C.S.A. Field and Staff
|Description and Photograph||
The field and staff officer’s sword shown here was made at the Confederate States Armory in Kenansville, North Carolina by Louis Froelich. The name implies that the manufactory was a Confederate government operation, but it was privately owned and operated. Records show that Froelich made pikes, buttons, saber bayonets, navy and artillery cutlasses, belts, knapsacks, cap boxes, cartridge boxes and swords for North Carolina, the Confederate government and for private sale. The Confederate States Armory is believed to have been the second largest sword manufactory in the Confederacy. Froelich’s cavalry swords, bayonets and cutlasses are all referred to as Kenansville products, taking their name from the place of manufacture rather than the maker’s name. Only his unique field & staff sword bares his name and it is this sword that he is most remembered for.
The large CSA in the counterguard delineates this sword as a field & staff pattern, and as the name field & staff implies, only officers with the rank of major and above were authorized to carry this sword. However, such distinctions could ill be afforded in the Confederate army and this sword could have been carried by officers of some lesser rank.
The beautiful Froelich field & staff officer’s sword shown here is one of the best of this pattern. The leather grip wrap and brass wire are completely original; there is some flaking of the leather’s surface, but the leather is virtually complete. The blade retains its factory luster and is smooth from ricasso to point. Its only detriment is some light, scattered carbon staining (this is the natural result of the poor quality, high carbon steel used in its manufacture). The sword is still sheathed in its original matching Froelich scabbard. Both the scabbard’s throat and the sword’s guard are cut with the numeral XXXII. These markings were bench numbers used at the armory to match the sword and scabbard.
This sword came from the collection of John McAden, Jr., one of the two authors of Louis Froelich Arms Maker to the Confederacy, and comes with a signed copy of his book.
The sword and the scabbard are completely original in all regards, and are in nearly perfect condition.