Post by freebooter on Apr 12, 2007 22:44:24 GMT -5
Hello all, I was just thinking, from 1840 to the Indian Wars there were thousands of the 1840 Hvy Cav Sabres and 1860 Lt Cav Sabres made for our armed forces. Once it was discontinued at the end of the Indian wars, what did the government do with the thousands in service and thousands more in warehouses?
I have heard that they were sold to 3rd world countries, South American countries, etc.. Does anyone know if this is true or where all the thousands of sabres wound up at or where they might be today? Yes I know boo koo are in the hands of museums and private collectors, but many thousands are unaccounted for. Where are they? Just something I have always been curious about. Thanks, FB
Powder River Indian Treaty signing in 1867, several hundred surplus copper bugles were given to the Indians. Wouldn't be surprised if sabers were given away also.
The last remaining GAR museum in Wisconsin is in Boscobel. They had 4,000 .69 caliber Belgian Muskets on hand in 1941. They scrapped all but 4 for the WWII war effort....undoubtedly the gun barrels became a munition, tank, ship, truck, et al.....
I've got an original Light Cavalry Saber (Ames)...and as you point out there are Thousand's on display in Museum's or Private Collections or on a fireplace mantel...World Wide.
If you ever get a chance, visit Musee des Armees in Paris France. They have these large caverns that are filled with THOUSANDS of one item per cavern. Halberds, Pikes, Helmets, Chain Mail, Cross Bows, etc......it's amazing to see a giant room full of matchlock muskets for example.
But I don't think that the Smithsonian or US Army is holding on to 50,000 sabers from the 19th Century.....
Post by winchester1886 on Jan 15, 2009 8:21:58 GMT -5
"Many of us volunteered to fight for the Union. Some came mainly because we were bored at home and this looked like it might be fun. Some came because we were ashamed not to. Many came because it was the right thing to do." Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain, 20th Maine Infantry at Gettysburg.
At the end of the War of Northern Aggression in 1865 the U.S. Government found inself in possession of the largest collection of military arms and equipment on the face of the earth. To make matters even worse, most of the arms were obsolete muzzleloaders! The Ordnance Department did what it had always done, when equipment was deemed "surplus" it was auctioned off.
So the Ordnance Department conducted "Surplus sales" literally from almost the end of the war until the early years of the 20th Century of surplus Civil War equipment that was "auctioned off" for pennies on the dollar. If you care to do some research you can go to the National Arachives and find 'Sales Catalogs' that give a complete listing of the surplus military equipment for sale at these various auctions.
Both private individuals and dealers attended these surplus sales and purchased items from the government. Dealers such as Francis Bannerman, W. Stokes Kirk and others purchsed this surplus equipment and then re-sold it on the domestic market or overseas. I have a feeling that most of the original Civil War arms, uniforms, etc that are around today in private collections were purchased from these dealers at one time or another.
At the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 the French government purchased literally TONS & TONS of surplus Civil War equipment. French soldiers went into battle armed with U.S. Model 1861-63 & 64 Rifle Muskets also Spencer and Sharps Carbines, etc.-I am sure that also included lots of sabers.
When the French armies surrendered, the Germans captured much of this surplus equipment and later resold some of it to the Turks along with others. The "suprlus business" was so lucrative that thousands opon thousands of Colt Special Model 1861 Rifle Muskets were purchased by Belgian gunsmiths, smoothbored and shipped to Africa to be sold to the natives.
So to answer your question, the government disposed of its surplus Civil War equipment by Surplus Sales. It was only later in the 20th Century that the government began giving away then modern arms and equipment to allied governments.