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Carved bullet into an artillery shell, from a CS camp, North Anna, VA Battlefield


Product Description

This is another interesting piece being offered, it is a Confederate soldier-carved bullet. It appears that he was trying to carve a Hotchkiss shell (see pic of shell). The ribs of a shell are very pronounced and the nub on top would be the fuse. It was recovered at a Confederate campsite along the North Anna River, Virginia (see map pic).

On May 23, 1864, one of Confederate General A.P. Hill’s divisions assaulted the V Corps which had crossed the river at Jericho Mill, resulting in bloody see-saw fighting. On the 24th, Union infantry was repulsed at Ox Ford (the snout) but advanced to near the Doswell House on the Confederate right. Once the threat of Lee’s position was revealed, Grant withdrew both wings of the army back across the North Anna River. Grant outflanked the position by moving downstream and continued his advance on Richmond.

During the Civil War it was not all fighting and marching, there was also plenty of down time. There is a saying in today’s army which could also be applied back then, “Hurry up and wait”. To avoid boredom, thoughts of battle, and thoughts of home, many soldiers took to whittling – usually pieces of wood or lead bullets, such as this one.

Very few of carved wooden examples remain, unless they were saved and brought home. However, some of the lead pieces remain and are still being recovered today. In my book, “The Civil War Soldier – His Personal Items”, I discuss these carvings and other past times of the Civil War soldier (see pictures).

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