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Thread: Saber of the US Cavalry 1906.

  1. #1
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    Saber of the US Cavalry 1906.

    Hi everyone.
    I would like to ask the American cavalry saber experts about restyling (in the language of motorists) of the 1860 saber, produced by Ames in 1906 with an iron guard, about this:

    - the original scabbard of the 1906 model had rings on the scabbard that were closely spaced to each other, in contrast to the original scabbard of the 1860 model, where the rings on the scabbard were located farther apart. However, on some models of 1906 that are currently found on the market or among collectors on the scabbard, the rings are located, as on sabers of 1860 - far from each other - hence the question: this is a scabbard left over from sabers of 1860, which were equipped with models of 1906 Or is it already a complete set made by collectors or sellers?

    - When the 1906 models went to the troops, was the guard white iron or painted black?
    The attached photos on the 1906 saber show a scabbard with far-apart rings.
    Thanks in advance to everyone who answered my questions.
    Sincerely, Vladimir.
    Attached Images Attached Images      

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    M1860s are also found with M1906 scabbards. Mis-matched scabbards are very common with the M1860/M1906 sabers and it appears the mis-matching dates from the service life of the sabers. The M1906 did not replace the M1860 but rather supplemented the CW supply which after 40 years of use were finally running down. The new sabers were commingled with the older within units so it's not surprising the scabbards got switched from time-to-
    time. I understand the hilts were darkened but I'm not certain of the process used. They were not painted black but rather browned or coated with some darkening substance.

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    Richard, thanks for the answer.
    I understand everything.

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    Hello everyone.
    The saber shown above came to me.
    I want to ask about the mark of the army inspector-inspector standing on the blade.
    The first letter is not readable, because the number "51" is stuffed on top, but I think that this is the letter "J", which corresponds to the J.H.C. -J.H.Coope.
    But this saber received sabers in the period from 1870 to 1879. The saber was issued in 1906. How can this be?
    Or did Ames use blades from old Orbazets sabers from 1860?
    So what does the typed number 51 mean - the number of a cavalry regiment?
    Sincerely, Vladimir.
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    The initials "J.H.C" are these of long-time Springfield inspector James H. Clayton. The "51" is likely the rack number.

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    Richard, thanks for the answer.
    Tell me what years Inspector James H. Clayton worked in.
    Sincerely, Vladimir.

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    The carrying rings are positioned further apart than what one would expect to see on the regulation M1906 scabbard. I'm not a collector of these; as stated above, it's possible they reused the M1860 scabbards at the Springfield Armory.
    Vladimir, is this scabbard's drag marked with inspector's initials?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dmitry Z~G View Post
    The carrying rings are positioned further apart than what one would expect to see on the regulation M1906 scabbard. I'm not a collector of these; as stated above, it's possible they reused the M1860 scabbards at the Springfield Armory.
    Vladimir, is this scabbard's drag marked with inspector's initials?
    You are correct; the rings are too far apart for a M1906 scabbard. It's a M1860 scabbard.

    The sabers were stored at arsenals and armories across the country before issue and return to and from units. Sabers and scabbards were repaired at these locations, as well.

    The M1906 was nothing more than an updated M1860 meant to supplement the numbers of the older saber, not to replace it. Any unit would likely have had a mixture of the two. It's very possible that the M1860 scabbard was swapped for the original M1906 scabbard at the unit or at an armory or arsenal. It's also very possible that someone acquired a surplus M1906 saber without a scabbard and used a M1860 scabbard, since it fit just fine.

    I wouldn't consider the pairing to be "period incorrect". Just not "as purchased" by the government.

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    Hello everyone.
    On the scabbard there are no initials of the inspector who took the saber. There are also no initials or other marks on the metal parts of the handle.
    Only on the blade on one side is the stamp of the Springfield Arsenal and the Ames brand, and on the other side the inspector's initials and the number "51".
    Sincerely, Vladimir.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir Sukhomlinov View Post
    Hello everyone.
    On the scabbard there are no initials of the inspector who took the saber. There are also no initials or other marks on the metal parts of the handle.
    Only on the blade on one side is the stamp of the Springfield Arsenal and the Ames brand, and on the other side the inspector's initials and the number "51".
    Sincerely, Vladimir.
    The flaming shell is not the stamp of the Springfield Arsenal. It's an Ordnance Department stamp.

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    Understood thanks.

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    Just so everyone knows, here is the proper circa 1906 scabbard with close set rings. This style is because around 1902 the sword suspension system changed from two separate straps (slings) to two shorter straps that were closer together.

    I hope this clarifies the discussion a bit.
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    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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    If in 1902 the straps for carrying sabers were changed to shorter ones, was their length sufficient to carry sabers with widely spaced rings on the scabbard? Otherwise, it makes no sense to wear a scabbard with widely spaced rings after 1902.

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    I think the old swords and scabbards could still be worn on the new slings but it would be a stretch. The then new M1902 Army Officer Saber and the Experimental Saber had close set rings but the rings on the old regulation M1872 swords all had the old widely spaced rings. Of course the US Officer Staff & Field Sword had three suspension rings so it depends upon which sword you are talking about.
    "You can't please everyone, so you have to please yourself." Ricky Nelson

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    Quote Originally Posted by George Wheeler View Post
    Just so everyone knows, here is the proper circa 1906 scabbard with close set rings. This style is because around 1902 the sword suspension system changed from two separate straps (slings) to two shorter straps that were closer together.
    It was more of a center-of-balance issue for a broken or unattached saber strap. With closer rings placed above the center of gravity of a sheathed saber, the scabbard wouldn't tip over and dump the saber out if the top strap somehow became disconnected.

    I'm guessing it was a problem. Probably because enlisted saber straps were secured with a button pushed through a slit in the leather instead of those sturdy clips on the officer straps.
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    Last edited by Sean Scott; 04-18-2021 at 10:36 AM.

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    Maybe I'm doing tautology, but the 1906 saber restyle was intended to fill in the missing pieces of sabers for cavalry soldiers to replace the worn-out sabers of 1860, and, once on sabers arr. In 1860, the scabbard of 1906 is found and vice versa, then the troops did not make a distinction in the scabbard. And this was when the new belts of 1902 were adopted for carrying the saber by cavalry soldiers, which could be inconvenient when wearing sabers with a scabbard of the 1860 model - I am talking about privates, not about officers, since this is a saber of privates. Therefore, the question arises - if, when wearing a saber with a scabbard of the 1860 model, an inconvenience arose on the 1902 belt, why then such a belt was adopted, or why did the 1860 scabbard remain in service?
    Of course, if we consider that since 1865 the US cavalry was a purely nominal unit that did not take part in any battle and sabers were most likely rusted in warehouses and were issued to the troops at best for parades, it turns out that the one who took on armament belt model 1902, was completely out of touch with reality and did not have any experience of hostilities.
    After all, military ammunition, especially in cavalry, at least in the European theater of operations, was verified for years, with sweat and blood, and there was nothing superfluous in it and there were no inconveniences, therefore, such flaws and do not match in ammunition and weapons cause confusion ...
    Another example completely inappropriate for its time is the Patton saber of the 1913 model, which was adopted by the US cavalry, apparently under patronage, to please Patton's ambitions. These sabers, apparently, were lying in military warehouses without any use and then were sold to collectors. An example of a thoughtless waste of public money in the adoption of an item of weapons that was completely unnecessary for its time.
    Sincerely, Vladimir.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir Sukhomlinov View Post
    Maybe I'm doing tautology, but the 1906 saber restyle was intended to fill in the missing pieces of sabers for cavalry soldiers to replace the worn-out sabers of 1860, and, once on sabers arr. In 1860, the scabbard of 1906 is found and vice versa, then the troops did not make a distinction in the scabbard.
    In the early 1900s, Congress authorized several new Cavalry regiments. The M1906 sabers were to equip these new regiments and replenish saber stocks. From an issue standpoint, there was no difference between the M1860 and the M1906. They were issued interchangeably from whatever was available in stock; some units remained with M1860s, some units were completely equipped with M1906s, and some units would have a mix after turning damaged M1860 sabers in for repair or replacement.

    And this was when the new belts of 1902 were adopted for carrying the saber by cavalry soldiers, which could be inconvenient when wearing sabers with a scabbard of the 1860 model - I am talking about privates, not about officers, since this is a saber of privates. Therefore, the question arises - if, when wearing a saber with a scabbard of the 1860 model, an inconvenience arose on the 1902 belt, why then such a belt was adopted, or why did the 1860 scabbard remain in service?
    Well, the pictures George show are of privately acquired officer gear. The regulation gear did not have short straps of almost-equal length, as shown in Plate XIII of Ordnance Memorandum 1719, revised in 1908. I've attached a photo of that plate.

    Of course, if we consider that since 1865 the US cavalry was a purely nominal unit that did not take part in any battle and sabers were most likely rusted in warehouses and were issued to the troops at best for parades, it turns out that the one who took on armament belt model 1902, was completely out of touch with reality and did not have any experience of hostilities.
    Whoa, slow that roll, chief. The US Cavalry was, and still is, a combat arm. The US Cavalry served importantly in the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War, the wars in the Philippines, and the Mexican Expedition, as well as both World Wars. Sabers were items of issue until 1934, and troopers were required to qualify with them. And by 1902, the US Army was probably one of the most battle-experienced armies in the world.
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    Last edited by Sean Scott; 04-18-2021 at 10:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Scott View Post
    Whoa, slow that roll, chief. The US Cavalry was, and still is, a combat arm. The US Cavalry served importantly in the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War, the wars in the Philippines, and the Mexican Expedition, as well as both World Wars. Sabers were items of issue until 1934, and troopers were required to qualify with them. And by 1902, the US Army was probably one of the most battle-experienced armies in the world.
    Sean, absolutely did not want to belittle the role of the American cavalry, BUT, the American cavalry was, in fact, horse shooter. The key word here is shooter mounted on horses. Of course, the role of cavalry in the Indian won (if it can be called wars in the full sense of the word), as mobile units, is difficult to overestimate, but I meant the role of cavalry, which it played in European armies in European wars throughout the history of wars. Heavy and light cavalry was supposed to cut enemy infantry formations precisely in saber attacks. Now give me at least one battle in which the US cavalry participated precisely as cavalry in the full sense of the word, which defeated the enemy precisely in a saber attack?
    Even at the Battle of Gothesberg, cavalrymen were used as foot riflemen.
    Here is a topic on the role of the American cavalry that I created at the American Civil War forum.
    Read all the answers of your compatriots - I did not find any examples of outstanding saber attacks in them:
    https://civilwartalk.com/threads/cav...il-war.144460/
    And in the topic it is the cavalry saber that is discussed, the purpose of which is to chop the enemy ...
    I absolutely did not want to offend the patriotic feelings of the American participants in the forum.
    Sincerely, Vladimir.
    Last edited by Vladimir Sukhomlinov; 04-19-2021 at 02:27 AM.

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    Sean, thank you for the attached images of the letter and the visual aid on the saber belts for officers and soldiers.
    Sincerely, Vladimir.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir Sukhomlinov View Post
    Sean, absolutely did not want to belittle the role of the American cavalry, BUT, the American cavalry was, in fact, horse shooter. The key word here is shooter mounted on horses. Of course, the role of cavalry in the Indian won (if it can be called wars in the full sense of the word), as mobile units, is difficult to overestimate, but I meant the role of cavalry, which it played in European armies in European wars throughout the history of wars. Heavy and light cavalry was supposed to cut enemy infantry formations precisely in saber attacks. Now give me at least one battle in which the US cavalry participated precisely as cavalry in the full sense of the word, which defeated the enemy precisely in a saber attack?
    Even at the Battle of Gothesberg, cavalrymen were used as foot riflemen.
    Here is a topic on the role of the American cavalry that I created at the American Civil War forum.
    Read all the answers of your compatriots - I did not find any examples of outstanding saber attacks in them:
    https://civilwartalk.com/threads/cav...il-war.144460/
    And in the topic it is the cavalry saber that is discussed, the purpose of which is to chop the enemy ...
    I absolutely did not want to offend the patriotic feelings of the American participants in the forum.
    Sincerely, Vladimir.
    That's a pretty simplistic view of Cavalry.

    Just as every other Branch, Cavalry has to adapt to changes in weaponry and tactics, but Cavalry was and is the premier arm for reconnaissance, raiding, deep penetration behind enemy lines, and the pursuit of defeated enemy. US Cavalry performed as Cavalry in all of our conflicts, and continues to do so today.

    Sabers certainly became obsolete as a first-line Cavalry weapon as technology advanced, but this was true for all armies. In that sense, saber-wielding Cavalry died in Europe at the same time it did in the US, though US Cavalrymen carried, and at least in one instance used, sabers as late as Vietnam. The last effective use of sabers as weapons by Cavalry was likely the Russo-Japanese War, which directly led to many Western armies reconsidering the saber for a time. The M1913 saber was a reflection of that renewed interest in the saber, and there were parallels in many Western armies. But your very simplistic and romanticized view of Cavalry simply didn't exist after Napoleon as an effective military force, if it ever existed at all. The British square put paid to that.

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    Here is an excellent illustration of the use of a 1906 saber strapped to a horse's saddle. The scabbard, judging by the position of the rings, is from a saber of 1860.
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    Last edited by Vladimir Sukhomlinov; 04-19-2021 at 11:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir Sukhomlinov View Post
    Here is an excellent illustration of the use of a 1906 saber strapped to a horse's saddle. The scabbard, judging by the position of the rings, is from a saber of 1860.
    It's a M1860 saber. Brass furniture, not browned, and that's a US Cavalry trooper from before the SpanAm War; the equipment looks to be M1885 pattern. The M1906 was carried higher than in your pic; the saber straps were quite a bit shorter than those with the M1885 equipment.

    Here is a period (1912) picture of a M1860/1906 being carried on the saddle by the trooper on the left. The trooper on the right is carrying the experimental M1911 saber.
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    Last edited by Sean Scott; 04-20-2021 at 10:46 PM.

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    Sean, thanks for the photo of the cavalrymen and the clarification on the period of the drawing, which I showed in the subject. I realized that the cavalry's uniform was more early, but I was confused by the knot on the saber, which looks the same as on the 1906 saber.
    Sincerely, Vladimir.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vladimir Sukhomlinov View Post
    I was confused by the knot on the saber, which looks the same as on the 1906 saber.
    It is the same knot. The M1885 pattern knot was used until the M1912 pattern knot was adopted.

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    Understood thanks.

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