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Civil War "Spike with chain" wood carving, POW (ON HOLD,GH)

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Product Description

This is an interesting piece I am offering that was once part of a larger Civil War collection. It measures 18" long with the spike 12" x 1", and is carved from a single piece of wood. It was probably whittled by a soldier in winter camp, or even a POW to pass the time. In “Fighting Men of the Civil War”, there are examples shown of Union and Confederate soldier whittling (see pictures).

Whittling did not become a prevalent hobby in the United States until the Civil War began, when soldiers with skilled hands and idle hours whittled to pass the time. It became a popular diversion that enlisted men, commanding officers, and even General Ulysses S. Grant partook. Most soldiers carried folding pocket knives and in turn became proficient whittlers. They turned wood into walking sticks, figurines, sculptures, smoking pipes, fans, whistles, and chains. After the war many of the veterans continued their leisure pursuit.

This unique piece shows some age but still remains solid and the chain moves freely. I am not sure what the soldier had in mind when carving this piece – it kind of reminds me of a Cavalry Picket Pin, which would have been banged into the ground to secure his horse. I go into more detail about soldier pastimes in my book “The Civil War Soldier – His Personal Items”.

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$7.50 (Fixed shipping cost)