Gary Crawford, president of the Kernstown Battlefield Association, examined a picture of the sword.
He believes it is a light cavalry sabre model 1840 or 1860, but said it’s too difficult based on its condition to determine where the sabre was manufactured or which side used it.
The handle design, Crawford said, helps narrow down the time period of manufacturing.
“There is really no way of knowing (which side used it) because many of these sabres were manufactured in the North before the war and stocked in southern armories,” he said. “When the war started, the South just took those weapons and passed them out to their troops.”
Crawford said that about 18 inches of the blade may be missing.
“It may still be in the ground,” Crawford said, “or it may have been broken and thrown away – that wouldn’t have been uncommon.”