CONFEDERATE CAP BOX FROM GETTSYBURG, FIRST DAY’S FIELD, EX-SHIELDS MUSEUM

$2,950.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 490-2451

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

We are proud to offer this classic Confederate cap box picked up on the first day’s field at Gettysburg and formerly in the Shields Museum. The condition is very good, showing field wear with some rubs and crazing to the finish, but nothing unexpected in a box that saw real service and was picked up from the battlefield not long after the fighting ended.

The box is constructed much like the U.S. pattern introduced early in the war with a one-piece flap cut rather high up for the extension of the latch tab and has an inner flap with side ears in place. The interior shows a piece the flesh strip from the sheepskin strip originally sewn in to prevent the percussion caps from jostling out if the box was left unfastened while the soldier was in motion. The pointed finial for the latch tab is secure on the bottom of the box. The reverse shows the classic, wide, one-piece belt loop used on CS cap boxes. The bottom edge of the reverse is the only area with any repair. The base of the belt loop had pulled away slightly and there was not enough leather to restitch it, so a small dab of glue was used to secure it and a couple of stitches were replace in the seam joining the body to the piece forming the back and flap. Neither repair is particularly noticeable, and we believe in leaving things untouched, but in this case it was necessary to make sure it did not get worse.

This has a tight provenance to the Shields Museum, which opened here in town in 1925 and rivaled the Danner collection and Rosensteel’s Round Top Museum for its collection of Gettysburg artifacts. (In fact, Arthur Shields was son-in-law to John Rosensteel.) Shields’ daughter Ellen took over the operation in 1950 and in 1974 she offered one of our early and regular customers, Tom Bohon, of Greencastle, Pa., the chance to buy one display case devoted to artifacts recovered on the first day’s battlefield. This was literally just to create more floor space and the deal was a one-time offer, “all or nothing.” He had the immense good sense to take it. The Shields museum was located on the field of the first day’s fight near the Reynolds equestrian statue. The Park Service bought the property in 1985 and the collection was dispersed at auction, but Tom held on to his pieces, which were only sold after his death in 2019. We are pleased to remember his friendship over the years and proud to offer some of his very select acquisitions.

This is a seldom offered chance to acquire a battlefield pick-up from the most famous battlefield of the war with a legitimate provenance. Please check our listings for some other pick-ups from the first day’s field that Tom was able to acquire. As Tom knew, chances like this do not come around often.   [sr]

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