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Brian Ellis Cassity




Location: Queen Creek, Arizona
Joined: 08 Nov 2006

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Tue 04 Jan, 2011 10:39 am    Post subject: Trying to identify a saber         Reply with quote

Hi, all. It's been a while since I posted here. I'm doing a bit of research for a family friend, who has an image of an ancestor she's trying to place. Unfortunately, the image has no date, but the back of it indicates it was taken in Nancy, France. But my fellow genealogist also believes he was a veteran of the American Civil War, an American born in New York.

I'm posting here to this forum because I thought someone here might be able to identify his saber. It doesn't look like the "wrist breaker." If someone has any theories on his uniform as well, I would certainly appreciate reading them. My current thought on the uniform is that he's either a cadet or a member of a state militia.

Thanks in advance for help on the saber and otherwise!

Brian



 Attachment: 53.08 KB
26802_1243248447940_1431231026_30557338_5294532_n.jpg

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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Tue 04 Jan, 2011 11:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It appears to be a US M1840 light artillery saber. I do not know enough about American swords or uniforms to be able to tell you much more.

Jonathan
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Brian Ellis Cassity




Location: Queen Creek, Arizona
Joined: 08 Nov 2006

Posts: 26

PostPosted: Tue 04 Jan, 2011 12:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You may very well be spot on! Thanks, Jonathan!

Jonathan Hopkins wrote:
It appears to be a US M1840 light artillery saber. I do not know enough about American swords or uniforms to be able to tell you much more.

Jonathan
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Gottfried P. Doerler




Location: Tyrol, Austria
Joined: 11 Oct 2009
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Posts: 228

PostPosted: Wed 05 Jan, 2011 2:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

hm. i`m no expert in this, but just from the look of the uniform it could really be french.
those big epaulettes, the baggy trowsers... and not least the (copper?) eagle on the cepi.
i don`t know how eagle-fancy the americans of this time were, but i bet, the troops of napoleon III. would have carried eaglies quite widespread.
the cut of the uniform looks like a mid 19th century lancer/uhlan, and if you look closely, the trowsers are reenforced with leather at the lower part - another typical feature of mid 19th cent. european cavalry.

another thing that hints at a lancer, is the cord slung around the neck, coming down on the frontside, going back under the arm and up at the opposite side, fixed on a button. lancers would usually secure their headgear with this cord during the ride.



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typical lancers/uhlans dress
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Tue 11 Jan, 2011 7:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's worth noting that US military uniforms in the 1850s (and onwards into the 1870s or 1880s at least) generally followed French models, so the similarity with French uniforms is not surprising--nor is the fact that the picture was taken in France, since the subject in the photograph could have been one of the many American soldiers and officers sent to France to study the military sciences.
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Tue 11 Jan, 2011 8:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Indeed, the US M1840 light artillery saber is a copy of the French M1829 so this could be a French soldier.
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