New-Old Sword from War Between The States - How to hang it?


July 12, 2013, 05:05 PM
Just inherited this old sword from my grandpa. Don't think there's any real story with it, but I think it's pretty neat. Has the markings "Ames Mfc. Co. Chicopee Ma" on one side near the hilt, and "U.S. A.H.K. 1864" on the other side. I believe it's a Union "Musician's Sword." Not all that valuable from what I can tell, but I like it a lot.

So does anyone have a good idea on how to hang/present/show the sword? Want to hang it up on the wall if I can, and don't want it leaning off the ground as I'm scared the bottom of the scabbard might break.

Also, should I clean the sword? I've heard cleaning it will take the value out of it, but I don't know.

If you enjoyed reading about "New-Old Sword from War Between The States - How to hang it?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Grunt Medic TXARNG
July 12, 2013, 05:24 PM
You have an M1864 US Army Noncommissioned Officer's Sword. This weapon was a badge of rank, last ditch weapon, and unit of measure for Corporals and Sergeants of the Union Army. It is still used today in ceremonies by US Army NCOs. It is worth about $300- or so at auction since it is complete with the scabbard.

How to display it is up to you - a number of companies make plaques that are specially designed for this, or you can take a piece of 1/2" or 1" thick board cut to appropriate length, attach 2 pre-made pegs (or 4 if you want to display the scabbard also), finish as desired, and hang.

Cleaning will indeed destroy much of the collector value of this sword - but will greatly improve its appearance. FWIW, I cleaned mine (also made by Ames in 1864), but that was to participate in a ceremony where a timeworn appearing blade would have been inappropriate.

July 12, 2013, 05:37 PM
Hello friends and neighbors// Very nice of your Grand Pa, congrats on a fantastic piece of American history.

I imagine a Musician would march a little taller with such a sword as last defense.

I wipe my military steel down with a cloth coated in Barricade,,, no problems so far.
The rust I'd just wipe harder.

I don't know about the scabbard (don't have one like that) but am interested to hear.

As for hanging, I'd tie a loop of leather ,lightly oiled, around the top of the scabbard and hand it vertically. My Patton sword has two loops for the frog, to tie to, making this a bit easier.

Hope you find what works for you.

I'd love to have a Civil War Sword, a rare thing ,,, you are very lucky ,, deserving I'm sure... but still lucky to receive such a gift.
Hope I don't sound too jealous.:D

July 12, 2013, 11:51 PM
Don't store the blade in the scabbard. Display them separately. It will rust the blade if stored inside.

July 13, 2013, 12:47 AM
Mmmmm? :confused:

I don't know about that advice.

It apparently has been stored in the sheath for the last 148 years, or the sheath, or the blade wouldn't still be intact.

There are certainly times to not store a blade in a sheath.
But I don't really think this old sword & sheath is one of them.

Stored separately at this late date??

They will either become separated at some point in time in a move, or death of the owner.
(Which they haven't yet)

Or the sheath will get folded double or dented without the blade inside it to support it when the family dog jumps on it.
(Which it hasn't yet.)

I would preserve the Blade with R.I.G, and keep it in the sheath to preserve & support the sheath, and too keep it together with the sword for future generations to enjoy.


July 13, 2013, 12:52 AM
You have an M1864 US Army Noncommissioned Officer's Sword.

No, it's a Musician's Sword. The NCO sword has a shell guard (and is a little longer). And, BTW, both the NCO sword and the musician's sword are 1840 models, regardless of when they were actually made.

Buck sergeants wore the NCO sword in a leather scabbard with brass fittings, carried on a shoulder baldric. Sergeant-majors wore the same sword but in an all-metal scabbard carried on belt suspension slings, like those of officers. The all-metal scabbards are quite rare.

It's doubtful that many of these were actually carried into combat, since they're not very useful as weapons (being too fragile and designed only for thrusting). They're more like badges of rank, to be worn in parades, etc.

Grunt Medic TXARNG
July 13, 2013, 02:29 AM
I stand corrected - I'm away from my house, and couldn't compare the pics to the NCO sword on my wall there. Thank you.

July 13, 2013, 08:10 PM
Thanks everyone for the responses. I feel blessed to have inherited this sword but just wasn't sure what to do with it. I have been more of a gun guy than a knife/sword guy.

Some interesting ideas on how to mount or show it. Still not sure exactly what I'm going to do but I'll probably update this thread with a pic when I get it done.

July 13, 2013, 09:45 PM
Here is an example of a sword plaque that I made for my Marine Corps Officer's sword. ( (

If you enjoyed reading about "New-Old Sword from War Between The States - How to hang it?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!