Nathan Starr - Dragoon Saber

Shown above is the first sword purchased by the U.S. Government for their mounted enlisted soldiers, or dragoons. It was made in 1812-1813 by Nathan Starr of Middletown, Conn. Starr was an armorer in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War.

Starr 1812-1813 contract sabers are recognized by the sharp curve of the blade and the pronounced angle of the hilt. The hilt of my saber is stamped "HHP/ P / N. Starr." "HHP" stands for Henry H. Perkin, who was the government representative who inspected and proofed sabers during the War of 1812. The hilt has an iron knuckle-bow with a back strap, and is marked with a "P." The wooden grips are carved with circular grooves. Starr sabers of this type are quite rare. They were likely made by blacksmiths, and were not considered elaborate enough for officer use.

These sabers were used during the War of 1812, then through the Seminole Wars, War with Mexico, and some were carried by confederate cavalry during the Civil War.