By Robert Hancock
Senior Curator & Director of Collections
What is it?
In 1859 Lieutenant (later Confederate general) J.E.B. Stuart received a U.S. patent for a device he thought would be an improvement on a piece of cavalry equipment. This sword clip was intended to be a quick release device for a cavalryman’s saber. Swords were suspended from a waist belt by two leather straps and this clip allowed the soldier to quickly remove the sword from the belt without unbuckling the straps. While never adopted by the U.S. Army, a few Confederate officers used them during the war.