Original U.S. Civil War Confederate Large “Bowie” Knife

Item Description

Original item: Only One Available. There is probably no more iconic Civil War image than the young Confederate soldier marching off to war with a large fighting knife in his hand or belt. Early war southern ambrotypes and tintypes offer a big variety and sometimes comical fighting knives of various types, often made by local blacksmiths for the boys of 1861 to take to war. The classic southern fighting knife was usually quite large and robust, with an overall length ranging from 12" to 24" and blades ranging from 8" to as long as 18" or longer! Many of these Confederate-made fighting knives featured large "D" shaped guards, earning them the moniker "D" knives but is not present on this example.

Over the years, the majority of local knife makers have remained anonymous, though certain traits and characteristics of surviving knives can sometimes help us make broad statements about the likely region or state from which an unmarked knife originated. This is an unmarked example and we unfortunately have not been able to identify a possible location of manufacture, other than the broad “southern” made.

The knife is still in very good, service used condition with the expected weathering from long service. The blade has a patina with scattered oxidation and age discoloration. The blade has areas of surface roughness from oxidation, and does not show signs of sharpening. The blade has a length of 15.5”. The blade's edge has a few scattered nicks and dings as well the typical expected wear from handling and use and is still quite sharp. The grip is still intact, with no breaks, cracks, or repairs and shows the expected signs of wear and age. There is no movement between the grip and the blade, they are very solid. The total length of this Civil War Bowie Knife is nearly 20 ½”.

Comes more than ready for further research and display.

Blade Length: 15 1/2"
Blade Style: Double Edged Leaf
Overall length: 20 1/2“

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