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  • "The Civil War Soldier - His Personal Items"
  • "The Civil War Soldier - His Personal Items"
  • Carpet Bag in the Gettysburg Museum

Original Civil War Carpet Bag, as in Gettysburg Museum

$275.00

Product Description

This really is a great piece being offered, it is an original Civil War Carpetbag. The body measures approximately 15” x 14”, and the handle extends beyond the bag. The complete brass face-plate lock remains; it would have used a generic type key. The interior is lined with a light fabric with a separate inner pocket. There are a couple of dark stains inside, and the previous owner felt it may be blood.

With the rapid expansion of railroads just prior to the Civil War, ordinary people were traveling in large numbers, and there was a need for cheap luggage, so thousands of carpetbags were manufactured. They were usually made by saddle and harness makers in a variety of sizes – this one being about the typical size.

They were called carpet bags because the makers would buy old carpets and construct the bags from the sections which weren’t completely worn out. This was how they could be manufactured cheaply; they sold in Dry Goods stores for $1 to $2. With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, this is what the average soldier would have carried when he left home. The size was ideal for an extra pair of socks, a shirt, change of underwear, and a few personal items. Many soldiers held on to their carpetbags throughout the war, especially officers, who weren’t issued haversacks or back packs. The brass locks on these carpetbags are a common find at Civil War sites.

There are soldier-identified carpetbags in The Civil War Collectors Encyclopedia, by Francis Lord and an identified example in my book “The Civil War Soldier – His Personal Items” (see pictures). Actually, I used the carpet bag to start off the book. There is another near identical example of this carpetbag that belonged to 1st Lieutenant John Wesley Clark of the 6th Vermont Infantry, who won the Medal of Honor during the Civil War, and there is one in the NPS Museum in Gettysburg (see pictures).

Overall condition of the bag is very nice with only minor wear as expected for its age. They go great with a display of a soldier’s personal effects. This is a rare opportunity to acquire a hard to find Civil War artifact.

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Quantity:
SKU:
0704191
Shipping:
$9.50 (Fixed shipping cost)