Re: how do I keep a knife sharp?
It's not period, but Spyderco makes a nice Triangle sharp maker which sets the stones up easily into two grooves for the correct angle. Then, it's relatively easy to put a decent edge on a blade by stroking it down both sides of the stones. Just don't take it to an event! I have one of those combo tools too and like it a lot for vittles. For any real cutting, I rely on my period stly pocket barlow.
Hope it helps!
"...General Jackson rode up & told them that they must look out, for those troops were the regulars & if they made the slightest mismove or wavered an instant all would be lost, for the regulars were devils & would cut them to pieces."