“Knuckle Duster” – The WWI Trench Knife

The Shelby County Museum & Archives is lucky to have in its collection two great examples of trench knives, also known as “knuckle dusters.”  Both dating from 1917 and made by the A.C.Co. (American Cutlery Company), they are on display in the Seales room at the museum.  With a unique three-sided blade, the “knuckle duster” was used in close combat situations.

The guard was designed to protect the hand with small metal points around the outer edge, which provided the knife’s nickname “knuckle duster”. The knives were used to punch using the guard, strike with downward force using the blunt handle of the knife, and stabbing. The devastating blade penetrated an enemy and sped blood loss due to the three separate incisions created by one thrust. Medics and other medical personnel were unable to close the three incision wounds with clotting agents or surgery easily, and many soldiers died from excessive blood loss.

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“Remember Fort Mims”

Fort Mims Massacre

The background to the massacre at Fort Mims stems from the purchase of military arms from the Spanish controlled area of Pensacola in July of 1813. Red Stick Creek leaders traveled to purchase military arms and supplies to aid in repelling white settlers from Creek lands. Peter McQueen and High Head Jim (Red Stick Creeks) led the excursion and upon returning through an area known as Burnt Corn Creek on July 27th 1813 met with militia forces determined to stop the returning military supplies. This altercation resulted in a surprise initial victory for militia forces, but the Red Stick Creek warriors eventually took the field of battle when they regrouped and returned with a coordinated attack against the militia forces. This little regarded battle led to the following retaliation against white settlers and militia forces at Fort Mims on August 30th 1813.

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So Many Marriage Records, So Little Time

Visitors to the Shelby County Museum & Archives often say that they could spend days and days going through all the records we have.  Truly, we are so fortunate to have such a well curated collection.

Perhaps the most popular (and frequently used) collection is our Shelby County Marriage Records dating from 1824 to October 1981.  Genealogists come from near and far to look at these records.

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