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  • Gettysburg Museum
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  • H. Howard Wert's Gettysburg artifacts

Civil War era Rattan Wine Bottle, as in Gettysburg Museum

$100.00 $75.00
(You save $25.00)

Product Description

This is another nice item being offered, it is a Civil War era rattan wine jug. The glass is aqua colored with a crude applied lip, still having the original old cork. It is covered in wicker and an attached woven handle and measures 15” high with a diameter of 6” atthe base. 


One of the most popular items for sale by Civil War sutlers was liquor. With weeks and even months of inactivity, to say nothing of the need of many to face combat, it is a known fact that drinking was a common way of enduring nasty weather, boredom or the very real dangers of battle. The comparatively large number of wine, whiskey and beer bottles found in camp sites of both North and South, all attest to the drinking habits of many officers and men. The evidence is disturbingly irrefutable that some officers at all levels of rank were drunk while commanding units in combat as well as in camp. In my recent book "The Civil War Soldier - His Personal Items", I go into more details about soldiers and drinking. 


In The Civil War Collectors Encyclopedia, by Francis Lord, there is an example of this type of bottle as well as in The Gettysburg National Battlefield Museum and the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA (see pictures). There is a famous photograph taken during the war showing a young George Custer lying on the ground next to a wicker wine jug - nearly identical to this one (see pictures). I also have one in my private collection which I used in my book "The Civil War Canteen - Second Edition". These rattan covered bottles were popular because they could be reused for almost any beverage, including water. The wicker covering also protected the glass bottle from breaking while in camp, as well as keeping the water cool. In "J. Howard Wert's Gettysburg - A Collection of Relics from the Civil War Battle", there is an identical example (see pictures). It states "A demijohn bottle for spirits used in the Gettysburg hospitals".

Overall this item remains in excellent condition for its age. These bottles are a nice touch to a Civil War camp display or part of a soldiers personal effects. 

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