The American Civil War was one of the bloodiest battles in U.S. history. The reason for this was because both the Unions and the Confederates knew each other’s techniques so well, and could counter and re-counter the opponent’s attacks.
Also, the Civil War was a time when many military advancements were being made, such as more powerful cannons, and even Gatling guns were being developed! These weapons were powerful and just cut down the enemy’s infantry and cavalry. Have you ever played a strategy game such as Age of Empires? If so, when the enemy brings in their artillery, what do you do? I just ignore everything but destroying the cannons and so, in real war, the person firing the cannon needs a sidearm to protect himself, and his Colt Revolver only has so many bullets. What does he use? His sword, of course.
The types of swords did not differ very much between the Confederate and Union armies, because the rebel Confederates, like the rebel Americans in the previous war against England, just picked up any weapons they could find among the enemy’s dead.
Generally, the sword consisted of the hilt, or handle, wrapped tightly in leather with twisted copper wire wrapped around that. There was always a large (and elaborate, if an officer) hand guard that went around from the beginning of the blade to the bottom of the hilt. This hand guard was normally made of brass. Now for the most important part: the blade. Thanks to the Bessemer Process, steel could be made in large quantities, so the blades could be made thinner and longer without much risk of breaking. When the blacksmiths pounded the edge, it went flat while the back of the blade did not move, pushing the blade into a curve, perfect for slashing.