Initially the sabre was of the long, straight Prussian pattern, but this was replaced by a light cavalry sabre with 36-inch blade, the Model 1850. This had a brass three-barred guard with black leather wire wrapped grip and a black leather, 1 inch by 18 inches, doubled sword-knot which ended in a long leather tassel and was fastened to the guard and looped around the wrist to prevent the loss of the sword if it was dropped in combat.

Officers had a plaited leather sword-knot for the field but, for dress. Generals wore gold cord with an acorn end, other officers black and gold lace with a tassel. The scabbard was steel with two rings. The officer's sabre usually had a decorated hilt and blade, and the scabbard might be leather for officers below field grade, browned or bronzed steel for officers above and staff officers. Many officers had their own personal sabres, often very fancy imported European ones. Replacement cost to a trooper who lost his sabre was around $7.50.

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