Confederate Foot Officer’s Sword, Likely by Leech & Rigdon
Leech & Rigdon, also known as Memphis Novelty Works, made some of the best arms in the Confederacy. Since Memphis fell early in the war (May, 1862), in anticipation, the manufacturing moved to Columbus, Mississippi. By late 1862 Columbus was also threatened, so the firm moved to Greensboro, Georgia, at which time it is believed sword production halted, in favor of producing revolvers. Therefore, all Leech and Rigdon swords were produced relatively early in the war. This example is a fairly accurate copy of the US M1850 Foot Officer’s Sword, with cast brass guard, featuring pierced foliage and laurel leaves on the capstan pommel, with the ovoid rosette on top which is common to swords by Leech & Rigdon. Differences from the US model are the addition of leaves radiating from the blade seat, tobacco leaves on the top of the guard, the lack of gilding, and no leather on the wood grip (twisted brass wire only). Unmarked slightly curved 32" blade with long unstopped single fuller, showing some forging flaws as typical of CS manufacture. Untouched condition with mellow patina on brass and scattered age staining and light pitting on blade. Uncleaned and never been apart, with original double leather blade washers. Overall length 37 1/4". No scabbard.