Confederate Bowie Knife and Scabbard

This bowie knife was found on the battlefield of Perryville, Kentucky.
It is claimed that the bowie knife was designed by Rezin Bowie, the brother of James Bowie, and made by blacksmith James Black. The blade, made of steel, was up to 14 inches long. Its shape enabled the cowboy or mountain man to skin or disembowel an animal. In general, the bowie is usually classified as any large knife with a chipped point. It was popular from the 1840s through 1865 and used by United States troops during the Mexican War and on the frontier during the disturbances in Kansas and Missouri in the 1850s. During the Civil War, it was popular with Confederate soldiers, whose arms generally were inferior.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Associated Date
Physical Description
steel (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 5 in x 17 3/4 in x 1 1/2 in; 12.7 cm x 45.085 cm x 3.81 cm
found in
United States: Kentucky
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Civil War
Civil War and Reconstruction
See more items in
Armed Forces History: Armed Forces History, Military
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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