Spanish-American War, A board of officers int he US Army’s Ordnance Department sought to find out if a combination of bayonet and “Entrenching Tool” would be a possibility for attachment to our then standard Krag-Jorgansen rifles. It was thought that soldiers should have a bayonet with more utility for jungle use than the standard straight-blade issued to them. In 1899, they convened to examine a number of possible candidates for this role. What they wanted was a usable bayonet that could also be used as a combat knife, for whacking brush and to be a tool to assist in digging trenches and foxholes. The consensus was that a large Bowie-style blade might work out, but that a careful balance between light weight and sturdiness would have to be addressed. An apparently suitable design was settled upon and production of the “Combination bayonet and Entrenching Tool” began at the Springfield armory in 1899. The first (and as it turned out, only) production bayonets would be issued to troops in the field for evaluation.
Manufacture continued into 1900, and all the bayonets were date-stamped “1900” on the reverse side of the root of the blade. “U.S.” was stamped on the opposite, or obverse side. It’s estimated that somewhat less than 4,000 were produced, all at Springfield Armory. The strikingly menacing blade measured 9.094″ long, 1.75″ in width, and for weight savings it was quite slender, a mere .125″ in thickness. Overall length was 13.75 inches. The clipped Bowie-Style point is clipped to form a 2.75″ long false edge. The bottom of the blade was sharpened, as was a portion of the top of the blade. The hilt and handle were identical to that on the standard Krag bayonet. The blade, hilt and pommel were left bright, with no bluing. The total weight was .92lbs. The scabbard was blued steel, gently curved to take the blade, and had a drain hole in the ball tip. It used a steel cartridge belt loop, identical to that on the “type II” standard Krag bayonet scabbard. This loop can be oscillated 100 degrees. The Scabbard is 10″ long from throat to tip, and 14.31″ overall, weighing in at .63lbs