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Dug Civil War Sword

Discussion in 'Civil War Uniforms & Relics' started by De Eppresso Liber, Dec 17, 2016.

  1. De Eppresso Liber

    De Eppresso Liber Retired User

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    IMG_1186.JPG

    Well, I found this yesterday in Corinth, MS. I was so excited I had to post it. It was about 10" under the surface and when I got to the blade I thought I just had another piece of scrap iron. Almost filled the hole back in right there but my pinpointer kept going off and it was the last thing I expected when I pulled it out of the hole! Its funny what you find and where you find it, I never would have even thought to dig in this location until somebody mentioned they'd found a cannonball nearby when they built their store.

    IMG_1187.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 23, 2016

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  3. kevikens

    kevikens 2nd Lieutenant

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    Looks to me to be something from well before the Civil War in terms of manufacturing. Perhaps a dragoon saber circa 1830 and resurrected for use in the War Between the States. I wish it could talk to us.
     
  4. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    Starr iron hilt
     
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  5. De Eppresso Liber

    De Eppresso Liber Retired User

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    That's the type of sword? Any chance you know when they were made? I always try to imagine the circumstances under which things were lost. I agree, I wish it could talk to us.
     
    JohnW. likes this.
  6. bankerpapaw

    bankerpapaw 2nd Lieutenant

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    Man, oh, man!! If that thing could talk!!!
     
  7. MRB1863

    MRB1863 Captain Forum Host

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    Great find!
     
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  8. zburkett

    zburkett Sergeant

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    Outstanding!
     
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  9. upton j.

    upton j. Private

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    Awesome find.
     
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  10. Frederick14Va

    Frederick14Va First Sergeant

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    It has what is commonly referred to as a "P" guard hilt on it. This was a common design on many early swords both foreign and domestic. This does not appear to be a "Starr" made sword. Starr was a manufacturer of lots of early US swords that the P-guard type was commonly found on his models. Starrs typically had common characteristics including a metal backstrap on the grip, and the terminus end of the hilt generally had a downward turned and flat sided round finale. This one does not show evidence of either. The grip section appears to have evidence of three rivets present.. which normally would suggest this likely had a two piece wooden grip that was riveted to the handle, much like the handle attached to a knife blade, but usually much less common found on swords-sabers of the era... but possibly the result of a crude repair... maybe... This could also be an early civilian Hunting sword/knife.., but since the blade is broken would be difficult to determine exactly... however if it was one.... it could place the age of the item even older...
     
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  11. De Eppresso Liber

    De Eppresso Liber Retired User

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    Wow, that's interesting. Thanks for the information!
     
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  12. E_just_E

    E_just_E Captain Forum Host

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    What you got it really early. 18th century or even earlier. Here is an M1812 (Starr, but others are similar) :

    [​IMG]

    Look at the amount of metal there is on the grip.

    What you have is built more like this:

    [​IMG]
    or this

    [​IMG]

    Both of these are colonial era Spanish swords. Hard to nail the model etc, but 18th century is likely what you have
     
  13. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    Sorry about the terse comment; my time was about to run out and I had none left then to go into details! On closer inspection of the hilt, I think @E_just_E is on to something. This type of iron P-guard was immensely popular during the last half of the Eighteenth Century and approximately the first quarter of the Nineteenth. The Starr firm was the first manufacturer to secure a U. S. government contract for dragoon (cavalry) sabers; in addition to the 1812 model pictured above there was a slightly different one made in 1821 I used to own an example of. They were based - as were many European knock-offs - on the M.1796 English light cavalry/dragoon saber. In addition to Starr there was another similar type made by the Virginia Manufactory for the State of Virginia and used by the Confederacy early in the war. Looking at the pommel of yours, however, I'm forced to admit its construction is more like that in the second photo above, even though the knucklebow is totally different. (Those are known in Spanish as Espada Ancha which translates simply as "old sword".
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2016
  14. civilken

    civilken 2nd Lieutenant

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    great find without raining on your parade I think the sword is a little earlier than the Civil War but it is still a great find.
     
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  15. De Eppresso Liber

    De Eppresso Liber Retired User

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    Great information, thanks for all the comments! I appreciate all the research, I went back and found a couple pistol bullets and a general service union button in the same location. Leads me to believe that the sword, whatever it's origin, was dropped by one of the two armies. Both occupied the area at different times. If only the sword could talk to us....
     
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  16. ucvrelics.com

    ucvrelics.com 2nd Lieutenant Forum Host

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    I would say CS as Ive spent many years hunting Corinth, Shiloh. Farmington areas and being an early war battle most of the CS items Ive found on and off the park were either pre-war or early war state issued stuff. Defiantly a Starr.
     
  17. JohnW.

    JohnW. Sergeant Major

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    That is one heck of a find no matter what era it hails from!!!!!!
     
  18. Package4

    Package4 First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    IMHO I think it is a repaired Star used in CSA service, I have a nice Star that is identified through the estate where purchased as belonging to a Virginia cavalryman, along with his 1860 Colt with hole in grips for a wrist thong. Cornith was early war western theatre and as such would have seen many "make do" weapons and accouterments. A Star, if a family weapon, would be a sentimental favorite and could be carried for a long period until a more suitable replacement might be found.

    Looking at the rivet placement, it appears as if it was done rather amateur like, as they do not line up, or was there a metal or other type strap that caused the rivets to be out of line, since lost?
     
  19. Carronade

    Carronade 2nd Lieutenant

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    Wow!
     
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  20. Patrick H

    Patrick H Captain

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    Exciting find!
     
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  21. Greyfalcon

    Greyfalcon Corporal

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    That is quite a find! :thumbsup: All I've ever found are arrowheads, which are actually pretty common if you know where to look.
     
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