U.S. INFANTRY CARTRIDGE BOX AND SLING FROM THE FIRST DAY’S FIELD AT GETTYSBURG: SHIELDS MUSEUM

$2,950.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 490-2453

Luck is the residue of diligence. Tom Bohon was one of our earliest customers, a regular at our first shop, and regular visitor to the old Shields Museum. In 1974 he was offered a rare opportunity by Ellen Shields, who then ran the museum for the family. They needed room. Specifically, one display case worth of space. Tom could buy the entire case, devoted to pieces specifically from the first day’s battle, but he had to buy it all. And, he did. We are pleased to able offer pieces from this collection, only on the market once, forty-six years ago, for a few minutes.

This is a regulation U.S. issue infantry cartridge box for a .69 caliber rifled musket, complete with a sling, though broken, and both plates. It shows use and obviously lay outdoors before being picked up as a relic of the battle, but is in good shape for all that. The sling is present and full length, but broken on one side where it passes through the rear horizontal loop. Both the eagle plate and oval U.S. cartridge box plate are present and attached by their original thongs. The box is the 1861 pattern, using rivets on the belt loops but not in the buckles or the latch tab, all of which are still in place, the buckles still holding the billets of the sling. Both magazine tins are inside, but missing the upper dividers and one is missing the front panel of the tin. The implement pouch is complete with cover and tab, and shows stretching from actually having carried gun tools in it. The inner flap in clearly stamped by the maker, “H.A. DINGEE / N-YORK,” a very well-known contractor and maker of accouterments. Above the Dingee stamp is a lightly carved set of initials “P.R.” Suspicion settles on a soldier like Patrick Ryan of the 61st Ohio, one of the few Union regiments on the first day’s field with .69 rifled muskets, and one that was heavily hit, but there is no telling if another unit had been issued those boxes by necessity, someone else was using the box, etc.

We have made no effort to clean box and it should not be touched, though the sling could be lined up at the break for appearance. The leather surface of box and sling show overall crazing, some abrasions, but not a lot of missing finish. The sling shows some dirt and some flaking to the finish from flexing. Both plates have stains. The eagle plate shows some verdigris on the lower edge, and a little wear to raised portions, likely from polishing for dress parades.

This is a great relic of the battle with an impeccable provenance. Check some of our other listings for items from Tom’s collection and the Shields Museum.  [sr] [ph:L]

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