BATTLE OF CRAMPTON’S GAP RELIC SABER WITH POSSIBLE CS USE

$495.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 899-04

This brass hilted saber has a legitimate, old label glued on it giving the location and date of its recovery: “South Mountain / Cramptons Pass / 1929.” A part of the Antietam Campaign, the Battle of Crampton’s Gap, or “Burkittsville,”as it was known to the Confederates, was one of several fumbling efforts by McClellan to take advantage of his knowledge of Lee’s plans to divide his army and seize Harpers Ferry in September 1862. Confederate General Lafayette McLaws had posted several units along South Mountain to guard his rear while he took Maryland Heights, overlooking Harpers Ferry. After numerous delays, Franklin’s Sixth Corps pushed through Confederates defending Crampton’s Gap under Howell Cobb, but were too slow move against McLaws and prevent the surrender of Harpers Ferry, setting the stage for the Battle of Antietam a few days later.

Cobb’s forces at the gap consisted of a battery of artillery, several regiments of infantry, and the 2nd and 12th Virginia Cavalry under Col. Thomas Munford who were posted in the front lines with the infantry. Although outnumbered six to one, the Confederates looked formidable enough to delay the Federal advance for some three hours before Franklin finally attacked and broke through.

The saber is in relic condition, but with a good, full-length blade, about 33-inches long, that has an intact edge without deterioration and good tip. The guard is broken and the grip missing, but enough of the hilt remains to show it was a brass-hilted saber with a bird’s head pommel, guard and backstrap grip. The blade is curved, single-edged and has a central broad, unstopped fuller. This was a popular form of saber among militia cavalry from about 1810 well into the 1840s. It would have been outmoded for any of the Federal forces involved in the battle, but very appropriate for a Confederate cavalryman who might carry a family saber or one supplied from old militia stores.  [sr]

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