51st NY ID’D NEW YORK DEPOT CANTEEN

$625.00 ON HOLD
Originally $695.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 149-38

This is a real, issued and field-used Civil War canteen, nicely identified by the soldier by carving his name, “F. Howard,” in the spout, something of A necessity if you wanted to get your own canteen back from the soldier detailed to carry a number of them for refilling to some water source during a march. This has a chain retaining the stopper, characteristic of the New York Depot, and still has much of its brown wool cover and strap.

Francis Howard was a Canadian who enlisted at Otego, NY, at age 24 and mustered into Company B of the 51st New York on 3/22/64. Just as many U.S. residents went north to avoid the draft, many Canadian came south to take advantage of enlistment bounties. He apparently thought twice about his career choices, taking off from the regiment in April and being apprehended in May, but was restored to duty with loss of pay and seems to have made good in the end, being promoted corporal 5/21/65 and mustering out with the regiment 7/25/65 at Alexandria.

The regiment saw its first service with Burnside in his coastal expedition and in the Department of North Carolina, before joining the Army of the Potomac as part of the 9th Corps and later heading west to Mississippi and Tennessee in 1863, returning east for Grant’s 1864 campaign. They saw substantial fighting at New Berne, 2nd Bull Run, and Antietam, where they took part in the storming of Burnside’s Bridge, and finished out the year in the Battle of Fredericksburg. Howard joined them in time for their extensive fighting in 1864, missing out on Wilderness and Spotsylvania, but back in time for the continuous combat of Cold Harbor and Petersburg.

The canteen cover has abrasions and losses on one side with separation along the seam on one edge. The other side shows very well, with a threadbare spot at upper left, but the rest of the cover substantially intact and has a section of the sling showing on the body on that side replaced for display purposes. The dating of Howard’s service fits the use of gray shoddy material for canteen covers at the NY Depot in 1864-65. Canteens were an essential piece of field gear- certainly more often used than weapons by soldier and the wear shown on this one is typical of those brought back by soldiers with real field service.  [sr][ph:m]

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