Weapons & Accessories (Excavated & Non-excavated) - Guns, Swords, Knives, tools, etc.
Gigantic Dug 24 Inch Bowie Knife
Item #: JMS-74
Gigantic Dug 24 Inch Bowie Knife Gigantic Dug 24 Inch Bowie Knife Gigantic Dug 24 Inch Bowie Knife Gigantic Dug 24 Inch Bowie Knife
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This is an artifact with an intriguing, if somewhat mysterious history. It is a 24 inch, D-Guard Bowie knife...quite typical of what a Confederate soldier might have carried into battle. And it's indeed possible that this excavated relic has a Confederate history. But can we be 100% certain? I just can't make that claim honestly. Here is what I know for sure.
This blade -- which is totally tight and clearly a dug piece -- was unearthed in extremely sandy soil, more than 2 feet deep. As I said, it's about 24 inches long and just a shade wider than one inch. The patina is a beautiful deep chocolate brown.
Most curious is that it was dug about 45 years ago in St. Augustine, Florida. The only information the previous owner would give me is that it was dug in a spot that was privately owned at the time. The general vicinity yielded Spanish, British, Federal and Confederate artifacts ranging from gold coins to bullets. Based on the construction of the knife, it is clearly NOT Spanish. It is also definitely not a modern Filipino knockoff that has been aged. That really leaves two possibilities. It is was probably privately purchased -- either by one of the small number of Confederate soldiers who occupied Fort Marion in the St. Augustine area for about one year. Or it was carried by one of the U.S. Marines who reclaimed the site when the Southern Boys left to fight farther north. I can't begin to guess which. Some Yankees carried these big bubbas, too, as photos from the period have shown. They are far more associated with the Confederacy, however.
There was no combat at St. Augustine or Fort Marion during the war. The story goes that a couple dozen Floridians politely informed the lone Union soldier that he was to vacate the premises. He quite cheerfully obliged, handed over the keys to the fort and wished his Southern cousins a very good day. About a year later, the Rebs either got bored or decided they could be more useful elsewhere. So they headed up to South Carolina and eventually wound up in a bitter battle in Kentucky! Once they left, Uncle Sam returned and kept hold of the fort for the balance of the war. Though not a shot was fired at this site...aside, presumably, for some target practice and perhaps some hunting...it is still part of the story that is the War Between the States.
The condition of this blade and the D-guard is beautiful. Only the lightest rust and pitting, quite consistent with the very sandy soil in which it was resting for so long. I do not believe this is a hand-forged piece. I have owned files that were fashioned into knives for the weapon-starved Confederacy. This looks to have been manufactured. You are most welcome to email or call me with any questions or information you'd care to share. If I didn't have a couple of nice, dug D-Guard Bowies in my collection, this one would be hanging on the wall right now.


(or just ask a question about it) please email me directly at cwartifax@gmail.com

Using the “Order Information” button right below the price USUALLY works, but not always.  I don’t know why, but it could have to do with spam settings on either end. The easiest way to order or inquire about an item is simply to email me directly.  Again, my email address is cwartifax@gmail.com


Shipping Weight: 4 lbs
Price Was: 595.00  $495.00 USD

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