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Union Army Uniforms and Insignia of the Civil War

Enlisted Men's Swords

Model-1840 Musician's Sword

Musician's Sword Hilt Detail

Musician's Sword Model of 1840 Hilt Detail

This sword was manufactured by contract by Ames Manufacturing Co. of Chicopee, MA in 1864. Ames made 17,550 of these. This sword is marked "J.H." on the guard and blade, which are the initials of the inspector. The musician's sword measured 34-1/4 inches overall with a 28 inch blade. The sword is similar to the non-commissioned officer's sword model of 1840 with the exception that it is shorter and lacks a counterguard.

The Ames Manufacturing Company was established by Nathan P. Ames, Jr. and his brother, James T. Ames in 1834. Two years prior Nathan, a blacksmith by trade, had received his first contract for edged weapons. In the following years Ames manufactured all types of swords for the U.S. government. However, it was not Ames who first made the sword. The orginal manufacturer of the M-1840 musician's sword was the German firm of Schnitzler and Kirschbaum of Solingen, who delivered 500 of them to the U.S. in 1841.


MORE: Introduction to Swords
Photograph of drummer holding M 1840 Musician's Sword
Photograph of drummer holding M 1840 Musician's Sword
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