|Description and Photograph||
This is one of the rarest of Confederate naval cutlasses. It is generally referred to as a Selma Arsenal cutlass due to the excavated examples found in and around Selma, Alabama. Research done by Bill Beard and Kent Wall leaves no doubt that this pattern was by Leech and Rigdon.
In the fall of 1862, the Confederate Arsenal at Columbus, Mississippi was threatened by infamous Union General W. T. Sherman. Consequently, the entire arsenal packed up and moved to Selma Alabama. Leech and Rigdon moved to Selma at the same time and operated there until March of 1863. It is believed that most, if not all, of the company’s naval cutlasses were made prior to the company’s move to Greensboro, Georgia.
After Leech and Rigdon moved to Greensboro, Georgia and reconstructed, the factory focused primarily on making pistols and had virtually ceased making swords.
This sword has the Leech and Rigdon standard fish scale pattern cast into the hollow brass grip. The hand guard is made of rolled sheet brass that has a heavy copper content, to make it easier to roll. I could bypass writing about the condition by just stating that it is perfect, but some will still want details, so here goes: The hand grip and guard are fastened to the blade by peening the tang over the pommel and it remains as tight as the day it was made. The patina is deep and untouched. The blade is perfect; it has never been repointed, cleaned or sharpened. It has zero rust, just a dark patina.