American Civil War Fighting Knife M1840 NCO Sword originally manufactured in 1858 by Ames Mfg Co. in Chicopee, MA. Hand-signed original cut-down scabbard included.
One of a kind American Civil War era improvised fighting knife and original scabbard made from a broken US M1840 Non-Commissioned Officer’s Sword manufactured by Ames Mfg Co. Originally, this M1840 sword was manufactured in 1858 by Ames Manufacturing Company in Chicopee, Massachusetts.
These NCO swords were not meant to be personal defense weapons – M1840 was designed to be used mostly as a dress sword, not meant for a close-quarter battle. But during the Civil War a lot of captured or broken Union swords found a new life as fighting knives – as the war dragged on, the soldiers on both sides of the conflict found themselves without a reliable personal sidearm. Anything that could be re-used as a camp knife and/or a fighting knife was put to use. This re-tooled M1840 NCO sword is an example of one such “born again” sidearm.
This particular specimen is in great overall condition: original cast bronze “wire” pattern handle with with wide crossguard is in excellent shape with only a few minor contact marks. The dagger is about 12-3/8″ / 35.5 cm overall; fullered blade is about 5-7/8″ / 15 cm. Ricasso is date-stamped U.S. / A.D.K. / 1858 on one side and with Ames’ “rolled parchment” factory stamp on the other. This bad boy weights 15.1 oz / 0.43 kg; without the scabbard. Well-sharpened blade has a few minor edge nicks; the tip is intact. An attractive dark-gray original patina on the blade and very pretty golden-honey patina throughout the bronze handle, scarce this nice.
The most interesting part of this dagger is its original scabbard. It’s made from the original sword scabbard that was cut-down and plugged with a wood peg. A piece of paper glued to the front has the following “poetry” hand-written in faded black ink (I’ve copied the grammar and punctuation exactly as it was written):
“This Knife our only SON did use
To KILL a yankee who would abuse
The SACRED RIGHTS we nowdefend
from SATAN Lincoln and his Friends“
Wow! That’s all I could say when I first came across this piece. Anyway, the scabbard is about 7-3/8″ / 18.7 cm overall. The stitching on the leather has come apart, but the scabbard is still in great overall shape, considering the age. Over 155 years later, this unique American Civil War Fighting Knife M1840 NCO Sword-turned fighter is still in very much serviceable condition; VERY rare this nice. Most of the surviving Civil War era fighting knives are in private collections and rarely come up for sale; don’t miss your chance to add this gorgeous specimen to your collection!
This American Civil War Fighting Knife M1840 NCO Sword-turned fighting dagger has not been cleaned or tampered with in any way. It’s in 100% original “as is” condition; these are the actual photos. We have several vintage American and European knives available for sale – please check out our Collectable Blades section for similar listings.
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