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Original Civil War Pewter Whistle (SOLD)

Out of Stock


Product Description

This is another great piece being offered, it is a Civil War or earlier Whistle. It is made of pewter with a small hole on one end for attachment of a thin cord to wear around the neck. It measures approximately 2’ x ¾” and amazingly, it is still in working condition.

There are examples of similar whistles in Excavated Artifacts from Battlefields and Campsites of the Civil War, by Stanley Phillips and in The Civil War Collectors Encyclopedia, by Francis Lord (see pictures). Mr. Lord states “Whistles and any reference to their use during the Civil War are very rare”. The example in his book was recovered from the Port Hudson Battlefield.

Another example of this whistle belonged to Pvt. Joseph Rideout of Co. E, 17th Maine. He was wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness and captured. His sewing housewife with this whistle was picked up by one of his comrades and sent it home to his family. Rideout would later die in Andersonville Prison (see pictures).

Whistles were often used by both officers and NCOs. They were easy to carry and could direct men without having to depend on a bugler. A great story concerning whistles was by a Confederate Missouri officer, Captain Joseph Boyce:

"We were also joined by a company from the Second regiment, Col. F. M. Cockrell. The three companies formed a battalion and were placed under command of Lieut. Col. Hubb[ell] of the Third Missouri. Our movements were executed by calls from a whistle instead of the bugle. We discarded the bugle some months previous though the influence of Capt. Burke, as the calls on this instrument were the same as those used by the federal forces. Hence, while we had the advantage of knowing his movements by the bugle calls, he could not anticipate our moves, as he was not familiar with our orders by the whistle. This change afforded us great advantage and amusement while we anticipated his every move."

This is truly a unique piece and remains in nice condition. This whistle, with its great age, could actually go back much longer than the Civil War. There is another example in "Collector's Illustrated Encyclopedia of the American Revolution" (see pictures). It comes in the glass top display case pictured.

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$4.50 (Fixed shipping cost)