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Confederate Numbered "Bar on Band" Enfield Rifle Saber Bayonet

Confederate Numbered "Bar on Band" Enfield Rifle Saber Bayonet

  • Product Code: EWB-2547-SOLD
  • Availability: Out Of Stock
  • $1.00

This is a very nice example of a scarce Confederate Imported British Pattern 1856 No 2 (aka P1858) Bar on Band Saber Bayonet. The bayonet has an engraved Confederate inventory number on the reverse pommel cap, which reads 3300 and is accompanied by an original period scabbard that is a replacement as it is not numbered on the frog stud.


These numbered saber bayonets were imported by the Confederacy for use with the English Pattern 1856 No 2 Bar on Band Short Rifle (sometimes referred to as the Pattern 1858 rifle), which is one of the less often encountered of the English long arms to be purchased by the Confederacy. The numbered bayonets and rifles were part of any early Confederate contract for 10,000 “Short Enfield rifles”. These were the guns that were marked with the JS / {ANCHOR} viewer's mark of John Southgate and were also marked with an engraved inventory number in the buttplate tang if they were brass mounted weapons, and a stamped inventory number in the wood behind the triggerguard in the case of iron mounted rifles. The rifle contract include all patterns of Enfield “short rifles” in production at that time, including both iron and brass mounted Pattern 1856 rifles, brass mounted Pattern 1858 Naval Rifles, and Patten 1856 No 2 (P1858) “Bar on Band” rifles, in both iron and brass mountings. This bayonet would have been imported with the Pattern 1856 No 2 rifle with the matching inventory number. The process of marking the weapons with inventory (really accounting) numbers came to an end by the spring of 1862. As a result, we can be relatively sure that this bayonet was imported between 1861 and 1862 and was more than likely in the Confederacy prior to the battle of Shiloh in the West and the Peninsula Campaign in the East. 


In a collected database of Confederate numbered rifles, with over 20 years of data, only a handful of “Bar on Band” rifle numbers have been collected. To my knowledge, less than 5 CS marked and numbered iron mounted “Bar on Band” rifles are known, and they are all relatively low numbers. Approximately 10 brass mounted “Bar on Band” rifles are known, and many are grouped in fairly tight group in the 23XX range. The most famous of those brass-mounted rifles is the one that was carried by Sergeant Richard Kirkland of the 2nd South Carolina Infantry Regiment. Kirkland would be immortalized as the “Angel of Marye’s Heights” during the battle of Fredericksburg. Kirkland’s brass mounted Bar on Band rifle #2370 survives today in the collection of the South Carolina Relic Room in Columbia, SC. It appears that a group of 50-60 brass mounted P1856 No 2 rifles may have been issued to the 2nd SC. Four surviving rifles, with numbers ranging from 2321 to Kirkland’s 2370 suggest a pattern. A tight group of extant “Bar on Band” saber bayonets are known to survive in this general range as well, with 6 examples in the #2321 to #2394 range. Another group of “Bar on Band”rifles appears scattered through the 3,XXX to 3,6XX range. Here two extant rifles, #3513 and #3654 are known, both are also brass mounted Bar on Band rifles like the guns issued to Kirkland and the 2nd SC. The Bar on Band bayonets in this inventory number range that are known are #3153, #3160 and now #3300. This bayonet is a new, previously unrecorded number that recently surfaced in the estate of an old-time bayonet collector in the mid-west.


The bayonet is in VERY GOOD+ to NEAR FINE condition. The blade has a medium smoky gray patina that is mottled with darker age discoloration. The blade is freckled with light surface oxidation that could be lightly cleaned and evened out with some oil and #0000 steel wool, if the new owner so desires. The blade of the bayonet is marked with the crested Knights Head logo of the famous Solingen (Prussia) based firm of C.R. Kirschbaum, which became Kirschbaum & Bremsely in 1858 due to a merger that involved a large British military saber contract. During the Civil War period a large number of the Enfield saber bayonets that were obtained by the North and the South were either produced by Kirschbaum or at the very least utilized their Solingen made blades. As previously noted, the bayonet is engraved with the inventory number 3300 on the reverse pommel cap. The blade is full-length and is free of any chips or breaks. The iron cross guard and the grip mounts show some moderately oxidized brown patina on their surfaces. The spring loaded bayonet locking latch is in place on the obverse pommel cap and is fully functional. The rear of the pommel cap is marked with the bayonet stud mating number B 147, a number that was also stamped on the bayonet lug of the gun this bayonet was fit to. The pressed leather grip panels are in about NEAR FINE condition and retain most of their original finish and the majority of their pressed checkered pattern, which remains mostly crisp and well defined. The grips do show some minor use and wear, commensurate with the age and condition of the bayonet, but are essentially free from the shrinkage that is common when these bayonets are found for sale today. The only real condition issue with the grips is wear to the checkering on both sides, near the hilt. In these areas the checkering is somewhat flatter and less defined due to handling and use. The overall condition of the grips is tremendously better than many that are encountered for sale today. The bayonet is contained in an original,  English Pattern 1856 saber bayonet scabbard that remains in NEAR FINE condition as well. The scabbard is not the original one to the bayonet, as it does not have a numbered frog stud. This is  a Type II scabbard with the iron mounts secured via large  staples, rather than the early Type I scabbards that used small iron brads or pins to retain the mounts. The scabbard retains tight and secure original stitching throughout and is solid and stable. The original iron mountings are very good condition and are secure. The scabbard body retains the majority of its original finish but does exhibit moderate scuffing and some flaked finish loss. The iron mounts show mottled surface oxidation and discoloration but remain solid with no serious pitting or excessive wear.


Overall this is an extremely nice condition example of a very scarce Confederate Numbered Pattern 1856 No 2 Bar on Band Enfield Rifle Saber Bayonet with a nice period scabbard. Only 10,000 numbered saber bayonets of all patterns were imported by the Confederacy, and their survival rate is quite low. In fact, based upon the best currently available research and a data base of Confederate import numbered items that has been collected over roughly 25 years, only about 60 of these numbered saber bayonets of all patterns survive today. That means that only 1 out of every 167 bayonets have survived to today! Of these, less than 20 are of the “Bar on Band” pattern. This set will be a fantastic addition to any Confederate arms collection and will be a really great addition to your numbered “Bar on Band” rifle. I cannot overstate the rarity of these Confederate numbered bayonets, and it this is an item that you will be very glad that you added to your collection of Confederate arms, particularly in this condition.


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Tags: Confederate, Numbered, Bar, on, Band, Enfield, Rifle, Saber, Bayonet