CIVIL WAR Antique D-Guard Fighting Knife w NAME
Belonging to a Soldier in the 82nd NY Infantry
Here we present an antique D-Guard Fighting Knife, made circa 1860. The leather sheath is hand-marked with the name “Austin CARR”. The story that accompanies this piece states that this is the same Austin Carr that belonged to Company F of the 82nd New York Infantry during the American Civil War. This information is unable to be verified. However, this knife is said to have been found in a house in New Jersey, which is extremely plausible, since that is where he ultimately settled with his sister, Ann Eliza Carr Beers.
Private Austin A. Carr was born July 4, 1835 in New York City. He joined up on August 13, 1862 and was discharged June 2, 1865. He lived until he was 72 years old, and died in his sister’s family’s home in Trenton, New Jersey. The accompanying booklet, A CASUALTY AT GETTYSBURG AND ANDERSONVILLE: SELECTIONS FROM THE CIVIL WAR DIARY OF PRIVATE AUSTIN A. CARR OF THE 82ND N.Y. INFANTRY, states “When Austin died in 1907, he left no heirs, but fortunately his diary was cherished as a war relic by members of his sister’s family, the Beers clan.” His time as an infantryman led him to battle at Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg (where he was injured), The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, and Cold Harbor. He was captured in Petersburg, Virginia. He and the others that were captured first went to a prison camp in Lynchburg, Virginia, and were thereafter transferred to the notorious Andersonville POW camp in Georgia. He somehow escaped the horror of that place, and though he lived a fairly normal life, ailments from his days fighting and as prisoner never left him. The introduction to this book does a very nice job of highlighting what events took place and where to find them in the entries that are present. It is a fantastic addition to this wonderfully historic fighting knife!
The knife is in good condition. The blade is quite thick at the spine. The metal surfaces are dark with an aged patina. Due to the relatively soft leather sheath, the blade is actually still fairly sharp, with no sign of having been sharpened anytime in the recent past. The tip has evidence of a little prying, but the rest of the blade is nice and straight. The handle material is wood, and it is very solid and sturdy, despite showing a crack and possible insect damage. The sheath is about 85% present, with a portion that has detached with age and wear. To find a knife like this is rare, and to find it with a story is even rarer.
Own the original! This is a legitimate antique and not a reproduction.
Blade is 18-13/16 inches in length.
Overall condition as seen in photos.
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