E. J. Johnston or W. J. McElroy?


Description and Photograph





Both of these sword makers operated in Macon, Georgia. Both produced swords with stopped fullers, an unusual feature for a Confederate sword, the hilt castings also show a degree of similarity. Both firms used the same etchers.

E. J. Johnston produced a foot artillery sword with the name "E. J. Johnston, Macon, Ga." die stamped into the cross guard and a triangular fuller near the hilt. There is also a nearly identical foot artillery sword without the fuller or the stamping on the crossguard. Both use identical wooden scabbards with tin mounts and a lead finial. I will speculate that the unmarked artillery swords are W. J. McElroy products for the following reasons. They are not actually Johnston products because the crossguard and quillions are not finished out and the blade is unstopped. Since McElroy and Johnston shared etchers and other employees, it would be a small step to surmise that they shared common foundryman.

Lastly, I would suggest McElroy’s influence in both maker’s scabbards as he was a tinner by trade prior to the war. I would sincerely welcome any additional information on these swords.





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