|Description and Photograph||
The Confederate cavalry sword shown here was manufactured by B. Douglas & Co. of Columbia, South Carolina. At the time William Albaugh researched and wrote two books on Confederate edged weapons, nothing was known about this sword, nor is it pictured in either work. A maker-marked specimen has been documented since Albaugh’s books were written, which positively identifies it, and several other unmarked specimens have been noted. Howard Crouch’s recent, Historic American Swords, does not have an example, nor does Collecting the Confederacy; this gives some idea of how rare the pattern is.
Very little is known about this rare sword or its manufacture. All that is known of the maker comes from one newspaper ad. The newspaper, The Southern Guardian, dated September 10, 1862, advertised “Swords, spurs, bits, etc.” The sword factory was located at the Old Foundry on Washington Street. This makes it clear that Douglas was not only an outfitter, but a maker as well. The ad mentions only cavalry accoutrements and he was evidently equipping only South Carolina Volunteer Cavalry units. The few swords made at the Old Foundry are not elegant, but are a very good and serviceable weapon. Their spurs and bits have not yet been identified.
This particular example is in fantastic condition. The basket is tight; the russet grip is 100% complete. The light colored areas are scuffing and surface finish wear, none of the leather is missing. It even retains its original throat washer. The extremely heavy blade remains near bright and has numerous examples of the desirable forging flaws. It has three small nicks in the edge. The doubled brass wire wrap is complete and tight. The sword is sheathed in its original scabbard. The scabbard has several very minor dings and one replaced brass ring. The wear on the ring is genuine and appears to be a period replacement and the untouched condition of the rest of the sword and scabbard tend to confirm that analysis. It has the classic B. Douglas brass drag and throat.
In all my years selling Confederate swords, this is only the second example of this rare pattern I have offered for sale and is the best example I have ever personally examined.