Artillery swords are often dismissed as outdated and useless at the time of the war. Part of this is probably due to their general absence in period photographs of field cannoneers, and also to the remarks of General Gibbon, who argued that small arms of any type should not be given to cannoneers as it would lead them to use their significantly lower firepower to cover a withdrawl rather than sticking to the piece and driving off an attacker with canister. Gibbon's remarks were prompted by suggestion that field artillerymen should carry short swords, carbines, and pistols into the field. This proposition was not fulfilled during the war to my knowledge. Rather the 1861 regulations called for only the chief of piece to carry a saber on the battlefield, so he could use it to direct the piece, much as a line officer uses it to direct his infantry. The sabers of the men actually manning the gun would be placed in or on the ammunition chests. I think this was so they would have access to them whilst riding on the limber- when this practice was abolished they probably went elsewhere and were almost never used. Drivers would also carry this weapon (and sometimes pistols or possibly musketoons) in case they had to cut their way out of a tight spot. As they were not manning the piece they would not have to worry about the weapons getting in the way. They also had the option of hanging the sword on the saddle. Cannoneers I think would only usually wear their swords, etc. when performing guard duty, or if detailed to act as cavalrymen. I think part of the idea that artillery swords were useless comes from short swords, which WOULD be absolutely useless on the battlefield... and thus were issued to foot artillery, viz. heavy artillery which almost always fights behind breastworks. A short sword would be of vastly greater use in trench warfare, and its length would prevent its getting in the way (as much). The field artillery were to be issued the 1840 model light artillery saber (in practice some federal artillery got cavalry sabers), which being longer could be used on horseback or as a guide for maneuvers. Anyhow just my thoughts on the subject.