of North Carolina as a clerk in the Quartermaster Corps. What happened in between is unknown, but he was “employed in some capacity by CS Government at Augusta Georgia as early as March 16, 1863 and as late as February 8, 1865” according to the U.S. Government. On January 9, 1865 he was officially appointed a bonding agent by the Confederate Secretary of War.
His friend, Joseph Durand was a 23 year old New Orleans merchant and native of ample means. Joseph must have presented this beautiful sword to his friend in the spring of 1862 when he was made 2nd Lieutenant of Company C, 28th Louisiana Regiment, because at this time he entered Confederate service, thus the CS and very soon thereafter New Orleans fell to the Yankees.
The sword is a beautiful work of art. It is of the foot officer’s pattern, which is correct for a 2nd Lieutenant. The guard is slightly loose, but otherwise perfect. The grip is wrapped with brown leather, dyed black. Much of the black dye has worn off from so much use and a very little of the leather is worn down to the wooden grip. The grip is wound with a double twist brass wire, which remains intact and tight. The blade is simply the most beautiful one could imagine and is in its frosty, pristine condition. The blade is etched with crossed cannon and cannon balls, surmounted by a First National Confederate flag, backed by bayonets and lances, in an extraordinary display of symbolism. Nearly the entire length of the blade is ornately etched with highly intricate vine patterns changing into oak leaves and acorns, from which comes the mighty oak. The centerpiece of the etchers art is an old English script CS within a ribbon, rolling once again into the ornate vine pattern.
The scabbard is also a work of art, made completely of brass, the ring mounts are decorated with the same vine relief pattern found on the swords etching. The scabbard has one small dent near the drag on the reverse side and there is a slight indention where the inscription is engraved into the surface. The edges above and below the inscription at one time had cracks and it was very nicely repaired with brass. The presentation is on the reverse between the ring mounts, and exactly opposite is the engraving, filled by paint which reads “God and my Country”. This inscription alone elicits my deepest appreciation for this beautiful sword.
The sword’s history, motto, maker, and most of all its phenomenal condition set this sword apart as a very, very special historic artifact of the War.