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Blades: Centuries of Swords, Bayonets, and Bolos

- This Temporary Exhibit ran from December 3, 2010 through Fall 2011 -

The Quartermaster Museum exhibit "Blades: Centuries of Swords, Bayonets, and Bolos", chronicled the evolution of mankind's oldest hand-to-hand weapons. The exhibit contained over fifty edged weapons from the museum's collection dating from the 18th century and includes swords and bayonets used by the American and British Armies during the American Revolution, Civil War-era swords, both Union and Confederate, along with bolos and machetes developed by the U.S. Army for use as tools and as weapons.

Blades Exhibit - View 1
Blades Exhibit - View 2

Blades Exhibit - View 3

"Blades" traced the functional history swords where for thousands of years they were the primary weapons for hand-to-hand combat. By the middle of the 19th century firearms had made swords obsolete as an important battlefield weapon and by the 20th century, swords were merely ceremonial. The history of bayonets also parallels the battlefield dominance of firearms; the exhibit featured thirteen bayonets dating from the 1770's to the 1960's.

Among the more notable weapons exhibited included a 1759 British Infantry hangar with an association with the Dutch East Indies Company, a Confederate cavalry saber used by a member of the 9th Virginia Cavalry, a sword belonging  to Brigadier General Rufus Ingalls, the architect of the Civil War logistics base at City Point, and a rare 1847 Sapper/Miner bayonet.

Blades Exhibit - View 4   

Blades Exhibit - View 5
The Quartermaster Museum is located in Building 5218, A Avenue, Fort Lee, Virginia. "Blades" will run from December 3, 2010 through Fall 2011. Admission is free. For more information call (804) 734-4203.

This page was last updated on: March 19, 2013