My book Bowie Knife Fights, Fighters, and Fighting Techniques is available from Paladin Press. This blog contains additional information about the bowie knife, as well as the fighting knives of other nations.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Duel: Pistol vs. Bowie Knife

From "A Pistol-shot at the Duelists," Harper's Magazine, 1856:
Two students at a Southern university quarreled, and agreed to fight. Not having the thirty-six commandments [sic] before them, they resolved to fight at once, where they were, and with the weapons they had. One was armed with a pistol, the other with a bowie-knife. The latter calmly told his adversary to fire, and stood facing him at a few feet distance. The owner of the pistol remonstrated, begged his opponent to wait till fire-arms could be procured for both ; but he would not listen to any proposal of the kind. Sternly and menacingly he bade his adversary fire. The latter, seeing the keen blade of the bowie-knife, raised his pistol, fired; the ball struck his opponent on the head, but by a miraculous accident glanced, merely tearing the scalp. Then the bowie-knife flashed -- with one spring its owner was beside his enemy, and drove the fearful weapon deep into his skull. He was carried to the room of a medical professor; but he was quite dead. The bowie-knife had sunk so deeply into the bones of the head that the professor was forced to place his knee upon the body, and tug with his whole strength to draw it out.

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