CONFEDERATE CLOVERLEAF PIKE

$1,800.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 766-1551

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Confederate polearms are a testimony to southern innovation, if not desperation, in the face of early-war arms shortages. They were simple, easy to produce, manufactured in several locations, and their designs offer some variety for the collector. This the “cloverleaf” pattern, a trefoil spearhead with one central, elongated, diamond-shaped, double-edged blade, and two shorter blades, all with median ridges, protruding to the sides at its base that function as guards and also as thrusting points if brought down from above or swept from the side. The point is secured in the neck of the pole by an iron collar from which two long side straps extend to prevent the pole being cut by a sword in combat.

The blade and collar are gray and brown in color with some stains, but also some bright metal showing. but are solid and the blade edges and points are good. The pole is original and has been reduced slightly for display, measuring about 5-feet long and 1 ½ inches at its greatest diameter. (Overall length including the blade is 70 ½”). The pole and side straps have an old orange-red wash. This one is unmarked, but they are known to have been made by H. Stevens of Macon, Georgia, in response to Governor Joe Brown’s plea for side knives and pikes to arm the populace for defense of the state.

Polearms are not as foolish an idea as might at first appear. They could do service on shipboard and defending gun embrasures. In the open field, it was supposed, or hoped, that thus lightly armed supporting troops could pursue and cut down a fleeing enemy. (The enemy had to first flee, but that was another matter.) Bayonet charges did occasionally work, if they could be launched close enough and fast enough: Grover’s brigade overran two enemy lines at Second Manassas. Of course, otherwise they might be brought to ground with heavy casualties at some distance by rifle and artillery fire, as Fredericksburg, Cold Harbor and other fields proved.

This is a quintessentially Confederate weapon and would complement a collection of side-knives and other early-war arms.  [sr] [ph:m/L]

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