Noncommissioned officers carried swords by tradition. In the days of slow to load muskets they were a practical last line of defense if an enemy closed on the soldiers. By the time of the Civil War, however, they were more of an ornament. Despite that it continued in use for the rest of the century. The hilt is made of brass. The blade is straight and made of steel. The manufacturers name generally appears on the top of the blade with the inspector's initials and year of manufacture on the opposite side. This blade is marked Emerson and Silver and U.S. 1863 and D.F.M. (Dexter F. Mosman). The scabbard is generally leather, but those made by Emerson and Silver are iron and japanned black with brass throat and drag. It was not designed to be hung on rings but was secured in a frog and suspended by a cross belt worn over the right shoulder. This is opposite from the manner in which the cartridge box was worn (belt over the left shoulder).