The act of putting a saber in it's scabbard will do as much damage to the blade as anything you may be "cutting" with it. Government issue "steel wasn't the greatest edge holder. American weapons of that era aren't to be compared to say Asian or Middle Eastern weapons. Sabers were mostly for decorative purposes and little evidence exists of serious saber combat. Even in cavalry conflicts a saber charge was mostly a show of troop numbers and horse handling ability. Forrest stated it best that a saber was best used for roasting meat over an open fire. Mosby's men were advised against sabers. They were cumbersome, heavy, and very loud when carried. Mosby's troopers preferred two pistols in waist holsters and two in saddle pommel holsters. Another pocket model or "hideaway" kept in the waisteband completed the handgun arsenal. A good 10 gauge shotgun or .69 caliber carbine with buck and ball would extend the firepower. Plus, have you ever carried a saber while reenacting? That thing will cause more bruises and wounds to yourself than anything you may encounter. haha. Sabers are for Color Guards and officers.