• Image 1
  • Image 2
  • Image 3
  • Image 4
  • Image 5
  • Image 6
  • Image 7
  • Image 8
  • Image 9

Original Civil War Soldier’s Carpetbag, as in museums & books


Product Description

This is another great piece being offered, it is an original Civil War Carpetbag, circa 1850 - 1865. The body measures approximately 15” x 16”, and the handle extends beyond the bag by about 6”. The brass face-plate lock remains, but as with most of these carpetbags, the key is long gone. The interior is fully lined with a checkered pattern.

With the rapid expansion of railroads just prior to the Civil War, ordinary people were traveling in large numbers, and there was a need for cheap luggage, so thousands of carpetbags were manufactured, this one being about the typical size.

With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, this is what the average soldier would have carried when he left home. The size was ideal for an extra pair of socks, a shirt, change of underwear, and a few personal items. Many soldiers held on to their carpetbags throughout the war, especially officers, who were not issued haversacks or back packs. The brass locks on these carpetbags are a common find at Civil War sites.

There are soldier-identified carpetbags in The Civil War Collectors Encyclopedia, by Francis Lord and an identified example belonging to a New Hampshire soldier in my book “The Civil War Soldier – His Personal Items” (see pictures). Actually, I used the carpet bag to start off the book.

There is another near identical example of this carpetbag that belonged to 1st Lieutenant John Wesley Clark of the 6th Vermont Infantry, who won the Medal of Honor during the Civil War, and there is one in the NPS Museum in Gettysburg (see pictures). Another identified example is in “Pictorial Encyclopedia of Civil War Medical Instruments and Equipment”, by Dammann (see pictures)

Overall condition of the bag is very nice with only minor wear as expected for its age. They go great with a display of a soldier’s personal effects.

Product Reviews

Write Review

This product hasn't received any reviews yet. Be the first to review this product!

$7.50 (Fixed shipping cost)