Blucher Light Cavalry Officer`s Sword
Can anyone identify this sword and tell me if it is a type that may have been used during the Civil War at Shiloh? Thank you for your help in this research.

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We need to see the entire sword and scabbard. Please also post the blade length. The scabbard and blade tips can be decisive in identifying these swords. Any marks at all can only help/

Any sword made before April 1862 might have been at Shiloh/ Pittsburgh Landing but that doesn't mean it was even likely to have been there. As most of about three dozen here were made before that date, I could put such a claim forth but without a better story, laughable. Without real provenance of the specific item there is likely no probability the sword was there (or in the American Civil War at all).


Blucher Light Cavalry Officer`s Sword
Thanks Mr. Glen Cleeton! I've requested Mr. Nathan Robinson to post some additional pictures as I'm too new to this to know how! The blade measures 33" long and 1/4" thick at the top. I find NO markings on the blade, hilt or scabbard. Via searching the Internet, I find the "two rings" on the scabbard are rather different that most Blucher swords. Also, as you can tell, the hilt is NOT black as most, but neither do I think it has been "painted." As for it being used at Shiloh, it seems that being 50 years at the outset of the Civil War would make it rather "old" to be used in such combat ... but that IS the story I've been told for sixty years. So again, thanks for whatever help you and others can be to this investigation.
That may seem curt and shallow, so let me expand possibility a bit. There were certainly swords of the general type around during that war. The expansion of the early states and territories expotential in growth. The sword (from what I can see) does look like an Prussian 1811 Blucher, as opposed to a British 1796. Neither were mainstays in any local militia. That would point to the slight possibility an immigrating miliary veteran had brought a sword with him, or in the most scant possibility be part and parcel of an item that was brought in as arms getting past blockades. The thing is that the form was antiquated by the conflict and newer swords were coming in.

I have a picture file of a very decorated and marked sword showing US symbology and a New York retailer from the early 19th century. That sword would hold more water as have seen later use, as it has a bit more provenance. Without provenance, it is just hopeful or inquisitive storytelling. Basic clues put this one with only c=scant information as just an old sword.


Additional photos have been added to the original topic above.
Blucher swords had two solid rings, British 1796 types often had two split rings. The two scabbards are different. Single ring scabbards for similar looking swords were later in the century and artillery more often than cavalry swords. Those also have narrower, points. shorter blades and more confined to Prussian, German manufacturer. .

I look forward to more pictures.


Blucher Light Cavalry Officer`s Sword
Thanks to Nathan for posting the additional pics. When I get more time, I'll send more detailed one. Glen, your thoughts are this is an 1811 Blucher?
Re: Blucher Light Cavalry Officer`s Sword
Mike Davis wrote:
Thanks to Nathan for posting the additional pics. When I get more time, I'll send more detailed one. Glen, your thoughts are this is an 1811 Blucher?

The sword (from what I can see) does look like an Prussian 1811 Blucher


There were a fair number of continentals that retained arms and fought in the American Civil War but without more than a passing story, really just that. There are period accounts of General Lyon parading in Missouri with hand picked Prussian guards on huge black horses with enormous swords but as descriptive as that may be, lacking the detail any could hope for. von Borke for the confederacy and Franz Sigel for the federals, both can be associated with Prussian swords (but not Bluchers) The Bluchers continued in general form but were supplanted themselves by European cavalry, then mdoified in form then relegated to mounted artillery, transportation and policing.


The museum of the Alabama Dept. of Archives and History exhibits an identical sword (follow link below). If I remember correctly, they identify that as a militia sword. They could give you the details. Your sword could certainly be a militia sword and thus could have seen action in the Civil War.
Militia swords are a catch all convenience unless there is a record of a contract or sales. As mentioned at the start, any sword made before the dawn of the American Civil War could be argued to have been used in the war but with little basis of fact. An unmarked sword is another tally mark in the militia column but hardly convincing without the records. That whether family records, or museum attributions which often still don't related more than what someone said so.

The Starr 1818 sergeants sword pictured with that was known as militia use.



I almost remembered the Lyon reference correctly. A good little bit of reading there

Missouri In The Civil War, Chapter VI

"He entered Springfield with a good deal of mediaeval display. His escort, which was composed of St. Louis German butchers, remarkable for their size and ferocious aspect, was mounted on powerful iron-gray horses and armed with big revolvers and massive swords, and thus accoutered dashed through the streets of the little town, which was held by…"

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