Model 1840 Light Artillery Saber
(Dated 1861)

Union soldier with
Light Artillery Saber

In 1839, the War Department asked the American Minister in Paris to buy 300 French Model 1829 Artillery Sabers for possible adoption by the United States. In August 1840, the U.S. Ordinance Department purchased 500 of this pattern saber from a company in Solingen, Germany.

During the Civil War, enlisted soldiers and officers on both sides carried the Model 1840 Light Artillery Saber. (The enlisted model was plain, while the officer model has engravings on the hilt and blade.) Primary sources generally indicate that Federal gun crews were not officially issued sidearms, although non-commissioned and commissioned officers routinely carried pistols and sabers. According to William H. French's book Instruction for Field Artillery, we know the saber was an integral part of artillery training.

The Ames Manufacturing Company of Chicopee, Massachusetts made this saber in 1861. It is in exceptional condition, with the original metal scabbard and leather grip wrapped with twisted brass wire.