CLASSIC CONFEDERATE WOOD CANTEEN WITH 2nd MASS CAPTURE INSCRIPTION: RELIC OF A HARD DAY’S WORK

$4,500.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 846-175

The Second Massachusetts Infantry was a well-disciplined fighting regiment that saw heavy fighting at Cedar Mountain, Antietam, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg, and then went west as part of the 12th Corps, seeing further action in the Atlanta Campaign, March to the Sea, etc., as part of the 20th Corps. When they mustered out in 1865 they had lost 14 officers and 176 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded: a high number. This classic Confederate wood drum canteen was captured by one of the regiment’s men and a brought home as a souvenir.

The canteen is of classic Confederate manufacture with turned wood face and back, and staves secured around the periphery by two narrow iron hoops. Three iron brackets for a shoulder sling are present, as is the tin spout, pressed down into its aperture somewhat, and about level with the wood surface. There are some minor scuffs and abrasions from wear and use, but it has great color overall. One face of the canteen has very nicely written details of its capture: This / canteen was captured / from a Confederate picket / in front of Atlanta, Ga. / On the morning of July 30, 1864 / by / Sergt. Dexter Butterfield, / Co. A 2nd Mass. Vol. Inf. / 1st Div. 20 A.C. The lettering is visually attractive and was originally filled with a white paint, now a pleasing, mellow cream color. The carving is absolutely genuine and was likely done about 1890 for display in a G.A.R. hall.

After the Battle of Peach Tree Creek, Hood pulled back into the defenses of Atlanta. The 2nd Mass was on the right of the Union line, connecting with the 14th Corps. The regiment’s official report details the circumstances of the capture: “In this position it remained until the morning of the 30th, at 4 a. m., when Lieut.-Col. Morse, Second Massachusetts Infantry, commanding the picket of the brigade, having advanced upon and surprised and captured the enemy's pickets in his front, securing a commanding  hill near one of the advanced posts of the enemy,  the regiment  was ordered to support the picket-line of the brigade and hold the hill. The regiment moved promptly to the hill, threw up breastworks under the severest fire of the enemy's infantry and artillery, at a range of about 400 yards. At 11 a. m. it returned to its old position…” The regimental history supplements that report, noting that seventy-two Confederate “pickets” were captured in their entrenchments in the surprise attack and that in defending the new position for the next six hours the men fired two hundred rounds apiece.

Dexter Butterfield was born and lived in Dunstable, Mass. He is listed as a farmer when he enlisted in Lowell at age 19 on October 15, 1861, and later in life as well, though a company descriptive list has him as a weaver, perhaps because he enlisted in the mill town of Lowell. He is described as 5’7” with dark complexion, gray eyes and black hair and mustered into Co. H of the 2nd Mass. as a private on October 23. He is recorded as “present” on every company muster roll until his discharge in October 1864 on the expiration of his 3-year enlistment. He transferred into Co. A on Dec. 21, 1861. He is listed as acting as an officer’s servant from April to July 1862, served briefly in Co. E from January to March 1864, returned to Co. A and was promoted corporal Oct. 12, 1863, and sergeant July 1, 1864. He was discharged October 14, 1864. Records indicate he married in 1865 and continued as a farmer in Dunstable until his death in 1912. Included below is a photo that purports to be Dexter Butterfield; the photo shows up on Ancestry but with no credit.

This is a wonderful example of the classic Confederate canteen, with a visually pleasing inscription and a documented incident of capture. Further research may also reveal details of the Confederate soldiers captured that morning and their prior service history.    [sr]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THIS ITEM, AS WITH ALL OTHER ITEMS AVAILABLE ON OUR WEB SITE,

MAY BE PURCHASED THROUGH OUR LAYAWAY PROGRAM.

FOR OUR POLICIES AND TERMS,

CLICK ON ‘CONTACT US’ AT THE TOP OF ANY PAGE ON THE SITE,

THEN ON ‘LAYAWAY POLICY’.

Inquire About CLASSIC CONFEDERATE WOOD CANTEEN WITH 2nd MASS CAPTURE INSCRIPTION: RELIC OF A HARD DAY’S WORK

should be empty

featured item

US NAVY EAGLE POMMEL SWORD ID’D TO PERCIVAL DRAYON, WHO SERVED HIS COUNTRY FOR 38 YEARS

Manufactured: Unmarked  Maker: Unmarked  Year: 1838 - 1850s  Model: Eagle pommel Size: 29.5 inch blade, 1 inch wide, .314 thick  Condition: VG The blade is etched: “Percival / Drayton / U.S. / Navy”. The blue and gold decorated blade has a… (870-48). Learn More »

Upcoming Events

10
Jul

The Gettysburg Show scheduled for June has been postponed until Sept. 25th - 27th. Learn More »