Sword and pistol belt for artillerymen


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redbob

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#2
Might be a dumb question, but I'll risk it.

What is the appropriate sword and pistol belt for a light artillery NCO?
The only dumb question is one that isn't asked, while there was an artillery sword for enlisted men; in actuality the only people that
19366079_1491040514281129_8555794420329075423_n.jpg
wore them were the officers. The NCO's probably wore a regular pistol belt w/pistol which was usually used to put down injured horses. Gunners wore a belt with a roller buckle which held a pouch with primers and a lanyard in it. A Gunner's Haversack was worn by the man who brought the round from the artillery chest to the gun. Photo LoC
 
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#3
I believe you are mistaken. The enlisted sabers were made in large numbers for almost 25 years. The military bureaucracy may have been as wasteful and inefficient in the 19th century as some folks say it is now, but I can't imagine they would spend so much money for so long on an item that wasn't carried. Also, many M1840 artillery sabers show plenty of honest wear - they wouldn't get that way by sitting unissued in a warehouse.
 
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#4
Here is another question. What buckle specifically would have been worn by an artillery NCO? I would think the standard 1855? NCO/Officer belt and buckle, but as per norm I'm most likely wrong. Someone please correct me on this if I'm wrong.
 
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#5
"What buckle specifically would have been worn by an artillery NCO? " from Cpl. Smith.
This is what I am actually wondering about, too. What the actual gear was like. As for the belt, holster, etc., would the artillery use the basic cavalry rig? What kind of buckle? Where there state variations?
 

redbob

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#6
"What buckle specifically would have been worn by an artillery NCO? " from Cpl. Smith.
This is what I am actually wondering about, too. What the actual gear was like. As for the belt, holster, etc., would the artillery use the basic cavalry rig? What kind of buckle? Where there state variations?
I would think that they would have worn the basic NCO Belt Plate on a belt and would have added the cap box, cartridge box and holster as needed. If they weren't wearing a sword the straps would have gotten in their way and I don't know if there were any state variations. Photo by the Horse Soldier
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#7
Before going too far down this rabbit hole, take a look at John C. Tidball's, The Artillery Service in the War of the Rebellion, 1861 - 1865, Lawrence Kaplan, ed. (Yardley, PA" Westholme, 2011). Tidball, a career Army officer and commander of the Army of the Potomac's 2nd BDE, Horse Artillery, wrote specifically about pistols, sabers, and small arms for the artillery. In short, Redbob is absolutely right. To cite Tidball, the sabers were "soon relegated to innocuous disuse … on the march they soon found their way, with other trash of its kind, to the caissons and carriages .. until dropped from the property returns with the remark, "lost in action". Some sabers were retained for NCOs as badges of authority and those not thus armed were supplied with revolvers.

I hope this helps a bit.
 
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#8
I would think that they would have worn the basic NCO Belt Plate on a belt and would have added the cap box, cartridge box and holster as needed. If they weren't wearing a sword the straps would have gotten in their way and I don't know if there were any state variations. Photo by the Horse Soldier
View attachment 307411
state variation would only appeared in militia units
 
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#10
Neat photos. On blowing them up in size, it appears all the troops except the two in the first studio picture are wearing sabers. That being said, I have no problem in believing soldiers in the field engaging in an actual campaign would put them aside as a nuisance. I can't see they would have been of much use in a war as fought in the 1860s. While in garrison or training, however, they probably followed the regs and wore the pesky things.
 
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#11
Looked around at some other threads and found this picture.

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/fo...ry-c-1st-rhode-island-light-artillery.158044/

All four have swords, and I see one holster. However, this is a posed picture - it doesn't mean these corporals routinely wore their swords. I cannot speak to prevalence and/or actual use of swords by artillerymen during the ACW. No experience on my part.

However, after over ten years of re-enacting Civil War artillery, I can't imagine actually wearing a sword while handling the piece. It would just get in the way. For many years, our unit has eschewed sidearms of any kind. This is mostly a reaction to seeing many overly-armed cannoneers at some events, usually corresponding to also wearing inflated ranks, as well. We have one NCO at events, corporal rank, and shift the responsibility around between us. Recently, however, we have been considering having the corporal wear a sidearm, mostly as a symbol of rank, but also as it may be more historically accurate to have at least one man armed, if only to put down horses. We have never really given any thought to what the actual accoutrements should be. I appreciate everyone's help.

Four Corporals.jpg
 
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