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Thread: Help identifying Mole sword carried by Union Civil War officer

  1. #26
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    That is a definate match, the "C" looks like a C in this case. It would be highly unlikely any Canadian marked sword was used in the American Civil War as all had to be accounted for and none were disposed of by the crown this early.

  2. #27
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    Will,

    To me the mark is not US. We don't see that many regimentally marked swords from the ACW. Most regiments were volunteer made up of individually recruited companies or pre-war militia companies that were amalgamated into regiments at state muster sites. From muster into regiments, they would be pledged to the US or CS governments for service.

    The markings look like a typical British fraction to me. Not sure what they mean, but just don't look American to me.
    Andre F. Ducote
    Mississippi

  3. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Will Mathieson View Post
    That is a definate match, the "C" looks like a C in this case. It would be highly unlikely any Canadian marked sword was used in the American Civil War as all had to be accounted for and none were disposed of by the crown this early.

    I tend to agree with you Will that it is hard explanation.
    Andre F. Ducote
    Mississippi

  4. #29
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    Dec 2004
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    Ottawa, Canada
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    The LC / Lower Canada marked swords I've seen have a similar style "L" and are as crudely stamped. Here is a pic of my 1853 scabbard.


    Rob
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    Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit

  5. #30
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    Hi--I stopped receiving e-mails on this thread for some reason so didn't realize it had continued beyond 12/17 and am just picking it up now. Thank you all for the thoughtful replies--this is a fantastic forum and I really appreciate all the great feedback.

    My ancestor's ACW regimental and service history are all confirmed by my own primary research in U.S. Archives as well as paper records still in the family and marked carte d'vistes. BUT, as pointed out above by several, I can't definitively establish that he carried or even owned this sword during the ACW.

    Along with a few other items from the ACW, we have the sword and his revolver in the family, and both have always been identified as his service sidearms. He and his wife raised my grandmother, who had the sword, so the chain of ownership is fairly short. However, in a carte d' viste in which he is wearing his 1st Lt. uniform that I can reliably date to a month or two after he mustered out in 1865, he is not wearing the sword.

    He was a GAR officer after the ACW and I suppose may well have acquired it anytime up to his death in 1913 for ceremonial purposes. I'd be disappointed to learn he didn't carry it during the war, but am more interested in the truth. (Also, I have to agree with Andre that it would have been a huge pain to carry. He was 5'7" and the sword is 42.5" long. I'm 2.5" taller and it seems unwieldy to me.)

    Am I correct in saying that the verdict of this forum is that this sword did, indeed, come from Lower Canada, bears the marks of British service (in addition to manufacture) and therefore definitively could NOT have been his ACW sidearm, but must have been acquired at some point after the end of the war?

  6. #31
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    Established as a Canadian sword, they were not sold as obsolete by the government till after 1900.
    Canada was not selling or lending arms to the US, they were thought as a possible threat after the Civil War.
    The only way this sword could be acquired was purchase at time of disposal or later. Canada held tight control over all weapons, swords being no exception.
    Canadian field artillery used them for a long time, many other swords were stored till after 1900.

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