Two (2) Civil War era swords, including Nashville Plow Works Cavalry Officer's Sword. 1st item: Confederate Nashville Plow Works, Sharp and Hamilton, Cavalry Officer's Sword with Iron Scabbard. Wooden grip wrapped in twisted brass copper wire, iron pommel and back strap with a wide iron ferrule, cast brass hilt with 3-branch guard and knuckle-bow embossed "CSA" and manufacturer's marks on the underside, single edge steel blade with an unstopped fuller, iron scabbard with cast brass throat, two brass carrying ring mounts and a brass drag, brass soldered seam up the underside. Blade length – 34". Overall length with scabbard – 41 1/2". Note: Prior to the war, the Nashville Plow Works, operated by Messrs. Sharp and Hamilton, produced farm implements. With the coming of the war, however, the proprietors converted their shop to the production of swords, taking the Biblical injunction of "beat your plowshares into swords ." (Joel 3:10) quite literally. It is unknown to date whether the firm manufactured anything other than swords. The Nashville Plow Works continued operation until Union forces took Nashville on April 1, 1862. At this time, the proprietors of the firm were charged with treason and arrested, thus effectively ending the firms existence. The total number of sabers produced by the Nashville Plow Works is unknown. However, based on the number of pieces that still exist, it can be surmised that Sharp & Hamilton turned out a relatively large quantity of swords before apprehension by Union troops. (See "Collecting the Confederacy" by Shannon Pritchard, 2005, pages 110, 165-166, 242-244). 2nd item: Ames Model 1840 Enlisted Cavalry Sword with Iron Scabbard. Brown leather grip wrapped in twisted brass wire, brass pommel and guard, single edge steel blade with an unstopped fuller, iron scabbard with iron throat, two iron carrying ring mounts and an iron drag. Ricasso marked "US/JH" obverse, and "N P Ames/Cabotville/1846" reverse, pommel cap with "W.A.T" inspector marks. Blade length – 36". Overall length with scabbard – 43". Provenance: the collection of Arthur Cook, Nashville, Tennessee, purchased from James Blackburn, purchased in the late 1980s from John Dyess of Knoxville, who inherited the swords in 1942 upon the death of his father. In a 1995 affidavit, Dyess stated that both were passed down in his family with the oral history that they belonged to General Albert Sidney Johnston, who was said to be related to his paternal grandmother. However, our research has turned up no family connection between Trudchen Johnston Dyess (1889-1952) of Tallatchie County, Mississippi and General Johnston. (A packet of information is available to view on request). CONDITION: 1st item: Blade with knicks and areas of pitting. Brass guard crudely cast with tarnish, areas of rust. Scabbard with dents near the drag, areas of tarnish, pitting. 2nd item: Blade with areas of pitting, traces of polish. Scabbard with dents, areas of tarnish, pitting.
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