Old South Military Antiques

South Carolina Field & Staff Sword
Item #: OS-7203

The sword shown here is made on the English Model 1845 Infantry Officer’s Pattern. There are no markings, but was likely made in England rather than South Carolina. It was not made with customary English quality because it was intended for export. The hilt is made of brass, the grip is shagreen wrapped with twisted brass wire. Cast into the hilt is a Palmetto tree with a musket and saber crossed over the trunk. Rising above the tree is a staff, over which is draped a liberty cap. The liberty cap is an enduring symbol of liberty. It was used by French revolutionaries and worn in America during the American Revolution. After the Revolutionary War, the symbol became deeply embedded in American iconography. Virtus, as depicted in the Virginia State Seal is always holding a staff, held high on the tip of the spear is a red liberty cap. The presence of the liberty cap literally says, "Virginia will be free.” The presence of the shield and spear says "Virginia will fight and die to be free."

The association of the liberty cap and stand of arms on a South Carolina sword clearly projects the message that South Carolina, (represented by the Palmetto tree) will fight to the death (represented by the crossed musket and saber) for its freedom, (represented by the liberty cap). Liberty is held high above all else. South Carolina's message is "Give me liberty or give me death." Many Southerners believed their rebellion was an extension of the fight against tyranny that began in the American Revolution. The fact that the liberty cap and stand of arms are associated with the Palmetto tree indicates that this is a product of the fight for liberty that South Carolinians undertook during the War Between the States.

The sword is in very good condition. The hilt remains tight; the shagreen grip has some minor damage, which is shown in the photograph. The guard and grip remain tight. The blade remains bright with the exception of some minor carbon spotting. It is sheathed in its original brass mounted leather scabbard which is virtually perfect.

Price $6,500.00 USD