Sought-after ALS signed “J.E.B. Stuart, 1st Lt. 1st Cav.,” one page, 7.75 x 9.75, August 16, 1859. Letter to the Adjutant General of the War Department, in full: "I have the honor to Submit herewith a manual for 'Stuart's Sabre attachment' which I submitted to the Cav'y Board at Carlisle, but was not considered by them on the ground that they had no power to act on it. They however individually suggested that it would be well to submit it to you to be acted upon contemporaneously with the proceedings of the Board. In case the latter are approved the service will require some such system as the one here presented."
Included with the letter is an original vintage leather sword hanger retaining all original brass hardware. Straps are folded and riveted with snap hooks at ends, with both measuring 12.5″ in length.; the leather is supple and bears some light crazing. The brass hanger, 2.75″ x 3.75″, is marked with an Old English “U.S.” and the hinged clip is stamped “Frankford Arsenal." This style hanger was patented by J. E. B. Stuart in 1859. He later sold the rights to the U.S. government and it became a standard cavalry issue throughout the Civil and Indian Wars. In use up until 1900, the sword hanger enabled the trooper to more easily and swiftly disconnect the sword from the belt when it was not required. In overall fine condition.
Major General J. E. B. Stuart, the Confederacy's famed beau sabreur, justifiably is best known as the dashing commander of the Army of Northern Virginia's cavalry units. However, in October 1859, while serving as a U.S. Army lieutenant and stationed at Fort Riley in the Kansas Territory, Stuart found success as an inventor. The 26-year-old Virginian filed for and eventually received U.S. Patent #25,684: 'Improved Method of Attaching Sabers to Belts.' Stuart claimed that his new brass-and-leather saber hanger allowed a cavalryman to quickly remove his saber, scabbard, and suspension straps from the standard army belt. The U.S. Army agreed, paid Stuart a 'right to use' license fee of $5,000, and through 1864 produced thousands of the tools Stuart had invented.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.