The M1860 Cavalry Sword

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jonathan butcher

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Does anyone know of any examples where the M1860 Cavalry Sword was determinant in a battle during the Civil War ? I know that in previous wars the cavalry saber was the primary sidearm for fighting from horseback, but I have the sense that changed at the Civil War and relegated the cavalry saber to a not often used historical ornament. Am I wrong about that ? Was the CW period cavalry sword ever used during battle in a crucial way ?

 

Pietro

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I think that one would come in handy during a pitched CW battle after one's gun ran dry and the enemy too close to have enough time to reload...………. unless your gun was equipped with a bayonet.
 
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Pre Civil War, July 30, 1857, at the Battle of Solomons Fork, here in Kansas, near the town of Penokee, cavaly charged a body of about 300 Cheyenne with drawn sabres. It turned into a route. It was the only sabre charge by cavalry in the Indian Wars, despite what we may have seen in the movies. Just guessing, but it seems sabers may not have been all that important as a cavalry weapon in that era.

JEB Stewart was wounded on Solomons fork and may have developed a view of the effectiveness of saber charges, I don't know.
 

kje54

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Does anyone know of any examples where the M1860 Cavalry Sword was determinant in a battle during the Civil War ? I know that in previous wars the cavalry saber was the primary sidearm for fighting from horseback, but I have the sense that changed at the Civil War and relegated the cavalry saber to a not often used historical ornament. Am I wrong about that ? Was the CW period cavalry sword ever used during battle in a crucial way ?

I have read differing opinions on the use of swords in general during the Civil War. Some historians claim they were still used extensively by the cavalry at least during the first half of the war, some claim they saw very little use throughout the war. The advent of rapid fire weapons utilized throughout the war pretty much made cavalry charges a suicidal venture at best, besides the cavalry's primary job during the Civil War was to screen the army and gather intelligence.
Supposedly by the Civil War Cavalry men mounted their swords on their saddles as most of the fighting they did was dismounted and swords were cumbersome on foot. On one thing all historians agree is the Civil War was the beginning of the end for swords other than as a sign of authority or for dress parade.
 

Cruzatte

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Does anyone know of any examples where the M1860 Cavalry Sword was determinant in a battle during the Civil War ? I know that in previous wars the cavalry saber was the primary sidearm for fighting from horseback, but I have the sense that changed at the Civil War and relegated the cavalry saber to a not often used historical ornament. Am I wrong about that ? Was the CW period cavalry sword ever used during battle in a crucial way ?

The only battle that I know of where the sabre played a significant role is that of Brandy Station.
 
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