Original U.S. Civil War US Navy M1861 “Dahlgren” Bowie Knife Bayonet and Scabbard By Ames - Dated 1863

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Now this is a rare bayonet to come across! Designed in 1856 by U.S. Navy Admiral John A.B. Dahlgren for use aboard his ship, the USS Plymouth, this Ames-marked knife replaced the saber-style bayonet that was first issued with the Plymouth Whitney Rifle musket. The Dahlgren bowie knife bayonet is considered to be one of the best bayonet designs of the nineteenth century. First produced for the Navy by well-known arms maker Ames Manufacturing Co of Chicopee, Massachusetts in September 1861, this finely-crafted weapon features an unfullered, bowie-shaped spear point blade 11 ¾” long with a clipped point tip on the obverse side. Still quite sharp, the hefty, 3/8" thick steel blade is in excellent condition with just scattered areas of surface rust and pitting.

The knife has a one-piece pommel, guard and back strap of heavy brass with a one-piece walnut grip fitted between the pommel back strap and the guard. Butt of the brass pommel is stamped with the government armory sub-inspector's initials "DR" (David Rice - ASI), in script within a small oval. All brass has a lovely dark bronze patina with a few dark oxidation spots scattered about between the light dings and scuffs marks. Bottom of the walnut grip features four finger grooves for a positive grasp. Brass hilt is secured to the grips by a long brass wood screw vertically traversing the hilt. Admiral Dahlgren's own description of this foreboding weapon states "The special bayonet is a short, broad and stout knife of the well known bowie-pattern, the principal use of which I designed to be in the hand in close conflict as in boarding."

Stamped on the center obverse ricasso are the markings:


D.R. is the marking of government inspector Daniel Rice. The bottom of the pommel bears another DR inspection stamp as well. The reverse ricasso bears the maker's three-line mark of


Included is the rare, original leather scabbard in unmarked, good condition but does have the expected wear and cracking to the leather. Both the throat and tip are constructed of brass while the sheath portion is of blackened bridle leather. Brass throat collar tightly secured with four thin brass rivets. Brass tip is just slightly loose but still retains all 4 rivets.

This is an incredible opportunity to add a rare piece of Civil War weaponry to your Naval collections. Comes more than ready for display.

Blade Length: 11 3/4"
Blade Style: Single Edged "Bowie"
Overall length: 16 1/2“
Crossguard: 4 3/4”
Scabbard Length: 12 3/4"

John A. Dahlgren
John Adolphus Bernard Dahlgren (November 13, 1809 – July 12, 1870) was a United States Navy officer who founded his service's Ordnance Department and launched significant advances in gunnery.

Dahlgren devised a smoothbore howitzer, adaptable for many sizes of craft and shore installations. He then introduced a cast-iron muzzle-loading cannon with vastly increased range and accuracy, known as the Dahlgren gun, that became the U.S. Navy's standard armament.

In the Civil War, Dahlgren was made commander of the Washington Navy Yard, where he established the Bureau of Ordnance. In 1863, he took command of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron at the rank of rear admiral. He helped William Tecumseh Sherman secure Savannah, Georgia.

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