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Old South Military Antiques

Minty Palmetto Armory Sabre
Item #: OS-7619

Because of rising tensions between South Carolina and the Federal Government in the late 1840s and early 50s, the South Carolina General Assembly appropriated $350,000.00 for the purpose of buying war material. As a result, William Glaze, Benjamin Flagg and James Boatwright partnered together on April 15, 1851, to make 6000 muskets with bayonets, 1000 rifles, 2000 pistols, 1000 artillery swords and 1000 cavalry sabres. The contract specified that the arms were to be made within the state, "as far as practicable”. The legislature had intended to spur the growth of a home grown arms industry, but that term "as far as practicable” allowed the Palmetto Armory to circumvent the legislature’s intention and purchase arms from northern manufacturers, mark them with their own dies and thus fill most of their contract. As Glaze marked the already tempered blades, his die rapidly deteriorated. The deterioration in the die is very obvious in this example, showing it to be among the last to be so stamped.

All of these arms were owned by the state of South Carolina and as such they were housed at the state arsenal. After the secession fever of the early 1850s died down, the arms were no longer needed and remained in storage until 1860 when a clash between North and South seemed inevitable. The arms stored in the arsenal were issued to South Carolina’s cavalry and used throughout the War.

The Model 1840 Heavy Cavalry sabre shown here is clearly marked Columbia SC. at the ricasso.

This sabre must have been captured very near the beginning of the War, because it remains in near mint condition. The grip and guard are perfect, the blade remains bright, with the slightest bit of carbon staining starting to show. The edge has one "flea bite” nick, otherwise it is perfect.

The sabre is still sheathed in its original Palmetto scabbard and the scabbard is as perfect as the sabre, not having a single ding or dent.