CONFEDERATE 25th VIRGINIA IDENTIFIED CARTRIDGE BOX AND SLING

$2,950.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1179-435

Formerly in the collections of the Texas Civil War Museum, this cartridge box with its original sling is in very good condition and is boldly inscribed on the outer flap “D.W. Kline.” The name is fully legible, carved in narrow block letters with serifs and shading, and some having a nicely folky, slant, with a small “x” used for the period after each initial. Kline served in Company F 25th Virginia Infantry, a company in which a younger brother also served, and saw action from early 1861 to early 1863, including fighting in western Virginia, Jackson’s 1862 Valley Campaign – where at McDowell Lt. Dyer, commanding the company, was shot dead shortly after encouraging them, “Lose not your honor—Give not an inch!”- and further fighting against Pope at Cedar Mountain and Second Manassas, followed by Antietam, and Fredericksburg.

The cartridge box follows the U.S. 1857 pattern, having vertical belt loops on the reverse for wear on a waist belt as well as horizontal retaining loops and buckles on the bottom for wear on a shoulder sling. The outer flap fastens to a brass stud on the bottom of the box by a leather latch tab. All the belt loops, buckles and latch tab are in place and are secured by stitching alone, with no rivet reinforcements, as is correct for the pattern. The box has both inner and outer flaps and an implement pouch with its own flap in place on the face of the box. The outer flap was pierced for a cartridge box plate, which was removed. The inner flap with its side ears is present. Kline apparently thought this sufficient to protect the cartridges and trimmed the sides of the outer flap somewhat, so that they curve down on either side just beyond the old slits for the cartridge box plate, which still gives a double covering to the very top of the box. The edges may have been damaged or he needed the scrap leather for some other purpose. The shoulder sling is still present, full length, with no breaks, and securely buckled to the bottom of the box. It shows holes for an eagle sling plate that, like the box plate, was removed and discarded. It also shows some additional holes, one with the remains of a leather thong, likely for carrying additional items, perhaps for postwar use in hunting. The tin magazines are missing. Given that US plates were clearly stripped from the box, and that it so closely follows the US 1857 pattern, the box was certainly a captured piece. We see a faint maker’s stamp on the inner flap, but crackling of the finish makes it tough to decipher. Whether captured personally by Kline or issued to him from captured stores, he likely received it after returning to duty after his own exchange from captivity in August 1861, in time for his regiment’s major fighting in 1862.

The owner was Daniel E.W. Kline, born about 1843 in Hardy County, Virginia. The 1860 census picks him up at age 17, the eldest of six children, three sons and three daughters, of Samuel, a shoe-maker, and Rachel “Cline,” living in Pendleton County, Va, with Franklin as their post office. Daniel is listed as a “laborer,” likely a farmhand, as is one of his younger brothers. All three sons eventually saw Confederate service. Daniel was the first, joining the county’s “Franklin Guards” at the very beginning of the war. This company, initially about 140 strong by one account, joined gathering Confederate forces near Grafton and became Company F of the 25th Virginia Infantry in late May, giving him a formal enlistment date of May 26. Like most Virginia units this was for twelve-months service that was extended in mid-1862 with reorganization of the regiment to serve “for the war.”

Grafton was a stop on the B.&O. Railroad and the regiment was, naturally, involved in the early struggle for control of Virginia’s western counties, suffering a few casualties in small skirmishes until July 1861 when several of its companies fought at Rich Mountain and the regiment was caught up in the surrender of Camp Garnett, over the protests of the captain of Company F. Kline was paroled July 17 and exchanged August 16, putting him back in the ranks in time for the regiment’s fighting at Camp Alleghany in December, which cost them 18 more casualties. In Spring 1862 they took part Jackson’s Valley Campaign, where they lost 72 men at McDowell and 29 at Cross Keys and Port Republic. They moved to the Peninsula to take part in the Seven Days Battles as part of Early’s brigade, and then lost 1 killed and 24 wounded at Cedar Mountain (27 wounded by CWData’s count,) about the same number at Second Manassas, another 6 killed and 25 wounded at Antietam (CWData,) and 13 killed and wounded at Fredericksburg.

About January 25, 1863, the regiment was consolidated with the 62nd Virginia, which had been serving as a combined-arms organization of cavalry and infantry at different points and was also designated the 1st Partisan Rangers, 62nd Infantry, 62nd Mounted Infantry, 62nd Partisan Rangers, and a few other titles. Men in the 25th may have expected cavalry service in joining the 62nd, but the cavalry companies had been transferred out by the time they were consolidated, about Jan. 25, 1863, and it was several months before the regiment was again mounted, this time as a whole. The delay may have caused some disappointment, but whatever the cause, Kline left the unit in late February and was carried on the company’s Feb. 26, 1863, muster roll as having deserted at some point since November 1, 1862. That roll does not note any subsequent service, but notes his presence in Hampshire County. His younger brother John signed up in Co. F of the 62nd in 1864 in Pendleton County, but his William signed up in the 7th Virginia Cavalry in Hampshire County also in 1864, so the family, or parts of it, may have moved there. In any case, it could not have been much of a refuge- Romney, the county seat, reportedly changed hands somewhere between ten and fifty-six times during the war, by different reckonings. Both of Daniel’s brothers were captured in 1864 and ended up spending time as POWs at Camp Chase. Whether Daniel signed up again and his postwar life are unclear, but given the severity of some of the battles the company engaged in, he likely had “seen enough of the elephant.”  [sr] [ph:L]

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