The bowie knife — considered by the Northern press of 1861 an important weapon
An article “concerning firearms” published in Harper's Weekly of August 2, 1861; states that “the bowie knife is usually from ten to fifteen inches in length, with a blade about two inches wide.
It is said to owe its invention to an accident which occurred to Colonel Bowie during a battle with the Mexicans; he broke his sword some fifteen inches from the hilt, and afterward used the weapon thus broken as a knife in hand-to-hand fights.
This is a most formidable weapon, and is commonly in use in the West and Southwest.”
As much space is devoted to the description of the bowie knife as is given to siege artillery.
An illustration in the same journal for August 31, 1861, shows “Mississippians practising with the bowie knife.”
The Mississippians are engaged in throwing the knives.
The heavy blades are seen hurtling through the air and burying their points in a tree.
Grasping his bowie knife in the above photograph stands E. Spottswood Bishop, who started out as a private, was promoted to captain in the Twenty-fifth Virginia Cavalry, wounded five times, and elected colonel of his regiment by its officers.
On the right is David J. Candill, who was transferred from the Twenty-fifth to the Tenth Kentucky Cavalry, and was promoted to lieutenant-colonel of his regiment.
He was severely wounded in active service in his native State. |