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Ken Rountree




Location: Lenox, GA, USA
Joined: 11 Sep 2010

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat 11 Sep, 2010 9:20 am    Post subject: Confederate Sword; maybe Leech and Rigdon?         Reply with quote

This sword was given to my Great Grandmother by her Grandfather who was in the 51st Georgia, Company E. In the muster roles he is listed as a private. Before she died my Great Grandmother passed the sword to me.

It most closely resembles a Leech and Rigdon sword but does not have the "CS" marking on the hilt. It bears some resemblance to the Thomas, Griswold and Company sword too but seems most similar to the L&R.

Here are some photos. Any help in identifying the sword would be greatly appreciated.







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A. Spanjer




Location: USA
Joined: 26 Apr 2009

Posts: 242

PostPosted: Sat 11 Sep, 2010 9:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's a beautiful sword! Such great history to.

Unfortunately, despite having grown up in Georgia, I've never been all that interested in Civil War era swords. So I'm afraid I can't help much here.

I think there are some people on here who focus on that period though, perhaps they can help.

Na sir 's na seachain an cath.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,919

PostPosted: Sat 11 Sep, 2010 12:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Ken,

I think I have seen a thread posted elsewhere and don't recall if I mentioned it looks to me as though it may be a fairly generic German made variant of the French infantry officer swords. One thing for sure though, spotting specifics online through pictures can be really difficult at times. I would suggest you take a new set of pictures in good light, perhaps outside in slight overcast conditions. Straight on profile pictures of both sides of the hilt and the same of overall shots in full profile. The oblique angles can be good for generalization and presentation but actually rendering the images to be efficient and precise in determining what someone might be looking at needs clear detail, not dark oblique shots that sow everything yet nothing at all.

Diagnosis of Confederate swords made in America is a very specialized study and I surely can't say makers you mention would never mark a blade but in lieu of seeing no marks at all, I would really point to a more generic provenance. The sword could be right as rain to have been carried by a southern patriot while having nothing to do with American manufacture. The French pattern was widely manufactured and distributed in America and to both causes, even before there were causes drawn as a line in the sand.

Clear, bright pictures of straight on profile shots will help your own research and others looking to help. As mentioned, my take from these pictures is generic and German made.

Cheers

GC
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Ken Rountree




Location: Lenox, GA, USA
Joined: 11 Sep 2010

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat 11 Sep, 2010 12:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Glen, I have always wondered if it was a European sword myself since that was common for the period, with many being purchased by the individual rather than being issued, especially in the South. I'll try and get outside soon and take some better pictures. My main concern with ever figuring out the origins of the sword is the total lack of markings on the hilt and blade.

I've also read where someone in Mobile, AL made a sword with a hilt similar to the L&R and wondered if this might be an example of that sword.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,919

PostPosted: Sat 11 Sep, 2010 12:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The rest of the family history may be of interest as well. Right off, I would wonder what a private is doing fielding an officer's sword. A pick up, brought home type thing or something actually taken to war by a private. A souvenier of the war/service perhaps.

In a way, a good number of swords I have could easily be spun to have been involved at any given time and in any given conflict but it is more restful to my mind in simply finding traces of origin, marked or not. Here is one very basic guide for the French 1845 pattern but realize the variations are almost innumerable. It is obviously a bit different than the one you picture but of that general pattern.
http://arms2armor.com/Swords/fren1845.htm

You may find marks obscured on the blade itself, either through polishing over time or rust. The marks are sometimes also under the blade washer. French made blades were often marked on the spine but easily removed either purposefully or not.

With just the pictures shown so far, it is a bit difficult to offer much more. I'll see if I can find a brief page I had bookmarked once on Confederate makers but I don't recalll there were markings mentioned. ah, here is that one but it may not help much.
http://www.civilwarartillery.com/confederate_manufactures.htm

Cheers

GC
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Ken Rountree




Location: Lenox, GA, USA
Joined: 11 Sep 2010

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat 11 Sep, 2010 1:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The family history IS interesting. I even have a few pictures of him. My sister has a knife that was given to her by my Great Grandmother (who lived with us when we were young) that belonged to him also. It is reminiscent of a Boy Scout knife with a blade, spoon and fork.

This is a photo that hangs in my home of him supposedly about the time of the War.



And another as an old man, supposedly with medals from his service.



From what I can tell, his company was assigned mostly to coastal defense around Savannah and never saw any of the major campaigns.
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