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Old South Military Antiques

CS & Star Artillery Short Sword
Item #: OS-7625

  The red on the blade is a reflection

  The red on the blade is a reflection

This 24 inch, Confederate Short Sword is modeled after the Roman warrior’s sword of ancient times and more recently the artillery sword of the Napoleonic War era. In fact, I have seen war time billing invoices that actually refer to these short swords as "Roman Swords.”

It is commonly referred to as the CS & Star. It takes its name from the crudely cast C S in the cross guard and the star cast into the pommel.

In the Napoleonic era, cavalry were used to take batteries because of their ability to rush upon them between fires. These swords were issued to foot artillery soldiers, for the express purpose of dropping to their knees and cutting the legs out from under the enemy’s charging cavalry. While this may have occurred during the War Between the States, the rifled cannon had made these short quick dashes obsolete, just as the Minnie rifle had made the bayonet charge obsolete (even though it took three years to recognize it). This obsolescence relegated the foot artillery sword to service clearing fields of fire and beating into submission recalcitrant swine. However as a symbol of the brutality and close nature of War Between the States era combat, it has few equals.

This pattern was originally sheathed in two different scabbards, one wooden with tin mounts, and one made of leather and having brass mounts like the one shown here. The original leather scabbards are much rarer; to some degree perhaps because less were made, but primarily because leather did not survive the intervening years nearly as well as wood. The scabbard is missing the throat stud and the toe’s finial. The leather, aside from the surface crazing is in remarkably good, strong condition.

The sword’s hilt remains as tight as the day it was made. The blade is in beautiful condition, with light scattered pitting. The blade’s tip has been slightly repointed, but it must a tiny bit indeed, as the blade is still a full twenty four inches. Though the tip of the toe finial and the stud, the leather is remarkably good and the sword is in very good condition.