The second pattern or P1848 Brunswick sword bayonet was manufactured from 1848 until the 1880s. As well as the Crown produced bayonets, made at the Enfield Small Arms Factory for the British Military, several private companies also produced these, both for the British War Department and for private purchase by volunteer regiments. This rare bayonet is one such an example, privately purchase by the First New York Volunteer Artillery during the American Civil War.
The 558mm double-edged blade has a short fuller along the medial ridge. The leaf-shaped blade has a flattened diamond cross section with a slight waist, widening towards the spear point.
The blade is in very good condition, clean and bright with small areas of mottled tarnish. The forte is stamped with a crowned inspection mark.
The ribbed brass hilt and crosspiece are in excellent condition. The push-button attachment mechanism is in good working order.
The crosspiece bears several marks, a flower-like stamp that I do not recognise, the rack or weapon number 406, and on the opposite side, the number 2 on the crosspiece and below that, 1865. I believe this is the date February 1865. Only three months before the end of the Civil War in May of that year. The pommel is stamped with the regimental mark “1NY-V. A.” The end of the pommel bears another inspection stamp and the number 3.
The lack of any British War Department ownership stamps and an Enfield Maker’s mark, inspection stamps and manufacture date indicate that this bayonet was a private purchase as opposed to being a surplus British bayonet sold off to America. Both the North and South used these bayonets during the American Civil War.
The 1st New York Volunteer Artillery saw service in some of the fiercest battles of the Civil War.