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CONFEDERATE ARTILLERY SWORD
BY
JAMES CONNING
MOBILE, ALABAMA

This is a Confederate Artillery Sword made by James Conning of Mobile, Alabama.  Published sources seem to indicate that Conning made 500 Cavalry Sabers and 500 Artillery Sabers for the State of Alabama.  They were initially issued to Alabama State Troops who were eventually folded into the Confederate Army of the Tennessee.  One thing that has always puzzled me is that the artillery sword is significantly scarcer than the cavalry sword.  There are many potential explanations for this but none that are completely convincing.  One is that Alabama had far less artillerymen than cavalrymen and some of the artillery swords were not issued and held in reserve.  Through local sources, I have learned that items not issued during the Civil War were held in the upper stories or attic of what is today the State Highway Building in the Capital Complex.  It amounted to a small arsenal of items held in reserve from the Civil War forward.  That material was loaded into dump trucks during the 1950's and carried to the garbage dump in Prattville, Alabama.  How accurate this is is hard to tell.  The people who knew about this are now dead but there is still a remnant of this information imbedded in the local community.  This may also account for why Davis & Bozeman and other long arms are in such short supply today.  There is probably a grain of truth to it but it could have just as easily have been scrapped during the war drives.  Scrap metal for guns!

This sword is in it's original scabbard which is a unique construction found only on a Conning Sword.  The blade is in good shape without significant chippage or pitting.  The wooden grip is in good shape with a few chips here and there.  A note of interest; the Conning Cavalry Saber has a leather and wire wrapped grip, however the artillery sword was never leather wrapped. They obviously ran out of leather because the grip is polished wood with a wire wrap.  Call if you are interest!  P.O.R.  SOLD!!