This U.S. Model 1832 Foot Artillery Sword has been crafted with a blade of tempered EN9 high carbon steel. The entirety of the hilt is brass and is emblazoned with the US Eagle on both sides of the pommel. This replica has some of the original markings recreated on the base of the blade; on one side it bears an Eagle and the markings of the Springfield-based manufacturer of Ames. On the reverse it is stamped with: United States, 1839, WS
The sword scabbard is made from black leather and brass fittings.
This US sword is directly based on the French 1816 artillerymans sword. Neo-Classical design that romanticized the imagery of Classical Greece and Rome was highly popular in the late 18th and early 19th century and this expanded beyond art and architecture; as proven by this very sword design here. The Roman and Grecian architecture of the buildings in the US capitol of DC were designed in this Neo-Classical era and reflected a society that sought to show itself as a new Athens, a new Rome; a monument to the ideals of democracy and the Republic formed intentionally with marble and stone.
It is no mistake that this sword looks similar to a Greek Xiphos or a Roman Gladius – the heroic and idealized imagery of the past seeped into the military culture in an era of powder and shot.
The first sword contracted for production by Ames Manufacturing Company, the Model 1832 Foot Artillery Sword was used in the U.S. Army until 1872. The sword saw use during the Second Seminole War and was used not only by artillerymen, but by musicians and sergeants of infantry regiments. Although it was not the most practical fighting blade, it was used extensively in that war to clear brush and trails through the thick Floridian swamps.
The sword continued to see use in the Civil War, and the Confederacy manufactured its own versions during the conflict. As before the soldiers used them for clearing brush for their gun emplacements and for camp duties, though they could use it as a short sword in a fight if pressed.