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Large Pottery Pitcher damaged from City Point, VA Explosion


Product Description

This is an interesting piece being offered which has been in my collection for several years, it is a reassembled pottery pitcher. It appears to be about two or three pieces and stands 7 ½” high, 8” wide including the handle, and a diameter of 5” on the bottom. This would be considered a utilitarian type of pitcher, which could have held numerous liquids, such as milk, water, or even wine. It was recovered years ago with a pottery jar at the site of the City Point, VA explosions (see pictures).

Many of the Union wounded from the Battle of the Crater were brought to field hospitals that had been established at City Point. A once thriving river port that was well in decline when it was occupied by Federal troops in early May of 1864, City Point had become the logistical hub for all operations against Petersburg and Richmond. The river bank, rising up high, had been cleared and leveled, so as to make room for storehouses for supplies, and for a station for the railroad. All this had sprung out of the earth as if by magic, in less than a month, this activity made City Point a tempting target.

A successful blow was delivered on August 9, 1864, when a Confederate operative named John Maxwell planted a time bomb (which he called a "horological torpedo") aboard a munitions barge docked near the shore. The resulting explosion destroyed several large buildings, 180 feet of wharf, two million dollars of munitions and supplies, and killed more than forty workers. The blast rained potentially lethal debris all across City Point, including U. S. Grants headquarters. Grant was not injured, but one staff officer was struck, and an orderly killed.

This is truly a unique item and is a very solid piece, probably from an officer’s tent. It is just about complete, except for a small piece of the spout. It would make a great addition to just about any Civil War collection.

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$11.50 (Fixed shipping cost)