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Remains of a Soldier's Change Purse, Stafford, VA

$40.00 $30.00
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Product Description

This is another neat item being offered, it is the remains of a soldier’s change purse. The leather is long gone and what remains are the two top brass closures, measuring approximately 3” x 1 ½” each. It was found in a Union camp in Stafford, Virginia.

During the Civil War, Stafford was a logistical and transportation center, and a staging ground. From the banks of the Rappahannock River in December 1862, Union forces staged an advance to start the Battle of Fredericksburg. Shortly after, Union General Ambrose Burnside bogged down his army on the famous "Mud March." In the Fredericksburg Visitor Center and Museum, there is a change purse like this one which was removed from a dead Union soldier by at Confederate at the base of Marye's Heights (see pictures).

The civilians of Stafford were among the first in the new world to suffer the devastating effects of a modern war, having to host most of the Union's Army of the Potomac from 1862-1863. Over 200,000 soldiers camped, ate, and lived off the land, straining the county's resources to the point of collapse. Stafford's population did not recover until the 1940s, well into the twentieth century.

Obviously, these change purses were popular with the soldiers – a common find at Civil War camps and battlefields. In the Fredericksburg Visitor Center and Museum, not far from where this piece was recovered, there is a change purse on display (see pictures). It was taken from a dead Union soldier by a Confederate at the Battle of Fredericksburg.

This is a great little piece and something that was important to the soldier. I have a complete example in my book “The Civil War Soldier – His Personal Items” (see pictures). It comes in the glass top display case pictured.

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