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Rare War of 1812 Militia Canteen, Keene Light Infantry , as in Canteen Book


Product Description

This is another rare piece being offered, it is a rare, small early tin Militia canteen. The canteen measures 5 ½” x 2” and originally it was painted green and in gold lettering is “K L I”. It has three sling keepers and the cork. There is also a very old, misidentified tag stating “Civil / War / Round / Ca….”.(There is a possibility it could have been used during the Civil War). Established around 1807, the Keene Light Infantry (KLI) was an independent infantry company organized and operated by a group of men in Keene, New Hampshire.

During the War of 1812, the state of New Hampshire was called upon to furnish 3500 men to fill the ranks of the militia. The Keene Light Infantry unit quickly responded and was one of those units that helped fill the state requirement.

The organization functioned as part of the state militia, but also served as an honor guard, escorting dignitaries during processions and celebrations, and as a social organization. At the beginning of the Civil War, the Militia was virtually nonexistent. The state had to raise volunteer regiments, such as the 6th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry, to aid in the war.

In my book “The Civil War Canteen – Third Edition”, I show one of these New Hampshire War of 1812 canteens (see pictures). These Keene canteens are very rare and is the first I came across in over 25 years. There is another example of this canteen in the New Hampshire Historical Society collection. It is in very nice condition with no rust. It would make a great addition to any collection. The friendly layaway is available on this item.

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$8.50 (Fixed shipping cost)