Scarce Confederate Artillery Short Sword by Boyle, Gamble, & McFee


1 in stock


The firm of Boyle (Edward), Gamble (Thomas) & McFee (Edward) was located on
6th Street in Richmond, Virginia, just one block from the Richmond Armory. They
made a wide range of edged weapons for the Confederacy. The foot artillery short
sword is completely unmarked and was unidentified as to maker until a marked example
was recently found which proved they were the work of this Richmond firm. Like most foot
artillery short swords of the period it was fashioned after the French model which was a
modern recreation of the ancient Roman gladius. When adopted by the French, these
were originally intended to kill or maim charging cavalry horses, but such use during the
Civil War was rarely practical so these stout weapons were largely used to clear brush and
help with setting up the artillery batteries. It features a somewhat crude one-piece cast hilt
of high copper content brass with flat cross guard and integral grip with 19 ribs. The 18
7/8″ double-edged blade of gladius form features a single unstopped 9″ central fuller on
each side. Blade is uncleaned with rust patination; heavier encrustation and edge nicks
toward the rounded point. Brass hilt is tight with undisturbed peen and rich patina. Overall
length 24 1/4″. It lacks its leather scabbard, which rarely survives.