Confederate Bowie Knives of the Georgia State Arsenal by: Josh Phillips
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Table of Contents
The story of Jim Bowie's last stand at the Alamo with his famous knife was a 25 year-old legend when the Southern boys took up arms against the Northern invaders. In the era of unreliable flintlock and percussion arms, a fighting knife as a back-up weapon that never fails had become standard equipment for citizens, hunters and soldiers alike, especially in the rural South. In this antebellum knife-culture, most knives were of modest practical proportions, crafted by local artisans or imported from Sheffield, England. But some truly monstrous knives were made in the early Confederacy, the reason for which is still debated among collectors.
Perhaps knowing full-well that their government could not provide enough firearms, many CS soldiers went to war with these menacing side-knives. Besides being no match against a regiment in blue armed with rifled-muskets, the 23 inch, two pound weights banging against their thighs for the last twelve hours march were not a good idea.
After a year of war (or sooner), many soldiers discarded the huge knives along the fields or sent them back home as impractical souvenirs. Nevertheless, the indefatigable governor of Georgia, Joe Brown, decided that more knives were needed, and his quest to that end is the subject of this book.
The mammoth Bowies of excellent quality turned in to the Georgia State Arsenal in 1862 are the closest the Confederacy ever came to a regulation-issue side-knife. The knives served their state and the Confederacy in the field, if not to the fullest aspirations of the hopeful, to the most reasonable needs of the practical soldier.
In this comprehensive study of these Southern Bowie knives, author/collector Josh Phillips identifies the craftsmen that answered the governor's call and the many types of huge Bowie knives that they turned in to the state arsenal at Milledgeville. Tracing archaeological findings and newly discovered relics and manuscripts, the author unfolds a modern detective story, complete with all relevant details for today's collectors. The eighty-plus color and B/W full-page photographs by renown photographer, Jack Melton, make this an essential library reference addition for all knife and weapons collectors.
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- Width: 5.5 inches
- Height: 8.5 inches
- Depth: 0 inch
- Weight: 0.75 pound