[Samuel H. Walker]. U.S. Mounted Rifleman's Knife, Model 1849 by the Ames Manufacturing Company. This massive knife is 17.5" long with an 11.5" spear-point blade, a cast-brass guard, and slab-sided walnut grips. The obverse ricasso of the blade is stamped with a "WD" inspector's mark for William Dickinson, and the reverse is roll-stamped "AMES MFG.CO. / CABOTVILLE / 1849" in three lines. The obverse of the guard is stamped "WD," again for William Dickinson, and "JWR" for James W. Ripley, U.S. Inspector of Arms. The distinctive pommel is missing from the grip, broken at the thong hole. Also missing are the three rosette-headed rivets securing the grips to the tang. All parts of the knife show considerable wear and use; however, it is still an honest example of the rarest and most desirable of all U.S. military knifes.

    The idea to supply the Regiment of Mounted Rifles with knives first came in the fall of 1846, along with the request for new pistols. When Captain Samuel Walker, a former Texas Ranger, travelled to the Northeast to recruit a new Mounted Rifle company, he worked with Samuel Colt to improve the Colt Paterson revolver. The War Department ordered 1,000 new Colts - the Colt Walker model - but did not order knives. In fact, the knives were not ordered until after the Mexican War had ended. Then the Ames Manufacturing Company of Cabotville, Massachusetts, was contracted by the United States Army Ordnance Department to supply 1,000 knives for use by the regiment. The knife was designed as a special weapon for the Mounted Riflemen who were armed with new Colt Dragoon revolvers and Model 1841 rifles. The finished knives were delivered to Springfield Armory May 5, 1849. The first use for the Model 1849 knife was when the Mounted Rifles were ordered to Oregon Territory later that year. In December 1851 they travelled to Texas where they spent the next four years policing the Indian tribes along the Nueces River.

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    Auction Dates
    September, 2013
    21st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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