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    Rare Confederate Froelich Artillery Short Sword

    Rare Confederate Froelich Artillery Short Sword

    ANTIQUE WEAPON STORE


    All Confederate-made swords are relatively rare, but perhaps one of the rarest is the foot
    artillery short sword made by Louis Froelich of Wilmington, NC and later Kenansville, NC.
    It would appear that the artillery sword was one of his earliest pieces, as the State of North
    Carolina contracted for 200 foot artillery swords in 1861 and it is known that the ordnance
    office in Raleigh paid $12 each for 151 of these between December 1861 and March,
    1862.  In Wilmington the company was known as the Wilmington Sword Factory or the
    Confederate Arms Factory, but in September, 1862 Froelich bought a 2.5 acre tract in
    Kenansville, NC and the new factory became known as the Confederate States Armory,
    where most of their wartime production occurred.  They produced a wide array of products
    from buttons, knapsacks, and accouterments, to all types of edged weapons, including
    swords and surgical instruments.  They are perhaps best known for their cavalry sabers, of
    which they provided over 11,000 to the Confederacy.  The quality of their products was
    generally better than other Confederate-made items.  The example offered here is of
    simple form with cast one-piece brass hilt comprising guard, scaled grip, and pommel.
    Double-edged 18 1/4" blade of gladius form with unstopped fuller on each side.  It is
    completely unmarked and identified mostly from its distinctive cross guard.  Like almost all
    foot artillery short swords of the period it was fashioned after the French model which was
    a modern recreation of the ancient Roman gladius.  When adopted by the French, these
    were originally intended to kill or maim charging cavalry horses, but such use during the
    Civil War was rarely practical so these stout weapons were largely used to clear brush and
    help with setting up the artillery batteries.  As such, the blade of this example shows much
    use with numerous deep edge nicks and the tip is worn.  The piece is uncleaned and the
    high copper content brass hilt show a dark patina with some lighter patches.  Blade with
    dark rust patina.  Most Confederate swords show considerable wear and use, as is the
    case with this very rare example.  No scabbard.  Overall length 23 1/2".

    Code
    SB1785
    Period
    19th Century
    Nationality
    American

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    Antique Weapon Store

    Tuckasegee, United States

    Tel: +1 828 507 7160

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