Union solder belt knife

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Hey all,
My brother is wanting to commission a knife for a friend. A friend of his is starting to do Civil War reenacting in the summer representing a union soldier. He will be based out of Ohio.
I have the book American Primitive Knives of 1770 to 1870. I’ve looked about on the Internet as well. That said I have not found any good info related to a specific style of belt knife for the Union. Lots available related to Confederate soldiers carrying bowies and daggers. So would a generic belt knife from this era be appropriate?
Thanks
 
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Hey all,
My brother is wanting to commission a knife for a friend. A friend of his is starting to do Civil War reenacting in the summer representing a union soldier. He will be based out of Ohio.
I have the book American Primitive Knives of 1770 to 1870. I’ve looked about on the Internet as well. That said I have not found any good info related to a specific style of belt knife for the Union. Lots available related to Confederate soldiers carrying bowies and daggers. So would a generic belt knife from this era be appropriate?
Thanks

Actually, it was not common at all for an Infantryman to have a belt knife as they were out of uniform for wearing them. Now almost everyone carried pocket knives. I don't think you would have too difficult of a time finding a modern Barlow knife of the correct style/pattern. I didn't when I bought mine in the 1980's.

Gus
 
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Gus and Mike,
I had run across quite a bit about them carrying pocket knives. Witch makes sense. Mine goes with me everywhere.

So because a belt knife would be “out of uniform” and considered useless weight they were not carried. How about camp chores? Food preparation?
 
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A Barlow is quite correct for the ACW. I have one that was dug on the site of the 3rd. battle of Winchester.

A sheath knife would be out of place on a Union infantryman, and most Confederates too. They were useless against a bayonet and just that much more weight to carry. Not a desirable thing when your primary method of transportation is shanks mare. A pocket knife is easy to carry, relatively light and can be used in the camp for whittling or eating.

There are myriads of correct pocket knives available and most are reasonably priced. The things to avoid are damascus, stainless and overdone brass.

When I was young everyone carried a pocket (jackknife) knife and we used to play mumble peg during recesses from the 4th grade up. Owning one was a rite of passage like having a Red Ryder BB gun.
 

Calum

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Gus and Mike,
I had run across quite a bit about them carrying pocket knives. Witch makes sense. Mine goes with me everywhere.

So because a belt knife would be “out of uniform” and considered useless weight they were not carried. How about camp chores? Food preparation?
Keep in mind, they didn't view camp chores or food prep like we do today. Check out a copy of Hardtack & Coffee or Si Klegg and his Pard Shorty, both are very good reads, and primary resources. Si Klegg is fictional, but still considered a primary resource as it was written by a soldier shortly after the war. Most reenactors, myself included, couldn't "camp" like they did. And rations were issued (and/or you foraged), but no real need for a larger knife.

Mike
 
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Thanks Mike I appreciate the insight. Thanks for the link Hawkeye. Maybe I will just try my hand at forging the blade and building a Barlow knife!
 

sportster73hp

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I bought this at a gun show yesterday. Seller listed as a civil war style knife. Not so sure with the spring in the spine for $10 just bought it
 

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So a one or two blade Barlow knife?
Until the excavation of the Steamship Arabia the prevalent wisdom was two blade had not been invented. Then whoops Arabia had barrels of two blade
A man would be out of uniform with a knife in his belt. He may have had one in has pack. The federal army was not the British army. I would not be surprised if when in the sound of fire a man stuck a knife in his belt. It’s not useful facing a bayonet however we have contemporary drawing of men in hand to hand combat
A man who had seen the elephant may think a knife would come in handy.
However this would have been a one off definitely not routine probably not common in any way, or even one guy per company
 

oreclan

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Hey all,
My brother is wanting to commission a knife for a friend. A friend of his is starting to do Civil War reenacting in the summer representing a union soldier. He will be based out of Ohio.
I have the book American Primitive Knives of 1770 to 1870. I’ve looked about on the Internet as well. That said I have not found any good info related to a specific style of belt knife for the Union. Lots available related to Confederate soldiers carrying bowies and daggers. So would a generic belt knife from this era be appropriate?
Thanks
Contact Adam Daub, also a re-enactor, on face book. He makes knives and muzzleloaders.
 

flashpoint

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A Barlow is quite correct for the ACW. I have one that was dug on the site of the 3rd. battle of Winchester.

A sheath knife would be out of place on a Union infantryman, and most Confederates too. They were useless against a bayonet and just that much more weight to carry. Not a desirable thing when your primary method of transportation is shanks mare. A pocket knife is easy to carry, relatively light and can be used in the camp for whittling or eating.

There are myriads of correct pocket knives available and most are reasonably priced. The things to avoid are damascus, stainless and overdone brass.

When I was young everyone carried a pocket (jackknife) knife and we used to play mumble peg during recesses from the 4th grade up. Owning one was a rite of passage like having a Red Ryder BB gun.
Try carrying a pocketknife to school these days.:dunno:
 
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