"Wilhoite Knife"

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   This beautiful Confederate Bowie knife has everything possible that one could desire in a Confederate knife.  It is in wonderful, original condition.  The man who made it is identified, the soldier who carried it is identified, it is sixteen and a quarter inches long, which is large for a Bowie, and it is published.  Everything one could want in a Confederate knife rolled into one.

     The knife was manufactured by Benjamin Wilhoite of Madison County, Virginia.  No manufacturer in the Confederacy produced finer knives than Benjamin Wilhoite, and very few, if any, can equal the quality.  The hollow ground, spear-point blade with a perfectly formed ricasso is fit with an oval iron cross guard and hardwood grip.  The original tin scabbard’s quality is commensurate with the knife.  Tinsmith Private William Sims (Company F, 13th Virginia Infantry) is believed to have made Wilhoite’s scabbards, custom fit to form to the hollow ground blade.  According to Josh Phillips’ research there are three known patterns made by Wilhoite.  The various patterns are documented in Confederate Bowie Knives, which presents a detailed discussion of the maker and his knives, as well as the men who carried them.

     The inked label pasted to the scabbard reads “Worn by W.T. Sherman of the Green Rough and Readies”.  A remarkable amount is known about William Thomas Sherman.  Born September 29, 1838, he was a 23 year old Greene County farmer standing five foot ten inches when he enlisted on February 28, 1862 in Stanardsville, Virginia.  He had fair skin, light hair and grey eyes.  He enlisted in Captain Sterrett’s Artillery Battalion, which, after rotating through a few different names, became officially Company D, 34th Virginia Infantry.  By September he had been promoted to Third Corporal and to Sargent in December.  With the exception of detached service in June, 1862 and again in December of the same year and a stint in the hospital in early 1864 he remained with his regiment until the bitter end.  Sargent Sherman was paroled at Appomattox Court House on April 10, 1865.  His last record is found on April 27, 1922 among the Virginia Confederate pension files. 

     William T. Sherman passed away on June 28, 1927, in his 88th year and lies in the family graveyard in Ruckersville, Greene County, Virginia.

     Thankfully his knife remains to recall him to memory so that we may honour his service to Virginia and the Confederacy. 

   

 

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