A 5.5″ etched spear point blade bowie & silver pocket watch with engraved name and Civil War engagements.
Marine Corps General’s Watch & Id’d Bowie Knife.
This group belonged to then 2nd Lieutenant Percival Clarence Pope, USMC, consisting of his 5. 5 inch spear point bowie with bone grip, and red Moroccan scabbard with German silver mounts, and his 18 size hunter case with sunken second hand dial. Whether or not the watch is a presentation or information recorded by Pope himself is unknown, but the place names where he saw service was during is time on the USS Powhatan.
- The knife is made by “GEORGE / BUTLER & Co. / SHEFFIELD,” marked on the etched side of the blade at the ricasso, “ART” on the other. The German silver guard is engraved, ” NOV. 25, 1861 / USMC.” His name is engraved on the German silver panel inlayed into the bone on the same side, “LT. P.C. Pope.” The blade is etched “NEVER DRAW ME WITHOUT REASON / NOR SHEATH ME WITHOUT HONOUR,” this engraving surrounded with vine and floral patterns. The other side is plain. The etching is very strong, with only the frosty etching thinning some. A few small nicks in the blade, and some blemishing, mostly on the other side of blade. The grip is excellent without flaw, with some aged patina. The red Moroccan scabbard with German silver mounts, is decorated with gold embossed floral edge on both sides. The stud for affixing to a frog to hand from a belt is missing, and a strong crease at the upper third toward throat but not broken. 9 3/4 inches overall length.
- Pope’s pocket watch is made by Jules Huguennin / Loele / No. 26879 / Patent Lever Full Ruby / Jewelled.” See photos for all numbers on all parts. The dial is excellent with all the hands intact. Currently the watch runs in various positions, and needs a cleaning, The second hand is less cooperative. Inside the the front cover, engraved with shield and florals, reads, ” Lt. P.C. POPE / U.S. MARINE CORPS / PORT ROYAL S.C. / BAY POINT S.C. / FORT SUMTER 1863 / U.S.S. POWHATAN.” The elaborate silver watch chain has a rope design fob with a horses head inserted under a dome of glass, and the watch key is attached at this point as well.
Percival C. Pope, (1841 – 1922) was born at the Charlestown Navy Yard, the son of Commodore John Pope, USN. He accepted a commission in the Navy at the outbreak of the the Rebellion, and was assigned to the U.S.S. Richmond, then commanded by his father, and was blockading duty at the mouth of the Mississippi River. Later that year, Pope received a commission in the U.S. Marine Corps. His watch records his involvement in the joint amphibious assault at Port Royal on November 7, 1861, and also “Bay Point” which was a part of that engagement.
In early April, the marines and sailors, numbering 100 & 300 respectively, made a night time attack on Fort Sumter with an aftermath of Union losses being 6 killed, 2 officers and 17 men wounded, and 10 officers and 92 men captured for a total of 127 casualties. Five boats were also captured. The Confederates suffered no casualties. Union dead were shipped back to the fleet while the wounded and captured were removed to the city the following day. For Pope’s part in the assault he received a Presidential Citation.
In September, Pope was again decorated by the Navy with the Brevet Medal for “gallant and meritorious service in the night attack, and promoted to the rank of captain.
Colonel Pope would serve in the Marine Corps for 44 years, retiring in 1905, and retired as a brigadier general. He died at his home in Milton, Massachusetts in 1922, and buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery, Dorchester, Mass.
I purchased this set in 2003 from a collector / dealer from Southboro, Mass., and purchased it back from the collector who I sold it to shortly after my purchase.
An honest, and historic Civil War decorated marine officer’s watch and knife. The miniature Brevet Medal is for display purposes only, and is included with the watch and knife.